What is AI?
According to the Oxford Dictionary AI is:
“The capacity of computers or other machines to exhibit or simulate intelligent behaviour”
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise the workplace and our lives, becoming as common as using spellcheck and Google search today.
However, it is one specific form of AI that is known most commonly: Generative AI.
Generative AI, or generative artificial intelligence, is a form of machine learning that can produce text, video, images, and other types of content. ChatGPT, DALL-E, Bard and an array of others are examples of generative AI applications that produce text or images based on user-given prompts or dialogue.
So, understanding how AI works and how you can use these tools correctly is imperative.
Limitations of AI
While AI tools seem appealing and user-friendly, and the results they generate can seem credible and well composed often they have the potential to be false or contain inaccurate information. In turn, this means AI can’t always be trusted and this could end up being detrimental to your learning.
- Unlike a standard internet search, they don’t access up-to-date information and resources and are currently over a year behind.
- At present, they can’t provide real references, instead, they create convincingly formatted yet fictional citations.
- They may also perpetuate stereotypes and biases.
An over-dependence on AI tools can diminish your chances to refine your writing, critical thinking, and evaluation abilities – essential skills in both academic and professional settings.
You also need to be aware of the difference between fair use, and at what point use might be classed as giving you an unfair advantage for more information and guidance on this see the below section labelled AI Misconduct.
As long as you follow the Loughborough College Assessment Policy and Loughborough College Plagiarism Policy when producing coursework, we actively encourage you to use generative AI to support your learning journey.
Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be helpful for things like coming up with ideas or making plans for your projects.
However, it’s important to remember what you’re working on and how you’re using these AI tools. It is not acceptable to use them to do all the work of writing your essay or assignment for you. You should also keep in mind that some of these AI tools use ideas from other people’s work without saying where the ideas came from; this is often seen as plagiarism.
This is highlighted in the college’s plagiarism policy, which can be found here.
So, always use these tools wisely and remember to give credit where it’s due.
Declaration of AI sources in your work
If your tutors have stated that you may use AI sources in your assessed work, then any use should be declared.
As a minimum, the declaration should explain what AI tools you have used to generate content in the process of working on your assessment.
Below we will cover the best ways to declare AI sources in your work:
Declaration of AI Tools used
You must declare the AI tool used and to what extent:
Some examples of this:
- ‘No AI produced content has been presented as my own work’
- ‘I have used the following AI tools: (Name of AI tool and URL link) to generate content for research / ideas generation / plans / self-study in my process during this assessment.’
- ‘I declare that I have used (Name of AI tool and URL link) to create content that was included within my assessment in a modified / paraphrased form.
Along with your declaration of AI tools used, you must describe how the content was generated. This must include the exact prompts you used, what was generated and how that was altered by you.
Some examples of this:
- I used the following prompts: (List prompts).
- The unaltered generated content was: (Paste unaltered content that was generated by AI tool).
- I used / changed the generated content in the following ways: (explain in detail how).
How best to use AI
In the expanding sections below you will find drop downs guidance of how you can use AI as part of your study at Loughborough college.
Creating plans and timetables of study for assignments, revision and placements
Using AI to create plans and timetables for assignments, revision, and placements can be a smart approach to organise your work effectively.
Think about what you want included in your plan/timetable as you want to be as detailed as possible when prompting to generate it in AI.
- Define Your Goals
- Time Allocation: Provide information about your daily schedule, including any classes, work, or other commitments. Based on this information, it can suggest suitable time slots for assignments, revision, and interview preparation.
- Break Down Tasks
- Prioritisation: based on deadlines, complexity, and importance. AI can provide insights into which tasks might need more time and attention.
- Study Techniques: AI can suggest effective study techniques based on your learning style and the type of tasks you’re working on. This could include techniques for memorization, problem-solving, or information retention.
- Use of Resources: Ask AI for recommendations on relevant study resources, textbooks, online courses, or research materials that can aid in your assignments, revision, and placements.
Remember, AI tools are there to assist you, but it’s important to use your own judgment and tailor the suggestions to your specific needs and circumstances. Regularly revisiting and adjusting of your plan will help you stay on track and achieve your goals.
Generating new ideas, prompts, or suggestions for a given topic
Using AI to generate new ideas, prompts, or suggestions for a given topic can be a great way to spark creativity and inspiration for your own projects. Think about what you want included and be as detailed as possible when prompting to generate it in AI.
- Clearly Define Your Goals: Determine what you’re looking to achieve with the generated ideas. Are you seeking brainstorming material for a creative project, trying to come up with unique business concepts, or looking for prompts to spark your writing?
- Provide Context: Prompt the AI tool with a brief overview of the context or background related to the topic. This will help it to generate more relevant ideas.
- Variety and Diversity: Ask the AI tool to provide a diverse range of ideas. This can help you explore different angles and possibilities for your project.
