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What do students do with generative artificial intelligence in assessment, and what do academics think?

June 17 @ 8:00 am 9:00 am

Date / time: Monday 17 June 8-9am BST | 11-12noon Dubai | 3-4pm Malaysia

Location: MS Teams

Guest lecture: Dr Kelli Nicola-Redmond

What do students do with generative artificial intelligence in assessment, and what do academics think?

We are delighted to welcome Dr Kelli Nicola-Redmond, Associate Professor at Deakin University, to present this guest lecture.


The rapid maturation of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) platforms such as Chat GPT have the potential to massively disrupt universities and industry, creating a watershed moment for higher education. With many easily available GAI tools now capable of completing common assessment tasks, and with detection tools proving unreliable and unsustainable, the emergence of GAI is causing academics and universities around the world to review the effectiveness of their assessment strategies and their capacity to assure that students achieve the learning outcomes associated with awarded qualifications (Dianova and Schultz, 2023).

Students are also impacted as they navigate a new world where assistance to complete their work is more effective and more readily available than ever before. The need and opportunity to develop critical digital literacies for GAI in future work and private life is highlighted. Students will need to be capable of working with this technology, while also understanding its limitations, biases, and relevance to professional and social contexts (Bearman and Ajjawi, 2023). 

The GAI literature base is emerging and largely conceptual (e.g. Bearman & Luckin, 2020; Dawson, 2020), with much of it predating current large language models such as ChatGPT. Whilst more recent literature offers general advice on approaching assessment in the GAI era (Cotton et al., 2023; Rudolph et al., 2023; Bearman and Ajjawi, 2023), there is a need to move beyond conceptual understandings of how higher education students might use GAI to understand how they actually do use it, especially with respect to assessment. How GAI impacts Academic decisions about assessment is also important. Therefore, this project sought to answer the question: What is the lived experience of GAI in relation to assessment for academics and students in higher education? 

Using a qualitative interpretivist approach, in-depth interviews were conducted with 17 students and 11 academics from a single Australian university in 2023 and 2024. Interviews explored participants’ understanding and use of GAI tools, impact of GAI tools on assessment practices, and the role of universities given GAI.

Preliminary thematic data analysis demonstrated that participants hold a range of views about GAI in higher education. Students perceived GAI platforms as here to stay, and as just another tool for use in their studies, that when used critically could support their work. GAI was predicted to become a core feature of the workplace, with participants expressing that universities were at risk of becoming irrelevant if they do not adapt. Advice regarding what universities should do in relation to GAI was expansive.

About the speaker

Associate Professor Kelli Nicola-Richmond is the Associate Head of School Teaching and Learning, in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. Kelli completed her PhD in 2020 with a thesis by publication – Developing Work-ready Graduates: Threshold Concepts in Occupational Therapy.  Kelli’s undergraduate degree was in Physiotherapy and she worked in clinical roles for 16 years before joining Deakin in 2012. Kelli is also a Board director of a regional Australian health service.

Kelli Nicola-Redmond

 In her time at Deakin Kelli has been active in learning and teaching in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and also led the placement program for the course from 2012-2021. In 2021 she was an Academic Lead for a university-wide project DeakinDesign – a strategic program to redesign Deakin’s approach to teaching and learning.  Prior to this she also led the academic component of a strategic project that explored the feasibility and utility of online exams. In 2022 she led a university-wide project reviewing and updating assessment policy and procedure and determining Deakin’s future assessment strategy.

Kelli’s current research interests include; evaluative judgement (the ability to judge the quality of one’s own work and the work of others) particularly in health placement settings; student and academic perceptions of the impact of generative artificial intelligence on assessment; course-wide approaches to generative artificial intelligence; student and academic experiences of online proctored exams;  teaching feedback literacy; cheating in online exams; allied health assessment and treatment in Long COVID; and threshold concept identification and acquisition.

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