Should ChatGPT Change How We Assess?

Ian Hartley


May 07, 2023

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems like ChatGPT, have made remarkable advancements possible in various fields, and their impact on education is no exception. With the emergence of chatbots like ChatGPT, educators and researchers are considering whether the traditional methods of assessment in education should be reevaluated. When students are able to write a large essay with ChatGPT and just a few minutes of editing, professors are asking whether the way that we assess students should be changed completely. Responses on this topic are just as varied as they are extreme, with more moderate educators calling for an overhaul of school policy surrounding AI systems, and more extreme thinkers advocating to completely scrap essay writing as an assessment format altogether. The reason that thinking on this topic varies so greatly is partly due to the fact that there is no clear answer for instructors as to how to respond to the rise of students using ChatGPT on assessments. One thing is sure however – the current model of assessments is not working and must be adapted to fit ChatGPT.

Before we explore the challenges of, and solutions to ChatGPT, let’s discuss some of the benefits that ChatGPT brings to the classroom:

  • Reducing instructor burden and increasing creativity in class. By relying on ChatGPT to generate class ideas and prompts, instructors can save significant amounts of time in preparing for class, and can spend more time ensuring that class prompts and information are creative and engaging.
  • Interactive chatbot learning and Q&A. By incorporating the use of ChatGPT into the lesson plan, instructors can help students understand material better with one-on-one interaction and Q&A on a particular topic with ChatGPT. This enables a more dynamic Q&A flow and students can circle back up with the instructor after a dynamic Q&A session like this to share some of the learnings and ask additional questions.
  • Learning new technologies. There’s no question that AI systems will be used more and more in the future, and systems like ChatGPT are an excellent entry into understanding how these systems work. By incorporating ChatGPT into the lesson plan, instructors can help students become familiar with these technologies and prepare them for the future.

Challenges with incorporating ChatGPT into the lesson plan are significant, however:

  • Concerns over academic dishonesty. By enabling students to use ChatGPT in class, the temptation to use it to complete assignments is significant. In addition, many students will perceive that their peers are using it on assignments, and thus they are at a disadvantage if they do not use it.
  • Concerns over equity. Students with access to more technology from an earlier age may be more affluent with access to more devices. It is possible that equity gaps may emerge between students that have grown up in different socioeconomic strata, that mean that some students are more able to use AI to gain an advantage in school, than other students.
  • Loss of learning. With ChatGPT able to answer every question and even complete assignments for students, some educators are concerned that there will be significant learning loss associated with its use, as students will no longer have to think as hard about questions before they are provided with an answer. In the case of academic dishonesty, students will also not have the experience of creating their assignment from scratch.

How can we change assessments to solve these problems?

  • The extreme solution – get rid of classic assessments completely. While many educators have long advocated for a transition to ‘experiential learning’ that does not have a typical assessment model, it is very difficult to align this model with our educational standards and needs, and ultimately with higher education and the job market demand for qualified individuals. While potentially good in theory, getting rid of assessments simply is not compatible with the world we live in, and will be difficult to scale as a solution quickly enough to respond to the rise in AI.
  • The current solution – do nothing. Because the rise of AI has been so rapid, many schools are still doing nothing to solve the problem, or are implementing false-solutions that provide merely an illusion of efficacy in preventing the use of AI, such as ‘detector’ tools sold by Turnitin, GPTZero, and others. We’ve covered in other blog posts extensively that these systems do not work, despite their claims to be 98% accurate.
  • The right solution – preventing all forms of plagiarism. Instead of ‘detector’ tools which are ultimately unreliable, new tools like Authoriginal completely prevent the use of AI systems, and all other forms of plagiarism on assignments. Authoriginal is a simple LTI app designed to be easy to use and completely effective in ensuring original work.

If you’re interested in learning more about Authoriginal, reach out to us at, and we would be happy to set up a demo with you.

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