AI and assessment in higher education

Problems, possibilities, and pathways

  • Christopher Deneen Enterprise Research Fellow in Education Futures, University of South Australia
Keywords: Generative artificial intelligence, higher education, assessment design, academic integrity


Generative artificial intelligence (genAI) has shown immense potential for revolutionising education. Revolutions are disruptive, however. They carry potential for both positive change and high-stakes failure. In higher education, the implications of the genAI revolution for educational assessment are high profile and high stakes. Assessment is the primary mechanism for determining students’ outcome achievement. Quality of assessment and the resulting data determines the legitimacy of progressing students through their formal study and conferral of degrees. Will genAI enhance or impede these essential educational functions?

This Trendsetter talk will address this question through exploring dynamic tensions around the relationship of genAI to assessment in higher education. The speaker will address the possibilities genAI presents for repositioning students in critical, authentic ways relative to assessment. We will also explore potential advantages posed by genAI for teachers, such as enhancing efficiency in feedback and marking. Conversely, we will identify and discuss how to offset the very real problems posed by genAI to academic integrity, ethical practice, and validity of assessment results. The talk will conclude with suggestions on pathways we may take to increase the likelihood of this as a successful revolution and minimise high-staked failures.




Chris is an associate professor and Enterprise Research Fellow in Education Futures, with University of South Australia. Chris’ work advances theoretical and empirical modelling of the interaction of assessment, feedback, and technology in higher education contexts. His research has attracted 2.9m AUD in competitive funding and he has authored over sixty publications, principally in high-impact journals. Chris heads the Change in Complex Systems Research Stream at The Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L). In his current position, Chris focuses on developing research projects and researcher capacities, especially among early-career researchers and teaching-focused academics.


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How to Cite
Deneen, C. (2024). AI and assessment in higher education: Problems, possibilities, and pathways. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 6(1), 28.
SoTEL Symposium 2024