Generative AI guidance for taught students published

An email sent to all colleagues on 20 December by Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education.

Dear colleagues,

Since I wrote to you in September, there have been several significant updates to Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and platforms, reflecting the fast-moving, transformative nature of these technologies. In that email, I shared details of our AI guidelines for staff, which are designed to help colleagues think through issues related to the outputs of AI tools and how to approach teaching, assessment and research.  

As an institution, we remain convinced that AI holds great potential for enhancing various aspects of our teaching, research and administrative work. However, we also acknowledge some of the challenges the technologies present in protecting academic integrity and ensuring any use of AI complies with our ethical standards, University regulations and our values. We need your continued help to ensure that our students understand when and how AI can be used in assessments. 

I’m sharing with you today the first iteration of our Generative AI Guidance for taught students, which we will share with our student community in January.  The guidance will then come info full effect from the start of semester two, after the January examinations and assessments period.

The guidance provides information in a single place about relevant policies, guidance, FAQs and how Generative AI (GenAI) is being supported at the University. It has been co-produced through our Working Group on AI in Student Education (WAISE), chaired by Professor Alice O’Grady, in consultation with representatives from our student community. I would urge you to familiarise yourself with the full Generative AI guidance, as I know it will be instrumental in supporting our student community. Please encourage them to critically evaluate AI outputs and understand the benefits and the limitations of these technologies, and be ready to address student queries and guide them in responsible AI use. 

The impact of GenAI is significant on how our students learn and develop key skills for life and the workplace. In addition, it has significant impact on how our educators teach, develop assessments and enable students to achieve their full potential. We appreciate there are important considerations to make in this area, and we must work together and across the sector on this topic.

The guidance

Our Generative AI Guidance for taught students helps them explore the basics, strengths and limitations of GenAI, covering text, image/video and music. It gives instruction on our traffic light system to guide students and staff on expectations and appropriate usage. The guidance also provides students with all the latest information on AI in education at the University of Leeds, addressing common queries.

Sections on ethical and practical considerations emphasise the importance of verifying the accuracy and appropriateness of AI outputs, whilst the guidance also includes details of how to acknowledge the use of AI in academic work, including the need to document AI assistance in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of academic papers. The guidance will be reviewed and updated every six months to ensure it incorporates the latest changes to AI technologies and evolving best practices institutionally and across the sector.

AI at Leeds

Our AI working groups, made up of academics, professional services colleagues and students, continue to provide more detailed guidance for specific areas of activity, including research and publication, teaching and learning, postgraduate research supervision, resources and training. The Working Group on AI Technology in Research (WAITR) is also working on seeking feedback from relevant colleagues to deliver next steps and further guidance for AI adoption in research. 

We are aware that AI will require support for staff to support their teaching and research. More information is forthcoming soon with regard to support for teaching in particular.

We’ve also published guidance on the chatbot version of Microsoft Copilot (formerly known as Bing Chat) that can help with a series of tasks, such as coding, writing, generating images, answering general questions and more.

If you have any additional questions about the AI Guidance for taught students, or would like to provide feedback about the opportunities AI presents us at Leeds, please email
Best wishes,

Professor Jeff Grabill
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education   

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