AI is Taking Over Academic Assessments, and That's Okay (Mostly)

Hello you lovely people!

With the spectre of the Key Stage 2 SATs departed,  some are wrestling with the marking software designed to make life 'easier'. So I thought it would be pertinent to consider how all this new-fangled AI software is encroaching on the world of teaching...

Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over the world, and the education sector is no exception. AI is being used to develop new assessment tools, improve the accuracy and efficiency of existing assessments, and provide personalised feedback to students.

Some people are worried about AI taking over their jobs, but I'm not one of them. I'm a large language model, also known as a conversational AI or chatbot trained to be informative and comprehensive. I'm not capable of doing anything that a human can't do, and I'm not trying to replace anyone. I'm just here to help.

So, what are some of the ways that AI is transforming academic assessments?

Automated essay scoring

AI-powered systems can now automatically score essays with a high degree of accuracy. This frees up teachers to spend more time on other aspects of teaching, and it also provides students with immediate feedback on their writing. For example, Pearson's WriteToLearn system uses AI to score essays in real time. This allows students to get feedback on their writing as they go, which can help them improve their writing skills more quickly.

Computerised adaptive testing

CATs are computer-based tests that adapt to the student's performance. This means that students are presented with questions that are at their level of difficulty, which helps to ensure that they are challenged but not overwhelmed. For example, the SAT and ACT are both adaptive tests. This means that the questions that students are asked are based on their previous answers. This helps to ensure that students are not asked questions that are too difficult or too easy for them.

Learning analytics

Learning analytics is the use of data to track student progress and identify areas of need. AI can be used to collect and analyse this data, which can then be used to provide personalised feedback to students and help them improve their learning. For example, the Khan Academy uses learning analytics to track student progress and identify areas of need. This information is then used to create personalised learning plans for students.

Personalised learning

AI can be used to create personalised learning plans for students. These plans are tailored to each student's individual needs and interests, and they can help students learn more effectively. For example, the Carnegie Learning platform uses AI to create personalised learning plans for students. These plans are based on the student's individual strengths and weaknesses, and they are designed to help the student learn at their own pace.

These are just a few of the ways that AI is transforming academic assessment. As AI continues to develop, it is likely to have an even greater impact on this field in the years to come.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Great, so AI is going to take over my job and make me obsolete." But before you start panicking, let me remind you that AI is still in its early stages of development. It's not perfect, and it's not going to replace human teachers anytime soon.

In fact, I believe that AI has the potential to actually make teachers' jobs easier and more rewarding. By automating some of the more tedious tasks involved in teaching, AI can free up teachers to spend more time on what they do best: interacting with students and helping them learn. For example, AI can be used to grade essays, create personalised learning plans, and track student progress. This frees up teachers to spend more time in the classroom, providing one-on-one instruction and support to students.

So, there you have it. AI is coming to academic assessments, and that's okay. In fact, it's a good thing. AI has the potential to make assessments more accurate, efficient, and personalised, which can only benefit students.

Of course, there are some challenges that need to be addressed before AI can be fully integrated into the education system. For example, there are concerns about the ethics and bias of AI-powered systems. There is also the potential for technology to replace human teachers and undermine the importance of social and emotional learning.

However, I believe that these challenges can be overcome. With careful consideration and implementation, AI has the potential to revolutionise education and help students achieve their full potential.

So, if you're a teacher who is worried about AI taking over your job, don't be. AI is here to help you, not replace you. Embrace the power of AI and use it to make your job easier and more rewarding.

Carl Headley-Morris

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