Two in three teachers say AI is ‘too unreliable’ to assess pupils’ work – survey

20 March 2024, 00:04

AI in schools
AI in schools. Picture: PA

The poll, of 1,012 UK teachers, suggests that 13% think a new grading system for exams should be formulated which ‘assumes the use of AI’.

More than one in ten teachers believe grades need to be reformulated to take into account the assumed use of artificial intelligence , a survey has found.

Nearly two in three (63%) teachers think artificial intelligence (AI) is “too unreliable and not well-equipped” to assess pupils’ work or to help with lesson planning, according to a poll.

The rise of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT and Google Gemini, has sparked concerns about cheating among pupils in the education sector.

The poll, of 1,012 UK teachers, suggests that 13% think a new grading system for exams should be formulated which “assumes the use of AI”.

David Weller, learning & development manager (digital skills) at the University of Exeter, said: “AI is probably going to force more change than previous tools because teachers will quickly realise the futility of setting certain tasks.

The survey, carried out by YouGov online in November, asked teachers how the Department for Education (DfE) could incorporate AI into the curriculum.

More than half (54%) said students should be taught the ethical implications of AI, while 38% said pupils should be given a foundational understanding of how AI works through coding and computer science lessons.

Only 19% said they did not think AI should not be incorporated into the curriculum by the DfE.

The survey, commissioned by international examination board Trinity College London, suggests that 29% of teachers think schools should ban students from using AI in the classroom.

Erez Tocker, chief executive of Trinity College London, said teachers’ scepticism towards AI tools “underscores not a rejection but a call for precision and reliability.”

He added: “Notably, the research indicates that a quarter of teachers are already incorporating AI into their instruction, signalling a readiness for change, provided these tools meet their exacting standards.”

David Weller, learning and development manager (digital skills) at the University of Exeter, said: “AI is probably going to force more change than previous tools because teachers will quickly realise the futility of setting certain tasks.

“Much as the calculator made setting homework for simple arithmetic redundant, so teachers will have to come up with more interesting ways to set homework that doesn’t rely on lower order skills such as memorisation and regurgitating facts.”

A DfE spokesperson said: “Artificial intelligence has the power to transform education. However, for that potential to be realised, we need to understand both its opportunities and risks, which is why we have launched an extensive exploratory research on the uses of AI in education to develop policy on this emerging technology.

“The DfE’s first-ever hackathon on AI in education, and an investment of up to £2 million in Oak National Academy, are helping us to develop tools which aim to save teachers’ time so they can focus on what they do best – teaching and supporting their pupils.”

By Press Association

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