ChatGPT is a robust language model developed by OpenAI that has the flexibility to generate human-like text, making it able to engaging in natural language conversations. This technology has the potential to revolutionise the best way we interact with computers, and it has already begun to be integrated into various industries.

However, the implementation of ChatGPT in the sphere of upper education within the UK poses various challenges that have to be fastidiously considered. If ChatGPT is used to grade assignments or exams, there’s the likelihood that it might be biased against certain groups of scholars.

For example, ChatGPT could also be more likely to offer higher grades to students who write in a method that it’s more acquainted with, potentially resulting in unfair grading practices. Additionally, if ChatGPT is used to switch human instructors, it could perpetuate existing inequalities within the education system, resembling the under-representation of certain demographics in certain fields of study.

There can be the potential for ChatGPT for use to cheat on exams or assignments. Since it’s in a position to generate human-like text, ChatGPT might be used to write down entire assignments or essays, making it difficult for educators to detect cheating.

For example, ChatGPT (meaning “generative pre-trained transformer”) might be asked to “write an essay concerning the challenges that ChatGPT poses higher education within the UK”. In fact, the primary 4 paragraphs of this text were written by ChatGPT, in response to this exact request.

ChatGPT’s response (and that is your human creator writing now) actually amounted to greater than 4 paragraphs, because it went on to articulate its inability to totally replicate the expertise and real-world experience that human teachers bring to the classroom. This particular line of enquiry made me each appreciative of its concern for my job security, and somewhat cynical of its Machiavellian designs to win me over.

In my research and teaching, I’m involved in developing assessment and feedback processes that enrich the scholar experience, while also equipping them with the abilities they need upon graduation.

The truth is, if I used to be 200 pieces of labor submitted by first-year undergraduate students on this topic, I might probably give ChatGPT’s efforts a pass. But removed from being apprehensive concerning the challenges this AI programme might pose, I see this as an alternative as a possibility to enhance the best way we assess learning in higher education.

Finding opportunities

For me, the most important challenge that ChatGPT presents is one I needs to be considering anyway: how can I make my assessments more authentic – meaning, useful and relevant. Authentic assessments are designed to measure students’ knowledge and skills in a way that is especially tailored to their very own lives and future careers.

These assessments often involve tasks or activities that closely mirror the challenges students may encounter in real life, requiring them to use knowledge and skills in a practical or problem-solving context. Specific examples might include asking a bunch of engineering students to collaborate on a community issue as a part of the Engineers without Borders challenge, or inviting environmental science students to curate an art exhibition in an area gallery that explores the local impact of the climate crisis.

While there’ll at all times be a necessity for essays and written assignments – especially within the humanities, where they’re essential to assist students develop a critical voice – can we really want all students to be writing the identical essays and responding to the identical questions? Could we as an alternative give them autonomy and agency and in doing so, help to make their assessments more interesting, inclusive and ultimately authentic?

As educators, we will even use ChatGPT directly to assist us develop such assessments. So, somewhat than posing the query that generated the beginning of this text, I could as an alternative present students with ChatGPT’s response alongside some marking instructions, and ask them to offer a critique on what grade the automated response deserves and why.

Such an assessment could be far more difficult to plagiarise. It would also invite the scholars to develop their critical pondering and feedback skills, each of that are essential once they graduate into the workforce, irrespective of what their occupation. Alternatively, ChatGPT might be used to generate scenario-based tasks that require students to analyse and solve problems they could encounter of their future careers.

This looks like a Pandora’s box moment for assessment in higher education. Whether we determine to embrace ChatGPT in our pursuit of authentic assessment or passively acknowledge the moral dilemmas it would present to academic integrity, there’s an actual opportunity here. This could help us reflect on how we assess our students and why this might need to alter. Or, within the AI’s own words:

ChatGPT might be a useful gizmo for creating authentic assessments, nevertheless it would still be as much as the teacher to design and implement the assessment in a way that’s meaningful and relevant for his or her students.

The sophistication and capability of AI technologies are accelerating. Rather than reacting with trepidation, we must find and embrace the positives. Doing so will help us take into consideration how we will specifically tailor the assessment of scholars, and supply higher and more creative support for his or her learning.

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