Higher Education

Authentic Assessments for the AI Era: Webinar Recap

Authentic Assessments for the AI Era: Webinar Recap

In a recent webinar, Authentic Assessments for the AI Era, higher ed faculty and edtech leaders explored the role of authentic assessment and its transformative impact in education complicated by AI. 

The webinar kicked off with a pivotal question that resonates across the educational landscape: Could AI be the driving force behind an education revolution, reshaping efficiency, outcomes, and future readiness? This inquiry propelled participants into a comprehensive exploration of AI’s current and potential impacts on higher education.

Vishal Rana, an EdTech Entrepreneur, illuminated the seismic disruptions brought about by technology. He remarked, “The advent of generative AI has instigated seismic shifts in teaching methodologies and has spurred a wave of transformations across educational institutions and even into the corporate world.”

Bert Verhoeven, Program Director of Innovation and Enterprise at Flinders University, expanded the discussion, addressing concerns surrounding AI’s potential for unethical practices. With conviction, he stated, “AI’s impact transcends mere assessments and urges us to contemplate a broader transformation in education—one that empowers students as future knowledge creators and problem solvers.”

Ultimately, AI’s disruption is less about cheating and finding alternative ways to test students’ knowledge and more about how instructors teach and prepare students for their roles as knowledge workers, the presenters stated.

The discussion swiftly shifted to practical strategies for effectively integrating AI into the learning process. Vishal and Bert shared their experiences in utilizing AI not merely as a potential tool for cheating but as an essential co-pilot in the learning journey. Their innovation and design thinking courses exemplified how AI could enhance experiential learning and contribute to problem-solving, fostering empathy, and collaborative learning.

Verhoeven noted, “Pure knowledge transfer through lectured tutorial is dead. That’s over. We cannot do that anymore. And in the place of that you’ll need experiential learning that goes through the process of the growth mindset with empathy and user-driven improvements.” 

The speakers acknowledged AI’s multifaceted impact, accentuating its potential as an invaluable co-pilot for learning experiences. The application of AI in real-world scenarios was vividly captured through examples from innovative courses in design thinking, underscoring AI’s capacity to elevate experiential learning and foster collaborative problem-solving.

Authentic assessment emerged as a pivotal theme, commanding a significant share of the discussion. The speakers highlighted how important incorporating authenticity into the assessment process is to ensure that students are getting the most effective educational experience by enabling them to learn by learning and therefore preparing them for work. 

“While the path to authentic assessment demands intensified effort, AI can serve as an empowering co-creator and an editing partner, amplifying the depth and quality of the learning process,” Ranna added. 

Educator Roles Changing

The conversation seamlessly transitioned to the transformational roles of educators in an AI-integrated educational landscape, particularly in the context of authentic assessment. The concept of co-creation was underscored, revealing how AI empowers educators to become collaborators, editors, and facilitators of authentic learning journeys. Verhoeven aptly summarized this evolution, stating, “In a realm where AI serves as a co-pilot, educators assume the roles of mentors, guiding students in a co-creative expedition of knowledge exploration and skill refinement.”

As the discussion ventured into the future of education and vocational prospects, the speakers illuminated how authentic assessment is set to redefine traditional models. Fields like communication were singled out as ripe for AI-driven disruption, given their capacity for content creation and refinement. This transformation challenges educators to reimagine their roles, stepping into the role of guides and facilitators in a dynamic, co-creative learning process that leverages authentic assessment.

In a world shaped by the swift evolution of AI, the webinar’s conclusion echoed a resounding call to embrace change and innovation, particularly in the realm of authentic assessment. Educational institutions face a pivotal choice: to lead the way by adopting AI to enrich authentic learning experiences, or to risk being left behind in the wake of a transformation that is revolutionizing education. As the echoes of this illuminating webinar reverberate, one truth remains undeniable—the convergence of AI and authentic assessment presents an ever-evolving landscape, demanding forward-thinking, adaptive responses from educators and institutions alike.