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Automated Question Generation by Generative AI

Automated Question Generation by Generative AI

A blog by Swarup Chatterjee, Technology Head – TCS iON AI and Machine Learning

In today’s ever-evolving education landscape, creating potent questions and delivering engaging assessments are very important. Fortunately, educators can now leverage automated authoring, a cutting-edge approach that harnesses the capabilities of generative AI to generate questions for learning experiences and assessments.
Automated authoring revolutionizes question generation through item banks and text analysis techniques. The system thus offers several benefits while acknowledging many inherent challenges.

Empowering Educators with Efficient Automated Authoring:

Traditionally, crafting questions for standardized tests, surveys, and assessments has been time-consuming and labor-intensive. However, the advent of generative AI has transformed this process. Automated authoring employs techniques, such as randomly selecting questions from item banks and making slight modifications, to swiftly generate new questions. Automating question creation allows human authors to focus on higher-level aspects of question development. Thus, it not only saves significant time but also ensures consistent alignment with desired objectives and target audiences, enhancing the overall effectiveness and efficiency of assessments.

Unveiling Deeper Insights through Text Analysis:

The power of automated authoring lies in its ability to utilize natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques for text analysis. By analyzing extensive amounts of textual data, relevant keywords and phrases are extracted, providing valuable insights for generating questions that assess comprehension in specific content areas. Generative AI further assists in evaluating question appropriateness, difficulty, and quality, ensuring alignment with assessment standards. To eliminate redundancy, deep learning techniques are applied to detect semantic duplications, resulting in a unique set of questions. This iterative process continues until there is a sufficient number of high-quality questions.

Exploring Diverse Question Types:

Automated authoring facilitates the creation of three major question types:

  • True/False: Presents candidates with answer options of “true” or “false,” ,
  • Multiple Choice (MCQ): Provides multiple options from which candidates can choose one or more correct answers, and
  • Open-ended: Do not offer predefined answer options, encouraging candidates to express their understanding and perspectives.

This diverse range of question types caters to different assessment requirements and equips educators with a versatile toolset for evaluating student knowledge and skills.

Benefits of Automated Authoring:

  1. Time Savings: Automating the question generation process allows educators to save significant time that manual question creation would take.
  2. Increased Consistency: Automated authoring ensures questions maintain consistency in difficulty level, format, and content, fostering fairness and accuracy in assessments.
  3. Improved Quality: Questions generated through automated authoring align with the learning objectives and reflect appropriate cognitive levels, resulting in higher-quality assessments.
  4. Enhanced Security: In high-stakes exams, automated authoring offers benefits such as fast, randomized, and confidential question generation, bolstering security measures and maintaining the integrity of the assessment process.

Challenges to Overcome:

  1. Question Quality: Despite the advantages, automated authoring tools may occasionally generate questions of lower quality due to factors such as the quality of the item bank or limitations in text analysis algorithms. Thorough review and refinement are necessary to ensure question quality.
  2. Human Input: While automated authoring streamlines the question-generation process, human input remains invaluable. Human authors provide expertise, insights, and feedback to enhance the quality and effectiveness of questions.
  3. Cost Considerations: Implementing automated authoring tools may involve initial expenses. However, the long-term time savings and efficiency gains often offset the upfront investment, making it a worthwhile endeavor for educational institutions.

Automated authoring, powered by generative AI, offers educators a transformative tool to streamline question generation and enhance the overall assessment experience. By considering the benefits and challenges associated with automated authoring, educators can make informed decisions about integrating this innovative technology into their teaching methodologies. Embracing the possibilities of automated authoring while recognizing the value of human expertise will undoubtedly shape the future of education, delivering efficiency, accuracy, and enriched learning experiences for students and educators alike.


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