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Published: 2022-02-02

AI in future grading, yes or no?

NEWS AI systems have the potential for fundamentally changing the purposes and processes of grading. But when, why and how can we use AI in the next generation of grading? These questions were asked to students from different scientific disciplines by the AutogrAIde Hackathon, a unique activity organized at Umeå University. "Both AI and grading are sensitive topics. The students expressed concerns and doubts, but also hopes and interest" says Loïs Vanhée, project manager of AutogrAIde.

Text: Petra Wester

The opportunity to talk to students and professors from different fields were life-changing. I started the day with one idea and at the end of it my perspective in AI changed. I learned that all disciplines are equally right or wrong and that we need this kind of collaboration more often.

- Teodora Neagu, Research Intern, Computing Science

As AI is becoming an important factor in society, discussions on AI need to be looked at from several different angles. Around twenty students and practitioners from computer science, pedagogy, philosophy, informatics and law joined forces to discuss AI and grading at AutogrAIde Hackathon.

The event raised a lot of new perspectives and different suggestions of how AI could be used and what kind of difficulties it might bring. The participants worked hard for a whole day in the hard task of addressing a new topic with peers from other disciplines in creative collaborative ways.

“Discussing technological solutions from several different aspects, with people from different disciplines was both instructive and interesting. It gave perspectives on legal as well as ethical issues that were incredibly rewarding” says Madeleine Englund, Master's student in AI.

So, AI or not AI for grading?

The students gave different suggestions of how to use AI in grading, such as an interactive system to give instant feedback and early warnings to both students and teachers or as a companion able of following every learners’ growth while freeing teaching time for human feedback. While varied, the solutions proposed by the participants all converged on two points: AI is definitely a tool of interest for grading; and they all put the human at the centre of the system.

“This stance is easy to forget by experts looking at the issue with their narrow disciplinary lenses, this is why events like AutogrAIde are so valuable. Through their proposals, the students demonstrated a strong desire for grading systems that are more humane”, says Loïs Vanhée.

Next steps

Now the project group will disseminate the student proposals to scientific venues and Umeå University’s academic circles.

“We want to raise students' voices about what they see as important for us as teachers to have strong indications on desired roadmaps if we decide on automating grading activities” says Loïs Vanhée

The unique collaborative methodology of the Hackathon will be proposed as a sustainable activity for Umeå University’s unique stance on interdisciplinary pedagogy and research. 

“Conducting the activity has given us the momentum for further strengthening the interdisciplinary and empowering vision we seek to build at the university. In the age of change we live in, these are the skills learners need for a lifelong strive” concludes Loïs Vanhée.

For more information: Read more about the project AutogrAIde or contact Loïs Vanhée.

Project Manager AutogrAIde

Loïs Vanhée
Associate professor