The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in High-Stakes Assessment

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Can AI revolutionise the way we assess students?

AI has the potential to transform high-stakes assessments, making them more reliable, efficient, and fair. The current problem is, how do we start the conversation …

Increasing accuracy and reducing bias?

Rise of the machines? The evolving role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in high stakes assessmentAI technology is increasingly integrated into high-stakes assessments, like exams and standardised tests.

Traditionally, these assessments have relied on paper-based exams and humans as markers, but AI offers new possibilities.

AI can automate scoring for tests that assess skills like reading, writing, speaking, and listening, potentially increasing accuracy and reducing bias.

“We could not wish for a better example than 2020 in terms of an inflexible assessment system that is unable to respond to trauma of the kind caused by COVID-19” (Richardson & Clesham, 2021).

Fairer outcomes for all students?

The integration of AI in assessments is crucial because it addresses several key issues in traditional testing.

Firstly, it can reduce human error and bias, ensuring fairer outcomes for all students.

Secondly, AI can process large volumes of data quickly, providing faster feedback to students and teachers.

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities of paper-based testing systems, as exams were cancelled or modified, leading to widespread confusion and unfairness.

Reducing workload?

Teachers can start integrating AI by using AI-powered assessment tools that provide immediate feedback on student performance. These tools can be used for formative assessments to guide instruction and help students improve continuously.

For example, language tests using AI can evaluate speaking and writing skills, offering detailed feedback on areas such as pronunciation and grammar. By incorporating these technologies, teachers can spend less time marking and more time on teaching and planning.

Reflection questions for teachers to consider

  1. How can AI tools be integrated into teachers’ current assessment practices?
  2. What benefits could AI bring to teachers’ marking workload?
  3. How might AI improve the reliability and fairness of teacher assessments?
  4. What challenges do you foresee in implementing AI-based assessments?
  5. How can teachers ensure that AI feedback effectively supports student learning?
  6. What training might teachers need to use AI assessment tools effectively?
  7. How can AI help identify individual student needs and instruction?
  8. What ethical considerations should be taken into account when using AI in assessments?
  9. How can AI be used to support students with different needs?
  10. What strategies can teachers use to build trust in AI assessments among students and parents?

The research concludes:

The reliance on paper-based testing holds fast in England, and due to the fact that high-stakes, secure assessment has become global currency. In many ways, instead of debating whether AI should be incorporated more into formative and summative assessments, we should perhaps be asking why this would not be the case?

Download the full paper.

Image: ChatGpt 4.0

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