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Academic Integrity and AI: About Academic Integrity and AI

A guide about academic integrity and using artificial intelligence (AI) in assignments.

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity embodies honesty, ethics, and respect in academic settings. It includes giving credit to the ideas and research of others, never presenting someone else's work as your own, and consistently acknowledging the sources of information you use.  At Ara this means we want to hear your ideas and your voice in the assessments you complete. However, anything we learn is based around the mahi (work) people have done before us.  We need to whakapapa knowledge (in this context: know the origin of thoughts and ideas) and show mana (in this context: show respect by acknowledging sources).

As part of your learning we want to help you understand the ethical and effective use of AI. Using someone else's ideas or words and presenting them as your own is considered academic misconduct, often referred to as plagiarism. As an ākonga (learner), it is important that you know:

1. What plagiarism is

2. How using artificial intelligence (AI) tools may be viewed as academic misconduct

3. How to avoid academic misconduct issues

4. What we do at Ara if we detect academic misconduct.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using other people's research, work, ideas or expressions without giving credit to them or acknowledging them as the source through proper referencing. 

Referencing is an academic process of acknowledging someone else's ideas in your own assignment. 

Where to learn more about referencing:

How using AI tools may be viewed as academic misconduct

AI is around us in many useful forms.  You may have seen it while using Grammarly, Google docs or Semantic Scholar. Generative AI, for example, ChatGPT, is a large language model (LLM) that produces content that imitates human writing. We know it is a powerful tool that has a significant role in the workplace and in education, so we can use it in a teaching and learning context.

However, it may be a significant breach of academic integrity if you use AI to produce all or part of your assessment, especially if you claim the assessment as your own, original work. AI is a type of third-party assistance, (as is Contract Cheating when you get someone else to write your assignment for you). Check with your kaiako (teacher) if you are unsure how or whether you can use AI in your assignment.

How to avoid academic misconduct issues

  • Know where your ideas have come from.
  • If you use someone else's ideas, reference it correctly as per the Ara APA Referencing Guide.
  • Check with your kaiako (teacher) if you should or should not be using AI in any of your assessments.
    • If use of AI is allowed, ask your kaiako to explain their expectations about appropriate usage of any type of AI and how to reference ChatGPT.

Note: You are at risk of accidentally committing academic misconduct if you submit work created by AI as your own. 

What we do at Ara if we detect academic misconduct

When your kaiako is assessing your work and thinks AI has been used contrary to their assessment instructions, they may want to discuss your sources of information with you. This could be to clarify the tool/s you used, how you used them and to ensure this aligns with specific instructions for that assignment on use of artificial intelligence.

  • Your kaiako might use Turnitin as a plagiarism detection tool.  Turnitin can detect the use of AI and will highlight your use of AI to your assessment marker.  Ask your kaiako about this.
  • Consequences of academic misconduct and plagiarism can be found in your programme handbook.

Need more advice?


[Disclaimer: AI technology is rapidly evolving so this information may change in near future to reflect new developments.]

Guidelines on this page are adapted from Unitec Academic Integrity webpage.

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