This conference discussed priorities for ensuring the continuation of academic integrity within higher education in the age of AI.
It was an opportunity for policymakers, regulators and stakeholders to examine both the challenges and opportunities related to AI in educational settings.
The discussion followed the opening of the Department for Education’s call for evidence in June on how generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard are used in education.
Delegates considered AI’s potential impact on student learning, development, creativity and achievement.
They discussed what constitutes academic misconduct in the context of AI, as well as the use of AI as a study aid, and options for regulation and for the response from the HE sector itself.
Further sessions assessed opportunities for HEIs with the use of machine learning and new technology in teaching and assessment, as well as the way forward for potential wider applications in university administration and latest developments of AI in research.
We also expected discussion surrounding the place of AI within academic research, and how it can bring together HEIs to develop improved research methods.
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Sonja Bjelobaba, Vice President, European Network for Academic Integrity; and Researcher in Research Ethics, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics, Uppsala University; Dr Ailsa Crum, Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement and Standards, Quality Assurance Agency; Dr Paul Sant, Associate Professor and Head of Department of Computer Science, University of Law; and Conrad Wolfram, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Strategic and International Research, Wolfram Research.
We expected further discussion on the place of AI within higher education going forward, including:
- the value of AI: how it can be utilised to address complex learning issues - assessing its potential for tailoring teaching methods to individual students
- academic integrity in digital assessment: ensuring regulation keeps up with the evolving use of technology and AI - equality and diversity considerations in remote proctoring
- engagement with students: fostering cooperation amongst students - balancing utilising potential with mitigating the risk of misuse
- academic misconduct: the impact of AI on the capacity for cheating in HE - further developing systems of detection - how changes to discipline procedures might enable AI to be embraced as a new tool
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the CMA; DAERA, NI; DBT; Department for the Economy, NI; Department of Education, NI; DfE; DFHERIS, ROI; Education Scotland; GLD; HMRC; Home Office; IPO; and The Scottish Government.