We will explore more fully how we can build generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT into learning experiences in the future but, for now, use of generative AI in current assessments could constitute academic misconduct.

If you use generative AI to complete an assessment, you run the risk of being found to have committed academic misconduct.

Academic integrity and misconduct

We require you to act with academic integrity when being assessed. The majority of current assessments have not been designed with generative AI tools in mind and so using them threatens the integrity of assessment, and therefore the value of your degree. We expect you not to use AI to generate assessment answers unless you have been explicitly told that you may or must do so.

Use of AI can constitute a number of forms of academic misconduct. It could be: 

  • plagiarism (because you are relying on a source that you have not identified)
  • commissioning (because you are relying on work produced by another person - the company who owns the AI software)
  • fabrication (if the AI makes up data or experiences that you then rely on)

In the context of online exams, use of generative AI will be treated as cheating. Please see the Academic Misconduct Policy or Academic Integrity Tutorial in the VLE for clarification of these offences.

We will assume that, by submitting a piece of work for summative assessment, you are representing that work as your own and not the product of generative AI use. We reserve the right to treat generative AI use as academic misconduct. 

Postgraduate researchers (PGRs)
Guidance on the use of Artificial Intelligence in PGR programmes will shortly be available on the York Graduate Research School web pages.

What we are doing

We are working with departments to help them to detect AI use during assessments. If module leaders and marking teams identify a piece of work is likely to have been produced by generative AI, then it may be reported as academic misconduct. For example, tutors are being asked to look out for content that does not sensibly align with or build in meaningful ways on what you have been learning here at York. We may also use software to help us detect AI usage.

How to avoid academic misconduct

1. Avoid using generative AI to produce your assessments

The easiest way to avoid generative AI accusations (or having them proven against you) is simply not to use it at all - unless specifically asked to do so. Until AI use is more fully integrated into learning activities, you are running a high risk of accusation by using generative AI at all. Make sure that what you submit is not produced, even partially, using generative AI text.

2. Keep records of your draft work and notes

It is advisable to keep records of the work you have done and to save different copies of your work rather than overwriting the same file all the time. Keep copies of the research notes you used, the calculations you made, etc. An academic misconduct panel may ask for copies of a student’s work where there is a suspicion of generative AI use. 

3. Be ready to explain your answer and how you produced it

If there is a suspicion of academic misconduct through generative AI use, you may be requested to attend a panel hearing on the case and asked to explain how you produced your work.

4. Make sure you understand what is appropriate for each assessment you take

If you are not sure whether it is acceptable to use generative AI content tools, you should discuss this with your programme leaders, module leaders or supervisors as soon as possible.

5. Do not use generative AI to correct your own work or improve your expression and language

Doing so increases the risk that you will be accused of having generated the whole piece of work. Please see our Guidance on Proofreading and Editing for information on the extent to which you can use other people or software to improve your work.

If you have concerns about other students

We hope that you share our aim of ensuring that everyone is assessed fairly and appropriately and we welcome your help in encouraging each other to adopt appropriate academic practices in your studies. If you have concerns about other students, see AM2.1.7 Reporting of Academic Misconduct by third parties in our Academic Misconduct Policy for our formal process but please speak to your supervisor, programme leader or module leader first so that we can be sure that there is no misunderstanding and accusations are not made inappropriately.