Digital Assessment remains an evolving environment. The capabilities available to educators continue to grow at pace allowing innovation and enhancement in assessment while retaining validity and reliability.

In parallel, the tools available to students grow in generating and synthesizing information. Resolving the potential tension between these two paths is crucial to educators being able to assess properly and students knowing what is and is not permissible within the academic regulations they are subject to.

At Inspera we are committed to fostering collaboration and sharing knowledge within the academic community. This commitment recently took shape in the form of a series of Business Breakfasts held across Australia.

These events provided a platform for academics and professional support staff to hear from academic leaders, ask questions and share ideas. We are aware that while technology changes at pace, the core of what Universities provide remains a healthy constant; delivering high quality learning, teaching and assessment, conducting research that changes understanding and lives, and developing knowledge.

Over four days we met the academic community in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Here is just some of what took place during those four breakfast meetings.


 Academic Integrity

In Melbourne we were joined by Professor Alex Steel (Director of AI Strategy at UNSW Sydney) and Professor Phillip Dawson (Co-Director, Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning) for a panel discussion on academic integrity in the face of not just generative AI but the wealth of information available to students. The conversation took in the role of educators in educating students on the use of generative AI, why and how assessments themselves need to be reexamined in today’s context, and the interplay between assessment authenticity and integrity. The panel were also asked about the similarities between the challenges we face today with those presented at the dawn of the internet and search engines to see what lessons we can draw from the past to help.

 AI in Assessment

In Sydney and Melbourne, Alex explored where we are, a couple of years into the explosion of available AI tools. With a backdrop of AI images and an explanation of how long each took to create to the degree of accuracy that he found satisfactory, the audience were invited to take stock of what we now know and how that can inform what we choose to do next. The reality of AI being baked into almost every tool we touch, the need to prepare students for that onslaught and how to tackle the nuance of deciding where it is and is not acceptable, were all themes of his talk.

 The Future of Learning: How Generative AI is Shaping University Assessments

In Brisbane and Adelaide, Associate Professor Stan Karanasios (University of Queensland Business School) took us through his experience of assessments being shaped by AI from an educator perspective, but also by how students are reacting to the greater availability of AI-generated content. His research into the perspectives of students, colleagues and industry provided the audience with tangible points to consider in their own context.

What Do Educators Want From AI?

In all four cities, we held a workshop to hear the views of the audience on AI. There has been, and will continue to be, a focus on what we should be doing for and with students in this area. But it’s of the same importance to understand what educators want and will use.

Providing thoughtful AI, driven by an understanding of what is of use to who and why, is at the heart of our thinking along with flexibility in how it is deployed. The audience exchanged views on where they saw AI as appropriate and not, either from a point of principle or specific to context. A running theme was the desire to have fine level control of where AI is used. Second, that the combination of AI and human was generally desirable.

 Key Takeaways

We thoroughly enjoyed meeting educators from across Australia, hearing from our expert speakers and audience. Three key takeaways were:

  1. Innovation and enhancement is rife in Australia – The continued engagement of educators in innovating and enhancing assessments and curriculum was plain to see. Reliability and validity remain bedrocks on which assessments are built, but the care and attention to student engagement with assessment, is also a crucial factor.
  2. Australian engagement with emerging technology – Institutions want to be at the forefront of defining how they choose to use emerging technologies; not just generative AI but everything that is and will continue to be on offer.
  3. Innovation is an imperative but founded on evidence – Educators and institutions are open to change but with the same degree of thoroughness that underpins education.

The alignment of pedagogy before technology to enable flexible assessment with integrity was a shared message across cities, sessions and attendees. To find out how Inspera can work with you book a demo today.