(1) Introduction

AI (including so-called GenAI) tools are becoming widely available and embedded in many of the technologies which we use to write documents, analyse data, design presentations and to support learning. It is crucially important to understand how such technologies work and be aware of their limitations as well as their apparent strengths. They are not ‘intelligent’ in any real sense, nor are they experts on topics, but rather largely rely on statistical predictions of word combinations or image features. There are also concerns about ethical aspects in how such tools are developed, trained, and deployed and it is important to be aware of these.
This guide aims to both educate and guide students of Bray Institute about the limitations of use of GenAI tools and it’s consequences when used to produce content for assignments and assessments. It should become clear that the use of GenAI is strictly prohibited at the Institute unless it has been authorised as permissible by the teacher and the limitations of which have been clearly outlined in the assignment/assessment briefs distributed by that teacher.
These guidelines aim to aid the student to understand the importance of academic integrity, it’s good-practice and its far-reaching affects on the individual as both a student and in the workplace and in society. Students are asked to uphold the core values of academic integrity namely; honesty, fairness and


Cheating (in academic contexts) is the dishonest behaviour taken by an individual to gain an advantage. (AT BIFE) the unpermitted use of GenAI tools to create assessment work is considered cheating.

Copying/Using other’s work and passing it off as your own. It's a serious type of misconduct. It's to do with works or information you may find in other sources. Use of GenAI output and passing it off as your own is a form of plagiarism. (Avoid plagiarism at all costs and ask your teacher, tutor, trainer or support staff when you are not sure) – See (3) below for full definition in context.

Ethical Use
Students should be wary that the output from GenAI tools can often have ethical contexts that
people may find offensive. The AI tool will not be conscious of such bias and will do nothing to warn or protect the user from the implications associated with production and publication of unethical content.

Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity means being honest and responsible in the work (school, college, domestic, professional) you do.

  • FAIRNESS: This means being fair to your classmates, teachers and everyone you work with during your learning journey. It means that any work you do is treated fairly and grades are given based on the work and effort you put in. Fairness also means that you do your share of the course work when working with other people.
  • RESPONSIBILTY: This means what's expected of you as a learner and doing the work you are supposed to do. It's also important to get advice from your college or centre when you are not sure about what's expected of you. The work might be tricky or difficult and it’s ok to get help, but you must use that help to do your own work.
  • HONESTY: Honesty in academic integrity means that any assignments, projects, course work or exams you take part in are your own work. Your work should show that anything you do as a learner is done through your own efforts and in an honest way.

Cheating Services
Cheating Services are those that are (usually) accessed online by students that provide essay/assignment writing services at are normally provided by that service at a financial price to the student.

(2) What Students need to know

SEEK GUIDANCE Students should ensure that they understand what is required of them for any assignment or assessment, including the extent to which there is any allowable use of such GenAI technologies and how this may need to be acknowledged. It is therefore important that students seek clear guidance where there is any uncertainty.
(At BIFE) All course/subject assignments and assessments are designed to determine whether students can demonstrate attainment of the specified learning outcomes of their module or programmes. In other words, the credit is awarded for their own work and not that of others or produced by GenAI systems or obtained from other sources.

AUTHORSHIP STATEMENT Upon submission of assignment and assessment work Students must accept and sign the Assignment Authorship statement. This includes accepting a statement that reads:
“Unless explicitly stated in the Assignment Brief, I acknowledge that submitting AI-generated work as my own work is strictly prohibited, and I understand the potential academic penalties associated with such actions.”

PLAGIARISM It is important to understand that the misuse or unpermitted use of GenAI in assignment production amounts to plagiarism and is considered a breach of behaviour. Breaches of behaviour can have serious consequence up to and including expulsion (See: BIFE Learner Handbook – Procedures on Breaches of Behaviour)

(3) Plagiarism
Plagiarism, a practice deemed unethical and academically dishonest, entails the unauthorised use or reproduction of another person's intellectual property. In the contemporary landscape, this concept extends to the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI)-generated content. Plagiarism within the realm of AI involves the uncredited use of machine-generated text or ideas. Plagiarism is formally defined as presenting someone else's intellectual work, such as written content, ideas, or creative works, as one's own without providing proper attribution. The advent of AI technologies introduces a nuanced dimension to plagiarism, necessitating vigilance in acknowledging the role of AI tools in content creation. When employing AI to generate content, ethical considerations dictate transparent attribution, affirming the importance of maintaining integrity and authenticity in the digital age.

(4) Learning is a Rewarding Challenge

Learning is about ‘sense-making’, about juggling ideas, trying to see where they fit or where they contradict, about rethinking what we thought we already knew, about seeing things in new ways.

All of this can be difficult, students can feel vulnerable if something doesn’t appear to be immediately obvious to them and they need to put in lots of effort or seek help for things to ‘click into place’. It is not a weakness or a sign of lack of ability. It’s what higher level education is about, but it should be counter-balanced by the sense of achievement and the new perspectives and skills that students ultimately acquire through this effort.
In this context, the use of generative AI to produce assessment work can negate the student learning process and their academic development and the individual exploratory path associated with learning and problem-solving is by-passed.

RESIST TEMPTATION TO “CHEAT” If a student is struggling, or feels under pressure, it is advised that they to talk to their teachers, tutors, SU officers, counsellors, or whoever is most appropriate. Students are advised not to take ‘short-cuts’ with assessments that avoid them properly engaging with the subject, and to resist any the social media and other messages that come in from online ‘cheating services’ with ‘promises of assignment support’. Students need to be encouraged to reach out and ask for support.

(5) Academic Integrity (promotes lifelong values)
Academic Integrity is not just about cheating. Being a student should be a time in which students can develop new perspectives, learn more about themselves and society, find opportunities to express their passions and creativity, identify where they can engage with community and help make the world a better place.
Central to this is living up to values of trust, cooperation, integrity, and truthfulness, all of which are central to education and society.
Any avoidance of academic integrity can exclude the development of these values in the individual and their ability to express themselves in society.

(6) Consequences
At BIFE, students are required to uphold the values of academic integrity since this is core to learning, academic achievement and personal development. Breaches of academic integrity through the unpermitted use of GenAI tools to create content for assessment and assignment work can lead to serious consequences including being brought before the Academic Council (See: BIFE Learner Handbook – Procedures on Breaches of Behaviour). As such, the consequences are not only educational but are also on a personal level.

NOTE: The above guide was formulated on information attained from the QQI National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN) "Generative AI: Guidelines for Educators". Additional content was appended to the guide at BIFE. Release date: 20/2/2024