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Understanding Resources and Tools

Being a student can be a challenging time. Thankfully there are many tools, aids and resources available to students! Knowing which tools we can use and when to use them appropriately is important. An example of a tool used in the classroom is a calculator. Calculators may be used for homework, in-class activities and/or during assessment to help students calculate formulas faster. With the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), there are now also AI tools (I.e., ChatGPT, Grammarly Go, QuillBot, etc.) accessible to students.

It is important to remember that not all tools and resources should be used for academic tasks.

Before you plan on using any tool or resource to help with your schoolwork, ask yourself:

1. Is the resource/tool allowed by the course instructor? 

  • Read over all assessment instructions to see if tools or resources are permitted. If not explicitly communicated in written instructions, ask your faculty
  • Be ready to explain what tool you’d like to use and for what part of the task.
  • If you use a tool/resource that has been prohibited OR if you use one that is not explicitly allowed, then you might be violating Conestoga's Academic Integrity Policy.

2. Is the resource/tool assisting or doing the work for you?

  • At Conestoga, we follow an Outcomes Based Education System. You must independently demonstrate the course and assessment learning outcomes in all academic activities. Resources and tools should be used to assist you in your work, not complete your work.  For example, if you are being assessed for your language skills, using tools that translate for you does not show your knowledge and should not be used. 
  • If you are using a resource/tool to complete the work for you, you may be violating Conestoga's Academic Integrity Policies. 
  • If you are unsure if the tool/resource is assisting or doing the work for you, ask your faculty

For additional guidance on whether to use ChatGPT or any AI tool, follow this helpful decision-making flow chart from the University of British Columbia. When in doubt, always ask your faculty if you can use a tool/resource.

Watch this video (1:11) to understand Conestoga's guidelines on using artificial intelligence:

How to Maintain Your Integrity when Using Tools and Resources

  • Do not assume you can use tools/resources for all assessments (I.e., assignments, tests, projects, etc). 
  • Ensure you have reviewed all instructions before using any tool/resource.
  • Ask your faculty if you are unsure if tools/resources are allowed.
  • Keep track and save all your progress (i.e., drafts, articles, links) for all assessments. 
  • If you use a tool or resource to edit your work, keep a copy of the unedited version.
  • If tools/resources are used, ensure you follow instructions as outlined.