With the increasing accessibility of AI, education is on the verge of drastic changes. Historical and scientific facts found only in textbooks can now be easily discovered in a matter of seconds. Students can now find numerous relevant sources quickly and organize information using this advancing technology. While there is definitely an increased focus on personalized learning through AI, the collaboration between this new technology and instructors can be tricky in higher education settings. This can be seen especially when attempting to assess the progress of students developing workforce skills.
The reality is that AI is completely changing our ways of testing student growth. ChatGPT, for example, is an applied statistical tool that can expertly assist in writing an essay for a student in just a few minutes. Even the traditional multiple-choice quizzes can be solved with a simple Google search. With information so close by, important assessments change to match the new world we are living in. We need to continue to measure knowledge retention with as much accuracy and authenticity as possible. This means taking a different approach to how instructors assess their students.
Authentic assessment is a form of testing that measures a student’s ability to perform real world skills and retain the information. Instead of relying on memorization or regurgitating facts, authentic assessment mirrors real-life scenarios and allows students to demonstrate and provide evidence of workforce skills. This is extremely useful when assessing higher education students as traditional tests often don’t capture a full understanding of a student’s growth. For example, a multiple choice test may confirm the student knows the answer, but authentic assessments allow the student to demonstrate deeper knowledge, like explaining why they selected that answer, presenting career readiness by demonstrating essential skills like critical thinking and communication.
Video is a way to effectively deliver authentic assessments and embrace evolving education. Video assessments allow students to record speeches or presentations for their instructors in real time; focusing on skills and growth that AI is unable to replicate. Through recordings, instructors can pause and pinpoint the exact moments where the student needs to improve or rework. This means students can easily receive feedback from peers and instructors and work to improve their skills. Instead of grading 200 papers over two weeks, video assessments can be finished within a matter of days; and with better accuracy for long-term growth and skill development for the student.
In traditional testing, students often can cram studying at the very last second and forget everything they’ve learned a day or two after taking the test. They now can use AI programs to mask their mistakes and need for growth. This threatens authenticity when testing students. With video assessments, however, students can record presentations in real-time. This combats AI assistance and allows the student to demonstrate their own skills and knowledge. With the use of video, instructors can see students relay information and display a deeper understanding of their learning that AI cannot replicate. This also creates an environment where students can see their mistakes clearly and be able to self-evaluate and improve.
Video assessments don’t mean instructors have to throw out all their previous assessing strategies. In fact, higher education institutions can use these assessments to enhance their previous methods. For example, Kristen Gustavson, an Assistant Professor and California State University, is using video assessment to allow her student-therapists to watch themselves on video and critique themselves. Instead of relying on the memory of the instructor or just the peer reviews, her students can now rewatch their videos to learn and improve. Implementing video assessments can improve the great teaching strategies instructors already have in place; creating an environment that produces a more authentic form of assessment.
See how one instructor is creating assignments that prevent ChatGPT workarounds:
For those looking to implement video as an assessment tool it is important to remember privacy, security, and compliance concerns that can be involved. Controlling access and sharing through login and authentication are critical. In higher ed, it’s also important that video tools adhere to accessibility standards for every student and maintain the latest compliance and secure storage standards. The privacy and protection of the students and instructors should always be the top priority.
As the accessibility and usefulness of AI grows, it’s natural to wonder where higher education assessments will go from here. Our world is becoming increasingly more virtual, and with that, our education is as well. Students are now able to learn virtually and with technology to enhance their immediate understanding of any subject they are learning. It makes sense that assessments will have to focus less on memorizing facts and more on presenting and showcasing these facts and skills. Because video assessments allow students to perform what they’ve learned in a more authentic way, it’s possible video assessments will soon replace the traditional assessments we are accustomed to.
AI is changing the way we think, live, and learn. Our education strategies need to change with it if we want to continue teaching students the skills needed to enter the workforce. Assessments should continue to authentically measure students’ abilities in the digital age. Video assessments can be used to adapt an instructor’s teaching strategy and enhance students’ learning. Video assessments are a great way to enhance student performance, simplify instructor workload, and embrace the change the digital world is bringing to higher education.