Artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT, DALLE-2, GitHub, CoPilot, etc. are tools that can be used both to support and to negatively influence your learning. It is important that when using tools that have generative AI capabilities that you understand the ethical implications and limitations of these tools, as well as how to use them in a manner that is acceptable for Academic Integrity.
Generative AI is a transformative technology, likely to be incorporated in various academic and professional settings. National College of Ireland encourages the appropriate use of these tools, and this guidance document will outline how to effectively use AI and how to ensure Academic Integrity in assessment. Instead of discouraging your use of these tools, we aim to guide you towards using them in an effective, ethical, and transparent way.
These AI tools, while powerful, can sometimes give misleading or incorrect information. They also carry the potential to undermine your learning journey by offering shortcuts, diminishing the critical engagement vital for meaningful learning. It is a student’s responsibility to distinguish between acceptable use of these tools and the point at which their use could be perceived as providing an unfair advantage. If in doubt, your lecturer should be consulted immediately.
AI-generated content might blur the lines between students' original work and automated output, raising concerns about authenticity and potential plagiarism. Where NCI cannot stand over a piece of work created by a student due to suspected AI plagiarism, this work will not be accepted, and may lead to disciplinary action. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that students are open and transparent in their use of AI, ensuring that they reference how and why they used it, with appropriate evidence/references. Check out Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism Guide. Support for all students is available from your lecturer/Library Academic Support Centre.
All work submitted to NCI is subject to NCI’s Guidelines on Academic Integrity.
According to the National Academic Integrity Network; academic integrity means being true to yourself and being fair to your classmates. The purpose of assessment is to support learning, show student understanding and demonstrate the achievement of specific learning outcomes by that student. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure all submitted work correctly acknowledges the source of any data which is not the original work of the learner.
The use of AI tools to brainstorm, structure ideas, troubleshoot etc. may be deemed suitable, although context is always critical and the premises of academic integrity in the quote above should always be intact.
Your lecturer/tutor will be able to offer specific guidance around what usage may or may not be acceptable within a particular assignment, however the rules below regarding academic integrity will apply in all cases:
Academic Dishonesty is:
Check out the information on plagiarism and academic integrity through the Academic Integrity Hub (via Moodle).
Academic staff at NCI use technology such as Turnitin’s AI detection, along with heuristic methods such as writing comparisons, language consistency, source checks to detect possible Academic Dishonesty. If a member of staff suspects Academic Dishonesty via AI, you will be subject to the Disciplinary Process of the college.
If you have used AI sources in your work in any capacity, then you must acknowledge, describe, and evidence their use by filling out the AI Referencing Supplement Document and attaching it with your submission. The section below describes how to do this, and you can download the Project Cover Sheet (including AI Referencing Supplement Document) here, and see a more detailed example of how to fill this out here.
Name the tool/s used in the creation of your work in the format shown in the example below:
A description of how the tool was used should be added after the Acknowledgement section. Remember to detail the types of prompts used, the output you received, and how you used/changed that material.
Demonstrating the use of AI is the most critical part of the procedure. It is essential that significant prompts or responses utilized or generated by the AI tool are included in your work's appendices. Moreover, maintaining a record of all AI interactions related to your assessment is crucial in case you are required to present it to a faculty member. An important step in this process is ensuring that, for tools that maintain a ‘history’, this is kept intact and not cleared.
In your document's appendices, it is not required to present evidence of every prompt or response generated during your use of AI. However, students should include what they consider most pertinent and be ready to display the remaining material during a meeting with staff if needed. Evidence should include both screenshots and text where appropriate, and your lecturer may ask you to provide additional evidence when reviewing your submission.