Guidance on the use of generative AI in Access to HE Diplomas

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been named as one of the UK government’s ‘five technologies of tomorrow’ and is already delivering wide societal benefits, across healthcare, climate science, and logistics.

AI in Education

Within education, AI has been used to improve the accessibility of information for students with learning difficulties; provide virtual tutoring for students who need additional help in their own time; and generate interactive content to help students learn through games or simulations alongside their course.

This is only anticipated to increase; and as AI tools and technologies develop and become more integrated into all spheres of life, it is important that Access to HE Diplomas equip students to embrace this change.

CAVA’s Approach

To support this aim, CAVA has designed a comprehensive guide for our providers which introduces our position on the use of generative AI in Access to HE Diploma assessment.

CAVA encourages appropriate and responsible use of AI by students and providers to enhance learning. The guide prioritises the importance of students' independent work, proper referencing skills, and how AI-generated content can be incorporated appropriately into assessments to reflect genuine student achievements, while guarding against misuse.

Our tutors’ expertise plays a vital role in detecting AI misuse. Through the guide, we intend to equip our providers with tools and techniques to support their identification of AI misuse, such as spotting discrepancies in student work that may indicate the inappropriate use of AI. We also discuss automated detection methods, their limitations, and the need for a holistic approach in considering the authenticity of students’ work.

Access to HE providers already have established policies and procedures to ensure that students are aware of the importance of submitting their own independent work for assessment, to identify potential malpractice, and to deal with suspected cases of plagiarism. The guide highlights best practice in these areas, and reiterates the importance of updating policies to address AI misuse, provide guidance on proper referencing, and ensure all assessment policy is applied in the context of AI use within the Access to HE Diploma.

The guide also explores the role of internal and external moderation processes in ensuring consistency and quality and underscores the significance of addressing suspected AI misuse with fairness and thorough investigation.

In creating this guide, CAVA has built on the guidance and recommendations of the Department for Education, Joint Council for Qualifications, and the QAA regarding generative AI. CAVA has also worked with fellow AVAs to create a central statement of principles on the use of generative AI in Access to HE Diplomas, to which this guide aligns. This is intended to create a comprehensive and consistent experience for students as they complete their Access to HE Diplomas and progress to higher education courses.

We hope this guide is helpful to our providers in supporting students to use AI appropriately and responsibly in their studies. Throughout the 2023-24 academic year, we will delve more into how AI can be best used within Access to HE Diploma, with a keynote speaker and panel exploring the topic at our annual CAVA conference in December 2023.