Staff guide: Facilitating critical reflection on using AI for study

Content and slides

Library for Educators
3 min readMay 9, 2024


  1. Purpose of this guide
  2. Reflective activity
  3. Elaborating on initial reflections
  4. Preparing for focused discussion
  5. Community of practice
  6. Further support

1. Purpose of this guide

The use of AI in higher education is a complex and contentious topic. The number of students experimenting with AI is growing, along with expectations around educator knowledge. While you don’t need to know everything about AI, you do need to feel confident in supporting students to think critically about using AI tools for study.

One way you can do this is to encourage students to reflect on why they want to use an AI tool, what the benefits/risks are, and whether it is the most appropriate way to complete a task. This blog highlights helpful resources for you to facilitate this, which work for both the open and embedded programmes.

2. Reflective activity

When creating session materials, use this slide as a starting point for reflection:

Screenshot of a slide titled: ‘Reflecting on how I do this’. There are four bullet points, showing the following questions: 1) Why am I considering using a Generative AI tool? What do I hope it will do?​ 2) Am I missing out on key learning by using it this way? What should I do to make sure I learn what I need to? 3)​ What are the risks of using the tool like this? and What else should I think about? 4) What’s my plan for using the tool now?
AI guidance slide: Reflecting on how I do this

These are not the only possible questions but they are designed with most scenarios in mind. Furthermore, the specifics of the activity are open to interpretation, for example:

  • Reflection can be done individually, or collectively.
  • Answers could be written on flip chart paper, sticky notes or a whiteboard.
  • The activity could be done in class, or assigned as independent learning.
  • You could create Menti quizzes or Padlet boards if students would feel more comfortable contributing anonymously to the discussion.

3. Elaborating on initial reflections

You may wish to use alternative phrasing to extend the reflective process. Any combination of these questions can be used to facilitate discussion in a face to face or online workshop:

  • Why are you using this technology and how is this technology helping you meet the expectations of your assignment?
  • What can you use AI tools for in your coursework?
  • What can you not use AI tools for?
  • Do you need to reference/acknowledge you have used an AI tool in your coursework?
  • Can you think of any issues with using AI tools in your studies?
  • What AI tools are you using?
  • How can AI tools support your studies?

Use these slides as templates for inspiration, and adapt as required.

4. Preparing for focused discussion

There may be a scenario where you are expected to facilitate or design a more focused activity around AI use.

Potential topics for discussion include the following:

  • Evaluation: What are the pros and cons of using an AI tool?
  • Ethics: What are the ethical considerations of using AI tools? (e.g. plagiarism)
  • Referencing: How should you reference an AI tool you have used?
  • Bias: Does AI replicate any existing societal biases, or introduce new ones? How can you test this?
  • Objective: Is an AI tool objective? Does it take a neutral stance? Can it be used for criticality?
  • Use of AI tools: What AI tools should you be using and how should you use them?

This is not an exhaustive list but should give you some idea of what to expect. You can find more helpful resources below.

If students wish to learn more about the specific AI rules for their school/department, direct them to their programme tutor.

5. Community of practice

We encourage your feedback on this blog post and related materials.

  • Have you used this guide successfully?
  • Can you suggest any alternative activities for engaging students in the topic?
  • Are there any aspects of the topic that you have found challenging to navigate?

Please feel welcome to join the discussion here.

6. Further support

Links to the materials mentioned throughout the above post, plus additional supporting resources:



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