Principle 1: Ensure equity in student access to GenAI

This principle means ensuring every member of the student cohort has fair and equal access to the GenAI applications used in teaching, learning or assessment. This supports the ‘Digital Inclusion’ element of Brookes’ IDEAS inclusive curriculum model. 

As GenAI technology is developing at an ever-increasing rate, no university can guarantee to provide the latest version of every application which students might encounter in their future studies or careers. We must adopt a learning and teaching strategy which recognises this limitation while building digital literacy into our programmes of study.

It is important to distinguish between GenAI functions – what we can do by using some aspect of GenAI – and GenAI apps, such as ChatGPT, which usually have a range of functions which is likely to increase over time as the software develops. We can usually demonstrate a specific function in different ways, using different apps.

One key development during 2023 was the announcements from major software producers, including Microsoft and Google, that they would embed GenAI in all their major products. You can now complete tasks in the newest versions of Google Docs and Microsoft Word which use GenAI. This raises questions about the future of stand-alone apps and how much innovation we can expect to see in our standard software in the future. 

We must also be mindful that commercial GenAI producers are typically adopting a multi-tier pricing structure. For example, they may offer a free version, with either limited facilities or access, alongside the paid versions which offer the full range of functions. Another common strategy is to offer a full or nearly full version of the software but only for a short trial period.