the e-Assessment Association

AI in Assessment: ChatGPT One year on, an interview with eAA Board member Tim Burnett

AI in Assessment: ChatGPT One year on, an interview with eAA Board member Tim Burnett

Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, the world of assessment has witnessed its biggest period of innovation since the pandemic and online proctoring.

As we come to the first anniversary of the launch of ChatGPT, we asked Tim Burnett, eAA Board Member & Freelance Edtech Community & Marketing Consultant, for his experience and what he sess happening next.

“Since my introduction to ChatGPT in December, my world has been transformed by its capabilities. I remember how, over a single weekend, I became completely captivated by this tool. My initial thoughts on its impact on assessment were quite straightforward: in the fast-evolving world of AI, there’s no use in resisting the current; it’s more productive to go with the flow.

“This past year has been a thrilling ride, trying to stay abreast of the constant advancements in AI. I’ve found it incredibly exciting and it has fundamentally changed the way I work and teach. After a 20-year hiatus, I returned to the classroom in January 2023 to enjoy some part-time teaching in a local college. AI has made this transition significantly smoother. My lesson planning still demands the same amount of time, but the quality and scope of what I can now offer are far superior. Just last week, I used super realistic fake audio interviews as part of a simulated audience research exercise for my students. Two weeks ago, we had Josie, our digital co-host, delivering introductions at the BMC conference.

“Almost all assessment technology providers have started to embed generative AI into their platforms. However, it seems we’ve been cautious about leveraging its full potential, especially in areas like marking and online proctoring where it had already seen some exposure for some years. Interestingly, there’s been a noticeable pullback from relying entirely on AI for proctoring solutions, with many organisations insisting on human control at every stage.

“Looking ahead to the next 12 months, I believe the advancement of AI will continue steadily. We might not witness the same explosive growth as before, but rather a period of fine-tuning and expanding our use of the technology in known safe zones, like test and item generation. Most of us will likely follow this path. However, I anticipate that behind the scenes, some disruptors will be crafting solutions that could shake up the entire industry. ChatGPT and Bard have opened up incredible opportunities for innovative assessment solutions, accessible to anyone with a great idea. I foresee a future where smaller players can compete with larger, more established ones, thanks to equal access to development skills and platforms. For me, ChatGPT isn’t just a technological breakthrough; it feels more like the dawn of a new era for entrepreneurs.”

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