the e-Assessment Association

UK Government call for Evidence: Generative AI in Education

UK Government call for Evidence: Generative AI in Education

If you haven’t yet responded to the UK government’s Call for Evidence to better understand the role of Generative AI in education, you have until 5pm BST on 23rd August to respond.

At the e-Assessment Association we welcome this approach and encourage all our members and sponsors working in education in England to provide their input so that the UK government have a clear understanding of the benefits and risks of using generative AI tools in education and assessment.

AI has been a hot topic of discussion recently, and eAA CEO Patrick Coates gave his thoughts on unlocking the potential of AI:

“The UK Government’s call for evidence presents an opportunity to highlight the potential of this transformative technology. By embracing AI, we have the opportunity to revolutionize assessments, empower students, and create a more inclusive and equitable learning environment.”

“While AI has been present in various forms for years, its recent rapid expansion has propelled it into the mainstream news. This has been led by the likes of ChatGPT, which due to their investment in ‘training the model’ to create a good product, backed up with low pricing and integration capabilities, has made it available to wide audience. For anyone who remembers relying on logbooks for maths exams, you’ll also remember the concerns surrounding the introduction of calculators, as they were seen as unreliable, which seems ridiculous now. Similarly, computers, search engines and spell checkers are now part of all aspects of education. The genie is out of the bottle, and we must embrace its potential.”

“We also need to shift the narrative as it is unfortunate that the media often focuses on the negative aspects of AI, as these stories tend to be more sensational and newsworthy. However, it is crucial to recognize the positive impact AI has already had on education. We have just announced the winners of the 2023 International e-Assessment Awards (now in our seventh year) covering all aspects of technology-enabled assessment. 40% of the submissions involved AI in some way, all helping improve education and learning. These numbers speak volumes about the transformative potential of AI in assessments and beyond. To nurture this momentum, we are planning more focused events to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices. Undoubtedly, next year’s awards and conference will also have a strong emphasis on AI.”

We strongly advocate for technology to be used to create fair, valid, and reliable assessments. Whether AI is involved or not, our goal remains the same: to ensure that assessments measure what they are intended to measure and do not disadvantage any group. AI is merely a tool at our disposal.

Interestingly, AI raises broader questions about current assessment practices. At the moment we are employing AI and technology to enhance our existing assessment methods. However, this might also be a good time to explore whether we should be assessing students the way we do at the moment at all? Just because it’s the way have always done it, doesn’t mean it is the right way, just the accepted one.

Given this call for evidence relates to AI, we also hope that AI itself can be utilized to summarize the collective input —an opportunity to harness its capabilities effectively.

The Call for Evidence is open for anyone working in education in England and will run until 23 August 2023

Complete the survey here:

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