SMU Framework for The Use of Generative AI Tools



Singapore Management University has developed a Framework for The Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools which aims to provide guidance on how the SMU community can use such tools, and where resources should be channeled to ensure the responsible and effective use of generative AI tools. It provides the University’s position on the use of generative AI tools, as well as its use in the following specific contexts: [i] as a learning aid for students or [ii] as a pedagogical tool for instructors, and [iii] in assessments.

University's Position on the use of Generative AI Tools 


The University recognises the benefits that generative AI tools bring and its increasing presence in our everyday lives. Our students will build their careers in a world where AI tools will be increasingly pervasive and it is incumbent on us to teach students how to interact with such tools in an effective and discerning way. With fast evolving technologies like AI, our response is not to shy away from it, but to assess how we can harness the best of what it can offer and adapt the way we teach and approach assessments to prevent misuse. We are committed to exploring ways to integrate generative AI tools into education, but at the same time safeguard academic integrity and standards of academic rigor. For this reason, ensuring the responsible and ethical use of generative AI tools must be part of our response.

The framework


SMU Framework for the use of generative AI tools

Use of Generative AI Tools by Students as a Learning Aid


Generative AI tools have the potential to enhance students’ understanding of knowledge leading to better learning outcomes. Nonetheless, students need to be made aware of the limitations and ethical use of such tools.

The Student Success Centre has launched the Guide to Learning with AI online module to educate students on how generative AI tools can be used as a learning aid in an effective and responsible manner. This module can be found on eLearn. 

Use of Generative AI Tools by Instructors as a Pedagogical Tool


Generative AI tools can lead to improved teaching quality and support instructors to create educational content.

The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) has developed a resource page on the “Use of AI Tools in Assessment and Teaching” for instructors and will be updating it as new information on AI tools arises. In addition, a series of webinars / workshops has been planned to provide support to instructors on the effective use of generative AI tools in teaching, including demonstrating best practices for incorporating these tools in their teaching.

Use of Generative AI Tools by Students on Assessments


The University will address the potential misuse of generative AI tools in assessments using the following three-pronged approach of Adapt, Incorporate, and Detect:

  1. ADAPT by changing assessment approach

    Instructors can adapt by redesigning assessment questions such that they are beyond the existing capabilities of generative AI tools or changing the type of assessments employed.

  2. INCORPORATE generative AI tools on assessments where appropriate.

    Instructors may choose to allow the use of generative AI tools on assessments, where its use can enhance learning. If an instructor chooses to allow the use of a generative AI tool:

    • its permitted use must be made explicit to students;
    • guidelines for when and how it is to be used should be provided;
    • use of the tool should be credited using a widely accepted format, where applicable, such as the APA Style Guide or Chicago Manual of Style.
  3. DETECT misuse of generative AI tools with detection tools, as they become available.

    SMU instructors should follow the “DRIVE” approach if they encounter suspected cases of students’ unauthorised use of generative AI tools during assessment. Please refer to the section below for more details on the DRIVE approach.

Communicating Expectations to Students

Instructors should clearly communicate their expectations and policies regarding the use of Generative AI tools and ensure that students understand the importance of academic honesty and originality. For assessments that do not allow students to use generative AI tools, students should be informed of the consequences of violation. 

For assessments where the use of generative AI tools is permitted, students should be told the specific areas and tasks where generative AI tools could be applied and what constitutes unauthorised use. 

In this link (Statement Templates), instructors can access templates of statements they can adapt according to their requirements:

  1. Statement to explain the use of Generative AI tools in assessment to students. 
  2. Statements of Declaration for students in assessments where the use of Generative AI is permitted, restricted, partially permitted under certain conditions specified by the instructor. 

In the event suspected unauthorised use of Generative AI tools are detected, please apply the DRIVE approach and refer to the Faculty Handbook for Academic Violation.

