The Inspera team were excited to be at the eAssessment Association Annual Conference and Awards last month. We took part in a number of presentations, providing insights into how we help awarding bodies and educational institutions digitize their assessment programmes all over the world.

AI Has Been a Long Time Coming

One highlight of the conference was the AI Symposium on the first day, providing an opportunity for stakeholders from backgrounds as diverse as awarding organizations, ministries of education, and technology and managed service vendors, including Inspera, to discuss the impact, opportunities and threats of AI in Assessment.

Thanks to an insightful presentation by my colleague Besart Kunushevci, we looked at how AI has been promised as the “next big thing” in technology since the 1970s, and that as far back as 1970 it was stated that “In  3-8 years we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being.” 

Fast forward to 2024 and it’s important to note that whilst AI can be used effectively for automating specific tasks, fully intelligent systems are not here yet and the use of AI needs to be tightly controlled in order to deliver value and avoid potential problems. AI and in particular “Large Language Models” (LLMs) remain susceptible to making mistakes and hallucinations; they have no knowledge of underlying reality, and have no “common sense” built in. Reinforcing this point, Yann LeCun, Meta’s chief A.I. scientist said in 2023 that “A house cat has way more common sense and understanding of the world than any LLM”.

That does not mean AI is all bad, however. Used wisely to provide information and insights, and to automate specific tasks, AI can offer immense value. 

A panel discussion chaired by Patrick Coates (CEO of the eAA) with John Maskrey from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, Simmy Ziv-El from Prometric and myself taking questions from the audience touched on considerations as wide-ranging as the energy usage associated with AI data centers and how can the power of AI be harnessed with the correct quality assurance controls in place.

There seemed to be consensus amongst the audience that AI offers great opportunities if used wisely.

Awarding Organizations

Are Ready for Digital Transformation

In the wider conference, we heard presentations from awarding organizations all over the world talking about their experience in moving to digital assessments, including the inspirational work taking place in West Africa to pilot digital capabilities for distribution of exam questions on screen, helping to drive academic integrity and reduce the potential for malpractice in exam delivery.

Inspera Has the Technology

Later, we presented an overview of our end-to-end assessment ecosystem and talked through how we have helped high-stakes awarding organizations transition their assessment programs to on-screen delivery in centers all over the world, offering world-class high-stakes secure assessment delivery.

As more organizations look to move to digital assessment all over the world, scalability, reliability and resilience become ever more important, allied to a first-class user experience. Resilience is also important, especially in locations where internet connectivity may be intermittent. Inspera has much experience in this area as well as in academic integrity and ensuring integrity throughout the assessment lifecycle.

Ensuring that the assessment ecosystem enables test takers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to the best of their ability is also critical – both by making the assessment platform accessible AND easy to use (the two don’t necessarily always go together!). The assessment platform should enable the assessment, not get in the way, and not be the “thing” the candidate is being tested on.

Inspera leads the way in this area, continuously benchmarking our platform to ensure we always offer the best experience for test takers and the right item and question types to enable evaluation of skills and knowledge in an engaging, fair, valid and equitable manner.

Looking to Transform

Your Assessments?

If you would like to find out more about how we help our clients all over the world achieve their digital assessment goals, please get in touch – we would be delighted to talk through your needs and identify how we can help you meet your goals.