Artificial Intelligence was existed only in the domain of science fiction and fantasy until last few years. However, it has become a part of our normal lives today, in social as well as the business environment. From military, automotive, agriculture, legal, healthcare to education, this technology has touched in almost every field and sector impacting human lives to a great extend.

AI systems are capable enough to reduce human efforts in numerous areas. Its applications help to get the work done faster and with accurate results. While AI has been very useful in many domains in their daily operations, in teaching and learning, in reducing errors, repetitive tasks, exploration processes, etc. it also has become an essential tool in the world of assessments.

In this article, we will take you through in exploring how AI is changing the world of assessments.

AI in academic assessment

Teachers and institutions often spend a significant amount of time on grading exams, assessing homework, and providing constructive feedbacks to their students. The practices in assessing the academic performance of students in most of the countries are still manual. It is based on the qualitative and quantitative feedbacks, obtained by expressed statement and marks, respectively. Research has found that such assessment practices lack autonomy in students and the teachers to assess themselves for better learning and to learning with greater accuracy; underestimate self, peer and parents’ involvements in the assessment process; and involved human bias.

Research also has shown that knowledge and understanding cannot be rigorously evaluated through a series of 90-minute exams. It found that the prevailing exam system is stressful, unpleasant, can turn students away from education, and requires that both students and teachers take time away from learning. Well, thanks to its extensive advancement in the development and its applications, artificial intelligence has brought so much change in the assessment system, bringing much convenience to the entire academic world.

AI has now automated grading for nearly all kinds of multiple choice questions and fill-in-the-blank tests, bringing much ease to the workload of teachers. It has enabled teachers to assess students’ knowledge, enabling them to give helpful feedback to students and prepare personalized training plans for students who may struggle with the subject. Artificial intelligence-based assessment provides constant feedback to teachers, students and parents about how the student learns, the support they need and the progress they are making towards their learning goals. AI-based solutions such as Expert Control System (ECS)-based tutoring platform and Agent-based tutoring systems (AbS) can be used for the Assessment for Learning (AfL).

AIAssess, a generic intelligent assessment software developed by UCL Knowledge Lab for students learning science and mathematics is one approach that assesses as students learn. The software provides activities that assess and develop conceptual knowledge by offering students differentiated tasks of increasing levels of difficulty as the student progresses. It also provides different levels of hints and tips to help the student complete each task. The output from AI assessment software provides the ingredients that can be synthesized and interpreted to produce visualizations to help teachers understand their students’ approach to learning to shape their future teaching method, and to help motivate students by enabling them to track their own progress and encouraging them to reflect on their learning. AI assessment systems can also be used to assess students’ skills, such as collaboration and persistence, as well as students’ characteristics, such as confidence and motivation.

Besides, there are many other AI techniques, such as Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition and Semantic Analysis, that can be used to evaluate student learning.

AI in Talent Assessment

Artificial Intelligence-based assessment is paving its way to be part of many candidate and employee psychometric assessments. From realistic chatbot-type conversations with candidates to proven algorithm-based decisions made from looking at candidate responses to test questions, talent assessment is now being shaped by AI. The use of AI in assessment now regularly informs HR and talent decision making.

Roles of AI in talent assessment processes

1. Machine Learning, Pattern Matching, Natural Language Processing

AI has a key role to play in analyzing and interpreting vast amount of candidate data. Machine learning is being used in data analysis to create predictive people analytics, and this help employers make better decisions. Pattern matching technique is being used to carry out some of the human tasks such as recognizing faces and identifying emotions. Natural language processing, which makes use of text and speech analytics to extract the underlying meaning, is being used to analyze speech in interview question responses.

2. Intelligent screening software

This software automates resume screening using AI on the existing resume database. Based on candidate’s performance, tenure, and turnover rates, it learns which candidates moved on to become successful and unsuccessful employees. Specifically, it observes what are the existing employees’ experience, skills, and other qualities and applies this knowledge to new applicants in order to automatically rank, grade, and shortlist the strongest candidates. It can also enrich candidates’ resumes by using public data sources about their prior work experiences as well as their social media profiles.

3. Recruiter chatbots

AI-powered chatbots are currently under test to provide real-time interaction to candidates, but looking up to its offerings, it has a lot of potential to improve a candidate’s experience. It instantly assesses candidates by asking questions based on the job requirements and providing feedback, updates, and next-step suggestions which at first make the assessment process easier. It also provides instant feedback and consistent updates throughout the application process to the candidates.

4. Digital interviews

Online interview software has been available for a while, but today’s technology claims to use AI to assess candidates’ word choices, speech patterns, and facial expressions to assess his or her fit for the role and possibly even the organization and its culture.

AI helps improve candidate and employee assessment

AI plays a significant role in improving candidate and employee assessment. Some of the critical roles the technology helps play in the world of assessment include:

1. Precision – Artificial Intelligence can analyze massive amounts of data, much more than any human could accomplish. With increased power of today’s computers, as well as algorithms and machine learning, more candidate data can now be precisely evaluated. This eventually helps make better selection decisions.

2. Efficiency – AI enables recruiters and talent teams to conduct consistent and objective assessments of job-relevant data at a much earlier stage in the selection process. It enables them to utilize video interviews far earlier in the selection process than is typically the case with in-person interviews, bringing much efficiency in the recruitment process.

3. Reducing bias – Humans are vulnerable to biases and stereotypes. This significantly affects in the selection decisions. AI helps recruiters to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias in the selection process.

4. Engagement – AI can significantly help improve the candidate experience throughout recruitment process. It enables recruiters to offer immediate support and help through interactive chatbots, answering queries about the selection process or any specific assessment criteria. From speeding up decision making times, reducing bias, enhancing the assessments and making the process more candidate-centric, AI helps improve the whole selection experience for jobseekers.

5. Legally defensible – Complex ‘black box’ algorithms are sometimes used in AI. These can make selection decisions difficult to justify, because it’s almost impossible to understand how these algorithms reach the conclusions they deliver. If the selection decisions cannot be easily explained, recruiters could be challenged by applicants in a court of law. Allowing AI to continuously learn by observing the best practice of human raters offers the best and most legally-defensible approach for assessment.

Artificial Intelligence has indeed infiltrated in our lives in several ways. From shopping, taking photos, watching television, parking, education to recruitment, it has truly become part of our daily life. AI can no longer be considered a technology of the future – it is already shaping our everyday lives, and there is no stopping in between, it’s going to advance all the more in the coming months and years.

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