How do you feel about the huge developments in Artificial Intelligence we’ve seen over the past year? Depending on your point of view you may feel excited, overwhelmed, anxious, or all 3 of these things (and perhaps many more) all at once.
Many of us in the study skills team felt precisely these things. We’re particularly aware of the opportunities and challenges that generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Google Bard and Claude present to students. When used appropriately they have the potential to massively enhance your learning and take your skills in any number of areas to the next level.
But these AI tools can also be used unethically: to write essays or generate code for assessments which students should be creating themselves. We also know that lots of students want to use these tools but don’t know how, or are worried they may inadvertently break the University’s rules. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you.
The online resource
Our online resource Using AI at University explores how generative AI works, so you can understand what it’s capable of and what it can’t do. We also set out some of the university rules about using AI for assessments, and explain why these rules will vary from unit to unit. The key principle behind these rules is to consider your own learning – are you using AI in a manner which develops and enhances your skills? Or are you using it in a way which is actually stopping you from gaining some really important skills for your subject?
Besides understanding the rules about AI we want to help you start putting these tools to practical use as study aids. Our guide contains a catalogue of some of the most popular AI tools, and pages on writing effective prompts and turning these AI programs into your own virtual tutor. AI tools are far from perfect though, so it’s important you approach them critically and cautiously as we outline on our page about AI errors, hallucinations and fact-checking.
We hope that the online resource will help you to understand generative AI and how to use it within the university guidelines. However, we also believe that the best way to develop your AI skills is through practice. That’s why we’re running AI playgrounds in November. These are practical sessions where you can experiment with tools like ChatGPT, Claude, Google Bard and more.
In the playgrounds we’ll show you how to how to access these tools and discuss some strategies for using them effectively before giving you some space to play around with them. Our Study Skills tutors and student advocates will be close at hand to assist.
You can view times and dates of our upcoming AI playgrounds and book into them here.