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Principles for the Acceptable Use of Generative AI in the Assessment Process

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Section 1 - Introduction 


(1) This policy sets out the principles for the acceptable use of Generative AI (GenAI) within the College in response to summative assessments for the purpose of grading student effort.  

(2) It also sets out the context for the responsible use of GenAI by College Staff, Faculty, Adjunct Faculty and students, with particular consideration of ethical consequences, transparency and fairness in assessment design, development and response. 


To whom does it apply? 

(3) This policy applies to all students on Hibernia College programmes, including those leading to awards in the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). 

(4) This policy also applies to all Staff, Faculty and Adjunct Faculty with a role in assessing or setting assessment for students on programmes where effort is formally assessed. 

Who is responsible for implementing the policy? 

(5) The Academic Board, as the ultimate academic decision-making body in the College, is responsible for approving this policy. 

(6) The Programme Director, with the help and collaboration of the Registrar, is responsible for ensuring that this policy is implemented in respect of academic programmes


(7) Assessment: The assessment of a student’s learning means inference (for example, judgement or estimation or evaluation) of a student’s knowledge, skill or competence by comparison with a standard and based on appropriate evidence. This includes self-assessment.

(8) Academic Misconduct: Academic Misconduct is defined as morally culpable behaviour by individuals or institutions that transgresses ethical standards held common between other individuals and/or groups in institutions of education, research or scholarship (NAIN, Lexicon). It is further defined as all actions which contravene Academic Integrity, resulting in an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage. 

(9) Academic Integrity: Academic Integrity is the commitment to and demonstration of honest and moral behaviour in an academic setting (The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill   

(10) Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the area of computer science focused on creating intelligent machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. 

(11) Generative Artificial Intelligence: GenAI is defined as artificial intelligence technology including natural language processing models designed to generate text similar to human writing in terms of style, content and structure (Lehnert, 2023). As such, they can produce natural and nuanced text in response to prompts.  It can produce images, numeric data and references based on similar types of predictive algorithms. (Bearman, M., Ajjawi, R., Boud, D., Tai, J. & Dawson, P. (2023). CRADLE Suggests… assessment and genAI. Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia) 

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Section 2 - Context 

(12) This policy sits alongside other supporting policies, procedure and documents, specifically (but not confined to) The Assessment, Grading and Certification Policy, the Academic Integrity and Good Practice Policy and the Guidelines for Assessment Design in response to the Challenges and Opportunities of rapid advances in GenAI. It aims to ensure that Staff, Faculty, Adjunct Faculty and students are informed on the principles for ethical use of GenAI in the assessment process.

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Section 3 - Policy Statements and GenAI Principles 

(13) Principles for Acceptable Use of Generative AI in Response to Assessment: 

(14) Principle 1: Assessment for students should focus on capturing the extent and process of student learning including through demonstration of personal and academic skills.  

(15) Principle 2: While the capabilities of GenAI tools are rapidly expanding, the value of providing a diverse range of assessments including authentic assessments which value the learning process as well as the final submission are key to good academic practices and can mitigate against some potential risks posed by GenAI. 

(16) Principle 3:  In setting assessments Faculty and Adjunct Faculty should seek to devise assessments that are characterised by their validity and reliability, authenticity, fairness, accountability and security and guided by the Guidelines for Assessment Design in response to the Challenges and Opportunities of GenAI.

(17) Principle 4: The distinction between the different applications of GenAI is acknowledged by the College. The terms set out in assignment briefs around the use of GenAI as a response to a summative assessment should represent a clear, articulate and well communicated approach, agreed at programme level within the guidance provided by the College.  

(18) Principle 5: For all assessments, the restriction on the use of GenAI should be soundly based in an educational rationale, relate to the specific nature of the task(s) and have taken into consideration whether AI use would detract from the demonstration of the attainment of learning outcomes. 

(19) Principle 6: The use of GenAI as a study aid is acknowledged as having potential to support the student learning process however any engagements with GenAI must be guided first and foremost by ethical considerations. 

Responsibilities for the College 

(20) An agile approach to the development, implementation and updating of policies and procedures on Academic Integrity, Academic Misconduct and the use of GenAI to effectively reflect and respond to issues and reiterate the valuable educational purposes of assessment.

