How AI is Transforming the Education and Assessment Industry
It is no secret that the pandemic has drastically changed how a variety of industries operate. As in-person activities went to a grinding halt, the education and assessment industry was forced to quickly adapt to this new normal. The pandemic transformed the education industry and accelerated the need for remote adaptive learning experiences.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has played a large role in this digital transformation that the education industry has witnessed in the last year and a half. This is critical as traditionally speaking, education has been slower to adopt emerging technologies such as Al, compared with other industries like banking, healthcare, and entertainment. Professional development and instruction on new technologies for educators can be expensive, time-consuming, and can also require changes in how learning is delivered and structured; it can be a heavy lift.
However, Al has become an asset for students that have opted to undergo nontraditional education experiences or decided to select hybrid or remote learning during COVID-19. While the use of AI in testing and assessments is still somewhat early in its development and in achieving its full potential and still requires a human component to ensure accuracy and success, the benefits of incorporating AI are substantial.
Prometric, a global company in test development, delivery, and assessments, currently uses Al as a complement to live proctors and security agents. Combined with the expert human proctor and Al-enabled technology, this presents the strongest security and outcomes in the assessment environment as AI is eight times more likely to detect possible anomalies that might be missed by a proctor.
Al is commonly used in candidate behaviour reviews, such as movement and keystroke detection to identify candidate movement or gestures outside of the norm of ideal candidate behaviour, which may be flags for potential cheating. Prometric’s remote-proctoring technology also incorporates Al for face recognition to ensure that the face of a candidate is the same as the image captured upon check to prevent proxy testing, which is when another person takes the test instead of the expected student.
In addition to security, Al provides an adaptative and personalized learning experience. Al presents test takers with the right materials at the right time in a way that can best assimilate learning, sharpen skills, and retain long-term abilities. AI can transform candidates’ learning experiences through greater frequency and accuracy than more traditional models by assessing a learner’s knowledge through continuous assessments.
However, one of the most critical uses for AI in education and assessments is its opportunity to impact the job market. Our economy is facing an incredible technology demand that impacts not only how businesses operate, but the job market and required skills needed for the positions of today and the future.
According to a U.S. Department of Labor report released last spring, a record 4 million workers quit their jobs in April, creating another record breaking 9.3 million job openings in April alone. The world is currently facing a growing skills gap that threatens the economy, and there are not enough workers to fill increasing numbers of highly skilled jobs in education, healthcare, finance, and technology. The Great Resignation is here, and workers are turning to online learning to grow skillsets necessary for career aspirations and also achieve higher-paying jobs.
With AI, education and assessments can better meet the jobs of tomorrow by providing a more personalized and accessible learning experience beyond the traditional university. In fact, research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information between 25-60% and takes less time, ultimately favouring the candidate or prospective employee. In education, a one-size-fits-all approach is dispelling into more customized methods of learning to prepare candidates for skills needed for the workforce.
Al has been a tremendous advancement in the learning and assessment space. We are living in a tech-driven world, and companies that have not adopted future technologies into their business model run the risk of being redundant and inefficient. Al is a prime example of how technology has assisted the testing industry in keeping up with the demand of remote assessments during the pandemic, while continuing to provide students with the best possible assessment experience to reach them wherever they are in the world.
With AI, students are more engaged, learning is personalized, and instructors have reduced burnout. We have seen that Al can support and function as virtual proctors, provide increasingly advanced Q&A via chat bots, and help evaluate written responses. Al technology has become a critical component of the assessment industry and is showing no signs of slowing down. The industry must continue to use the best of Al, machine learning, and expert human proctoring to add consistency and to further enhance the candidate experience as we move toward a world of “assessments anywhere.” Together with AI, the assessment industry can ensure fair and secure treatment for students while also creating an adaptive learning experience that will support our transformative economy