Published in AI

Aussies return to pen and paper for exams

by on10 January 2023

Trying to avoid AI cheats

Australian universities have been forced to change how they run exams and other assessments amid fears that students will use AI software to cheat.

ChatGPT generates text on any subject in response to a prompt or query. It was launched in November by OpenAI and has already been banned across all devices in New York’s public schools over its “negative impact on student learning” and potential for plagiarism.

In London, one academic tested it against a 2022 exam question and said the AI’s answer was “coherent, comprehensive and stuck to the points which students often fail to do. ”

In Australia, academics have cited concerns over ChatGPT and similar technology’s ability to evade anti-plagiarism software while providing quick and credible academic writing.

Eight leading universities have revised how they would run assessments this year due to the emergent technology.

The group’s deputy chief executive, Dr Matthew Brown, said its institutions were “proactively tackling” AI through student education, staff training, redesigning assessments and targeted technological and other detection strategies.

“Our universities have revised how they will run assessments in 2023, including supervised exams … greater use of pen and paper exams and tests … and tests only for units with low integrity risks.

“Assessment redesign is critical, and this work is ongoing for our universities as we seek to get ahead of AI developments.”

The Australian National University has changed assessment designs to rely on laboratory activities and fieldwork, will time exams and introduce more oral presentations.

Toby Walsh, Scientia professor of artificial intelligence at the University of New South Wales, said teachers were in “crisis meetings” about how exams would be marked in the new year and whether protocols were in place to deal with plagiarism.


Last modified on 10 January 2023
Rate this item
(3 votes)