Guidelines on permitted use of software in assessment activities


These guidelines apply to all students and staff members of the University. 


The purpose of these guidelines is to provide additional information for staff members and students on the permitted use of software in assessment activities.  


The University has a responsibility to ensure that students have mastered certain skills independently. For this reason, it may not be considered acceptable to use certain software in assessment activities that perform functions that students are expected to be able to perform independently. The acceptability of using certain software may vary across courses or even assignments. The Course Director will clarify the nature of software support that is permissible in a given course, and use of software outside of this is not considered to be acceptable unless approved through the Special Conditions for Written Tests and Examinations Policy.


Finding out which software is permitted

  • If you are not sure whether use of certain software is permitted, check both your Digital Course Outline (DCO) and Canvas. If there is no guidance on the software you would like to use, contact your Course Director well in advance of any assessment activities.

Examples of tools which may not be permitted for certain assessment activities

  • The following types of software may not be permitted for certain assessment activities where their functions overlap with the learning outcomes of the course. (Please note these are examples only; you should look to your DCO and Canvas for information relating to your course.)
    • writing support software, such as Grammarly, may not be permitted for assessment activities where writing style or use of grammar is assessed
    • translation tools, such as Google Translate, may not be permitted for assessment activities on language courses
    • programmable calculators may not be permitted for assessment activities on Maths courses
    • Generative AI (Gen-AI) may not be permitted for assessment activities where the skills assessed overlap with functions performed by Gen-AI. 

Appropriate use of permitted software

  • Your Course Director may allow you to use particular software in some ways but not others. If this is the case, the Course Director will specify ways in which you are and aren’t permitted to use the tool.
  • You may be required to acknowledge the use of a particular piece of software in an assessment activity. Consult your DCO and Canvas for instructions on whether you need to declare the use of a particular piece of software in an assessment activity and how this declaration should be formatted.

Consequences of using non-permitted software


The following definitions apply to this document: 

Academic integrity means the ethical practices of the academic community, including honest execution of research and study and the acknowledgement of sources.

Assessment activities include: 

  • assignments during the teaching of a course, normally called coursework. Examples of assignments include (but are not limited to) essays, projects, presentations, reports etc. 
  • practical, aural and oral work 
  • written tests conducted under examination conditions 
  • ongoing assessment of competence or performance 
  • written (or performance) examination normally conducted at the end of the semester or year 

Course Directors oversee design of assessment processes to ensure that assessments are relevant and aligned with learning outcomes; that the assessment complies with all aspects of policy; and that the structure of assessment is available to all students at the start of semester. Course Directors are responsible for ensuring appropriate support and supervision is provided for tutors and/or laboratory demonstrators in a marking role.

Staff members refers to individuals employed by the University on a full or part time basis 

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries. 

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Pro VC Education

Content manager: Senior Academic Quality Analyst

Approved by: Provost

Date approved: July 2023

Review date: July 2028