Instructors may seek guidance from Associate Deans, and also contact the University Council of Student Conduct for more information:

University Council of Student Conduct
Tel : 6828 0885
Email : studentconduct [at]
Website :

Unauthorised use of Generative AI Tools in Assessment 


The unauthorised use of generative AI tools will be considered cheating – a violation of the SMU Code of Academic Integrity and will be dealt with accordingly. Please refer to the Faculty Handbook for Academic Violations for more information (log in required). Penalties will align with the University's established practices for cheating.

Protocol for reviewing suspected cases of unauthorised use of generative AI tools: The DRIVE Approach

SMU Drive Approach

The following section outlines the protocol that SMU instructors should follow if they encounter suspected cases of students’ unauthorised use of generative AI tools during assessment. The protocol is named the DRIVE approach, which is an acronym for:

D : Detect unauthorised use
R : Review student submissions
I : Inform student of status
V : Verify using other sources
E : Escalate via usual academic integrity channels

Details of the DRIVE Approach

Steps Remarks
DETECT unauthorised use 
  • Descriptor:
    Instructors apply AI detection tools to identify assignments with AI-generated content.
  • Details:
    Instructors submit student assignments to Turnitin AI Detection function. Enable Similarity Report” in your Assignment Setting - Evaluation and Feedback, to detect AI-generated text in student assignments.

    Assignments flagged as AI-generated (> 20%) should be further checked using a second AI detector tool, such as GPTZero or Originality.AI. IITS' eLearn team will assist in conducting these checks, using the appropriate licences for these tools.

    If the second detection tool produces a similar output and parts in the submission highlighted by Turnitin are also flagged by the second detection tool, further investigation should be carried out.

    If second detection tool produces a different output, instructors have the discretion to use another tool, investigate further or give student the benefit of doubt.
Instructors may look out for the following features:
  • Repetition of words and phrases
    AI-generated text might repeat the same keywords and phrases with little variation.
  • Lack of depth
    Current versions of generative AI tools generally lack depth and cannot go beyond basic facts to truly analyze a topic and develop unique insight. AI-generated text might read more robotic and prescriptive than creative and have a generic tone.
  • Inaccurate and outdated information
    AI-generated output can be incorrect or unrelated to true facts. In addition, information can be outdated, depending on the cut-off date for information used to train the tool. For example, ChatGPT-3.5 is based on information available before September 2021.
  • Format and structure
    AI-generated output follows the same sentence structure as human output, but sentences tend to be shorter and lack the complexity, creativity, and varied sentence structure that humans produce. Content can be streamlined and uniform with little variation. Human-written text is also more likely to have typos and use informal and casual language.
REVIEW student submissions
  • Descriptor:
    Instructors review identified assignments with AI-generated content in greater detail.
  • Details:
    Review the AI detection tool report and compare student’s paper with the copied source(s).

    Instructors may also generate an answer using an AI tool like ChatGPT and compare it to the student’s submission for similarities.

    If available, compare the student's assignment with previous submissions.

    Proactively conduct random checks on content and cross-checking references with websites like ‘Google Scholar’ and SMU Libraries’ databases.

    Consult the Course Coordinator, if there is one, to go through submissions together.
INFORM student about status
  • Descriptor:
    Instructors communicate with students about the current situation and allow them to respond.
  • Details:
    Inform the student promptly and in private. Do offer them an opportunity to explain their position.
Guiding question:

'The output from the AI-detection tools suggests that some of your work was AI-generated. I have also independently checked additional examples of AI-generated responses. Are you able to explain why your detection tool output score is so high?'

VERIFY Student Submission using Other Sources
  • Descriptor:
    Instructors consult further sources of evidence, including those provided by students.
  • Details:
    Meet with the student and let him/her know your specific concerns and allow the student to run through evidence of prior work done.

    Require the student to produce evidence of prior work done leading to final submission. Evidence includes notes, research materials, outlines, and drafts.

    For submissions that test computational skills, such as financial accounting calculations or coding, ask the student to show workings and explain the steps.
ESCALATE via existing academic integrity channels
  • Descriptor:
    Instructors report confirmed cases of unauthorised use.
  • Details:
    Report the incident to the representative of your school (Deputy Dean or an Associate Dean). Follow established procedures for violations of the Code of Academic Conduct.