Using generative AI at UWE Bristol

A guide to when and how to use generative AI.

Using generative AI at UWE Bristol

Your use of generative AI at UWE Bristol will depend on what you want to do and any restrictions that might be in place.

There are few restrictions on the use of generative AI to help your personal studies. However, there may be restrictions when completing assessments or assignments.

How to use generative AI

There are limitless possible uses of generative AI with text, images, sound and computer code. To get specific results, you will need to be specific with the instructions you give it. These instructions are typically called prompts.

You need to consider the length of the prompt. The AI may not understand your prompt instruction if it is too short. If it is too long, then important details might get lost.

A prompt will usually consist of:

  • Explicit and specific instructions. Clearly state what you want the model to do. Provide as much detail as possible, especially when it comes to images.
  • Format. Tell the AI if you would like the results presented in a specific format. For example, "please produce your response in a bullet-point list."

The AI will then analyse the words in your prompt, identify patterns from large datasets and then generate new content to continue the pattern.

You will then need to refine your prompt instructions and experiment.

  • Try different phrasings and instructions. For example, "That response was too formal, rewrite and use more conversational language."
  • If you are unsure what prompts are or what prompt to use, you can usually ask the large language model to suggest some. For example, “please suggest some prompts that I might want to use to help me brainstorm ideas around running a successful project."

Remember that generative AI is often inaccurate, creating false references, out-of-date detail and false information (known as ‘hallucinations’). Always check your results.

See our workbook on searching and evaluating sources effectively for more help with critical approaches and some further prompt ideas.

Referencing the use of generative AI

If you are guided to use generative AI in your assessments or assignments, you will need to acknowledge its use through referencing. Please see our specific guidance on referencing generative AI and our general introduction to referencing at UWE Bristol.

Always speak to your tutor if you are unsure whether specific uses of generative AI are permitted for specific assignments or assessments.

Good practice

To avoid plagiarism, protect privacy and avoid breaking copyright, we recommend that you:

  • Do not submit AI generated work in assessments without appropriate acknowledgement.
  • Do not enter personal or sensitive information into AI tools. It is often unknown how that data will be stored or could be accessed and used by others.
  • Do not submit other peoples’ data or work without their consent. This includes your colleagues and teaching staff.

See our further advice on copyright while studying at UWE Bristol. 

Different scenarios for AI use

These different scenarios describe what you can do if you want to achieve certain results.

Using it in an assessment or assignment set by your tutor

Your assessment brief may describe what use of AI is appropriate. However, this will not always be the case. If you are unsure, then please speak to your tutor.

  1. Check the learning outcomes of your module. Does your planned use of AI fit with them?
  2. Check the assessment brief. Does it describe how AI could be used? Does it say what is and is not allowed?
  3. Always take the lead from your tutor. Discuss any concerns about permitted use of generative AI with them.

It is important to remember that it is an academic offence to download material from the web and submit it as your own work, or submit work created by using AI tools without appropriate acknowledgement. You should follow our guidelines on referencing generative AI.

If you have been encouraged to use generative AI in your assessment or assignment, you can:

Searching for information

You can use generative AI to search for information by providing a query or a prompt that describes what you are looking for. For example, you can ask it to:

  • find the best sources for your research topic
  • generate a list of keywords for your own study resource
  • create a visual representation of a concept.

Be specific and clear about what you want generative AI to do. Use complete sentences and do not be vague. For example, instead of asking “list some keywords about climate change”, you can ask “list some keywords about the causes and effects of climate change”.

Read our workbook on how to search for and evaluate sources effectively for more help with using generative AI as an information source.

Testing your knowledge

You can test your knowledge by creating questions, quizzes, or exercises based on your own study notes. For example, “create five multiple-choice questions based on the following notes I made about decarbonisation…”

Always check the results of generative AI for accuracy, reliability, and originality.

You should not upload teaching materials or other resources provided by your tutor. Submitting material that has been created by others may break copyright and intellectual property rules.

Making a study plan

You can use generative AI to make a study plan by providing a query or a prompt that describes what kind of approach you want to take. Be specific and clear with your prompts and provide some context or background. This can help generative AI to understand your study needs and preferences and create a suitable and realistic study plan.

For example, instead of asking “create a study plan for my exam”, you can ask “create a study plan for my final exam in mathematics that covers the topics of calculus, linear algebra, and probability. The exam is on 15 March and I have ten hours of study time available per week”.

Do not simply trust or follow the study plan created by generative AI. Always verify the information, deadlines, and requirements.

Teaching yourself

To function as a learning aid, you will need to provide the generative AI with a specific query or a prompt that describes what you want to learn or improve.

Use complete sentences and avoid ambiguous or vague terms. For example, instead of asking “teach me Python”, you can ask “teach me how to write a simple calculator program in Python. I have some basic knowledge of programming but I am new to Python”.

Organising your work

To help you with organising your work, you may want to ask generative AI to create a to-do list, a timeline, or a checklist for your work.

Be specific and provide context. For example, “help me create a timeline for my coursework in nursing that involves researching, writing and editing. The deadline is 15 March and I have 20 hours of work time available per week.” 

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