- Expand on Chosen Ideas: Don’t hesitate to loop back and ask the AI tool to expand on an idea or for more ideas or variations if needed. You can ask for more details, descriptions, or potential outcomes.
Once the AI has generated this for you, narrow down your favourites. You may wish to combine concepts using multiple ideas or prompts generated by AI. Customise the ideas to your needs by tailoring the generated ideas to your preferences, and project requirements. Add your personal touch to make them truly yours.
Incorporating idea generation into your routine by regularly using AI tools to come up with ideas can enhance your creative thinking over time. Remember, while AI tools can provide a plethora of ideas, the magic lies in your ability to shape and refine these ideas into something unique and impactful. Always exercise your creative instincts and adapt the generated suggestions to your own style and goals.
Support with primary and secondary research
Using AI tools to support both primary and secondary research by identifying, collating, or refining research topics and articles to allow you to review them thereafter can be extremely valuable.
For Primary Research:
- Generating Surveys and Questionnaires: Generate questions and suggest possible response options.
- Interview Preparation: Formulate interview questions and refine them based on the context.
- Data Analysis: After collecting data, AI tools can provide guidance on analyzing the data. It can suggest basic statistical techniques, help interpret results, and offer insights into drawing conclusions from the collected data. This should not be done if the data collected has any person’s personal information that would break GDPR.
For Secondary Research:
- Literature Review Assistance: Find relevant academic papers, articles, and sources to review and assist in summarising these, identifying key themes, and highlighting important findings.
- Topic Exploration: If you are struggling to narrow down your research topics, AI tools can help brainstorm ideas, suggest related areas to explore, and provide insights into the current trends and gaps in the chosen field.
- Source Synthesis: Synthesize information from multiple sources. It can help create coherent summaries that integrate various perspectives and findings, making it easier to present a comprehensive view of the topic.
- Data Interpretation: When dealing with data from secondary sources, AI can assist in understanding complex data sets, charts, and graphs. It can help explain statistical concepts and trends in a more understandable manner.
Remember it’s important for you to critically assess and verify the information and suggestions AI tools provide. Additionally, it’s advisable to use them in conjunction with guidance from teachers or mentors to ensure that the research process is rigorous and accurate.
Generate feedback on how a submission could be marked against assessment criteria
Using AI to generate feedback on how a submission could potentially be marked against assessment criteria is good practice. By uploading your assessment and asking it to mark it based on specific criteria your teacher will be marking your work on is a good way to check if you are on the right track. You should read the feedback given by AI and review your assessment, making any changes you feel are needed, do not get AI to do this for you.
You must not use AI tools to generate any element of an assessment and submit it as if it was your own work, contributing to your awarding grade/classification/final grade. The College has strict rules on plagiarism and academic misconduct which includes passing off someone else’s work as your own.
Discuss topics with AI to help identify gaps, provide feedback, and test your subject knowledge
By asking AI questions you can fill gaps in your learning, test your knowledge on topics by generating quizzes and tests and then ask for it to mark your answers and provide feedback you could then generate another set of different questions to re-test yourself and continue the process as you see fit.
Answering questions on specific subject to further your understanding of a topic
By asking AI questions on a topic you are studying you can fill gaps in your learning and get a better understanding of the topic. If a response is given and you don’t understand it you can ask the AI tool to expand on its answer or ask for it to be written in a simpler form.
Translating text from one language to another
You can use some AI tools to translate text from one language to another which can be extremely useful.
If your first language isn’t English or you are trying to read content that isn’t in your native language AI can help you translate it, making it easier for you to understand and process the information.
Software like Microsoft Word has a translation feature built in.
To dictate your own work into a document
Some AI tools have the ability to do voice to text, allowing you to dictate and have AI generate your speech into text.
A fantastic tool for people who can’t type for any reason and gives you the ability to transcribe conversations, meetings or even lesson delivery, using it instead of notetaking for example.
Some software offers the ability to dictate or transcribe voice to text, Microsoft has it built into Word, PowerPoint, Onenote, Outlook and Teams.
To proofread your work
Some AI tools have the ability to do text to speech (TTS) where AI will play back written text as spoken words.
It is a great way to proofread your work but not change it, we recommend using Hemingway.
Microsoft also has Read Aloud and Immersive Reader.
- Read Aloud can read all or part of your document allowing you to hear it back and make changes as needed.
- Immersive Reader is a set of tools that can read aloud and help improve reading fluency and comprehension too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I get in trouble or a disciplinary for using AI?
If you follow the guidance provided using AI correctly within the college’s guidance and plagiarism policy you will not need to worry about getting into trouble.
However, if you choose to ignore this and use AI in your work by copying and pasting full assignments or parts of, you may face disciplinary action.
Can I use AI to help with my assignments?
Using AI as a starting point is good practice. Questioning it about the topic your assignment is on, to gauge further insight and help with where to start can be extremely useful; as starting assignments is often the hardest part.
You just need to make sure you don’t copy and paste the information the AI gives you into your assignment.