This post was co-authored by Ann Wilson, Jenny Wallace, Caroline Havery and Rosalie Goldsmith.

This is the first post in a four-part series where we will explore the relationship between GenAI and assessment, and offer ways to look at assessment in a world with GenAI.

Assessment Reform for the Age of Artificial Intelligence is a collective effort by experts in the Tertiary Education Standards and Quality Agency (TEQSA) to move the discussion about GenAI in higher education forward. In a piece entitled Needed now in learning and teaching published on 25 September 2023, Jason Lodge, Sara Howard, Margaret Bearman, Phill Dawson​ wrote:

For educators, the core issue persists, that students can easily circumvent the learning process and potentially pass assessment tasks using generative AI. This is a serious threat to assurance of learning as our ability to trust student submissions as a fair and accurate representation of what they know and can do is greatly diminished.

Lodge, Howard, Bearman & Dawson (2023)

In this video discussion, David Boud points to three things that assessment needs to do now:

  • Assure that learning outcomes have been met
  • Enable students to use information to aid their learning now, including feedback
  • Build students’ capacity to judge their own learning

We will revisit these ideas in the next three blogs, where we will explore how GenAI might impact assessment.

Rethinking assessment: our principles

Detecting use of GenAI in assessments is near impossible, and so we are left with an urgent need to rethink assessment​. UTS has adopted five principles for the effective and ethical use of GenAI by students:

  • Students understand the significance of GenAI for society, careers and studies
  • Students understand legitimate use of GenAI in their studies
  • Students are equipped to engage critically and ethically with GenAI
  • Students experience GenAIs strengths and limitations as aids to learning
  • Students are assessed on what they need to know in an AI world

Read more about the principles on LX Resources: Five principles for the effective ethical use of GenAI.

These five principles position GenAI as part of our landscape – we are going to have to learn to live and thrive with it.

Strategies for GenAI

​If students are to graduate into a world where AI use is commonplace, AI needs to​ be integrated intelligently into assessment as well as into learning and teaching in Higher Education. Much of what makes good assessment still applies – but we need to teach our students not only when to use Gen AI but how to use it. We need to talk to our students about what we expect – what are the rules?

One strategy is to adopt a three-tiered thinking about GenAI and assessment:

  • Assessments where GenAI can be used in an assistive role ​
  • Assessments where GenAI use is integral to the assessment​
  • Assessments where GenAI cannot be used ​

(From UCL: Using AI tools in assessment).

Over the next three blogs we will offer some ideas and explore the strategies that might support these ideas in your context and classrooms.

Join the discussion