(21) Provide clarity at institutional level as to the expectations around the use of GenAI, suspected academic misconduct due to misuse of GenAI and the associated penalties and supports. 

(22) A College wide and community approach to the challenges of GenAI is pursued through a Community of Practice model. 

Responsibilities at Programme Level 

(23) All assessments for the purpose of grading student effort are subject to peer review and approved by the Programme Director. 

(24) A risk assessment should be conducted as part of the assessment development phase. All previous assessments should be reviewed in light of potential vulnerabilities to breaches of security. 

(25) The annual cycle of assessment development is an opportunity to critically evaluate the use of GenAI and associated communication to students. 

(26) Artificial intelligence literacy is supported amongst staff and students by the provision of accessible, timely and relevant information.  

(27) Awareness of the ethical concerns associated with the misuse of generative AI tools should be raised through assessment webinars, orientation and other engagements with students. 

(28) The use of GenAI in an assessment should be categorised at programme level during the assessment design process as: 

  1. Prohibited: GenAI cannot be used in any aspect of the assessment response including the generation of any materials or content for the assessment task 
  2. Restricted: Certain specific tools may be used and clarity is given as to what theses tools are. The use of the tools must be acknowledged by the student and the format for doing so clearly communicated within the assessment document 
  3. No Restrictions: Limitless use of GenAI in the assessment response, once acknowledged 

(29) This categorisation should be clearly communicated to students in the assessment documentation. 

(30) Foster a Programme level ethos and culture which emphasises integrity, honesty, trust. 

Responsibilities for Students 

(31) The onus is on the student to act with integrity and value the learning process over the end results. The responsibility for the integrity of the submission lies with the student. 

(32) Where a student is in doubt as to whether a GenAI source (or similar) is permitted within the context of a particular assessment, clarification should be sought from the Programme Director or nominee acting on their behalf. 

(33) Where a student is struggling or feels under pressure, they should contact student support and/or academic faculty in a timely manner to access the available supports. 

(34) GenAI may not be used in direct response to an assessment, in an exam context or during the composition of an assignment response unless specifically indicated that it is appropriate to do as part of the assessment briefing documentation.  

(35) Students are required to follow all terms and advice set out in the assessment documentation regarding the use of GenAI. 

(36) Students are advised to keep records of their draft work and notes throughout the course of their programme of study. 

(37) Students may be required to show evidence of their work process to show the steps leading to a final submission. 

(38) Students may be required to give an oral defence of their assessment response and should be able to explain the final submission, research and references cited. 

(39) Students should attend all assessment webinars and familiarise themselves with the assessment briefing documentation. 

Responsibilities for Staff 

(40) The Programme Director has responsibility for approving assessment briefing documentation to ensure a consistent approach to the use of GenAI is maintained. 

(41) Academic Faculty responsible for the development of assessments must clearly and explicitly communicate the academic integrity requirements of the assessment on the assessment briefing documentation and as part of assessment preparation webinars. This should include an explicit statement as to whether the use of GenAI is permissible and the terms under which it is permissible. 

(42) Where the Assessor intends to make use of GenAI as part of the assessment design process and/or response to assessment, written notice of the inclusion of GenAI must be given to students as part of the assessment briefing documentation. 

Appropriate use of AI 

(43) Situations where it may be appropriate for a student to use GenAI include: 

(44) For revision purposes and/or as a study aid tool. Students are advised to discuss the use of GenAI in this context with a member of academic faculty if in doubt. 

(45) Where it has been specifically noted as permissible as part of the assessment response. 

Student Declaration:  

(46) All assessments where restricted or unrestricted use of GenAI is permissible, should include a student declaration acknowledging the use and citing where and how it has been employed in the assessment response. Students should be made aware of how to acknowledge this use in order to meet the terms of the assessment.  

Sample Declaration of Use of Generative AI 
I have made use of GenAI in the following aspects of my assessment (list where it has been used). I made use of the following tools (list tools).  I have made use of it by entering the following prompts and gaining the following responses: 
Prompt 1: 
Response 1: