Northcote College response to AI

Northcote College response to AI

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The much publicised, easy access to AI writing tools, including ChatGPT, has obviously posed some new challenges to us in schools in terms of ensuring academic integrity and making sure we can verify that students' work is their own. Our Assessment Policy in Practice, attached here for your reference, and also published on our website, states that “work that is presented for assessment must be original, and [students] will be required to sign a statement verifying that it is [the student’s] own work produced without assistance.”

We use AI checking tools to assist us, but we know that these tools are not perfect, and we can't just use them as a blunt instrument to make decisions. As part of developing our understanding of how to use these tools, and also of their limitations, we are looking closely at pieces of student work which flag-up content that may have been written by AI. If there is doubt about the authenticity of the work, including the potential use of AI content, the Head of Department will investigate and, in consultation with the Deputy Principal in charge of assessment, make a final decision on whether the work will be marked. This has been the procedure for some time when checking authenticity, and we want to develop sound processes around this new technology. In the conversation, the Head of Department will ask the student to describe their process and if they have used AI in their work, and then to explain to them, if they haven't used it, why it might be showing that they did - we feel it's important learning for them too. Following an investigation process, if academic misconduct is evident, a Not Achieved grade will be reported, and this is considered a serious breach of the national qualification rules.

We are guided by NZQA as we navigate this new AI technology, and we will continue to combat the risk of plagiarism by ensuring students share their notes and draft work. Most assignments have checkpoints for students to meet which document and value their planning and drafting process.

We will continue to teach our students about appropriate use of tools like ChatGPT to support their learning and what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism. We will also continue to teach them responsible digital literacy and critical thinking.

Ngā manaakitanga

Kate Meade
Acting Principal


Assessment Policy in Practice