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The evolution from the pen-and-paper approach to an online model and eventually to the automated platform has acted as a cornerstone in the field of education. The ease of use on the go, access to resources, exposure to social media platforms, and credible outcomes is giving a boost to online education. The infusion of artificial intelligence in the education space has revolutionized higher education. The change has been wholeheartedly accepted by universities that leverage technology to advance their curriculum, thereby giving flexibility to students in taking exams.
Artificial Intelligence enables machines to learn from experience, adjust to the environment, and thereby perform human-like activities. Using deep learning algorithms and neural networks, machines can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in it. The increasing adoption of machine learning in the education sector is based on the following interesting features.
The steep surge in the adoption of AI in online education has led universities to scale online education. Center-based tests burn a hole in students’ pockets and take a toll on the university’s budget which goes in hiring proctors, finalizing a venue and other logistics. Meanwhile, the availability of proctors for live proctoring has become a limitation. Not to forget the additional cost involved with it. However, with AI coming into the picture, universities are increasingly embracing auto proctored tests since they are the cheapest solution while maintaining integrity at the same time.
Auto proctoring is a boon to universities for it offers credible, time and cost-effective solutions. Auto proctored exams cut down the cost by one third making this technology affordable. Auto proctor acts like a human invigilator in exams taken by students from any part of the world. The technology has become reliable due to its interactive features that help in creating a cheat-proof environment.
Now, AI is equipped with advanced facial recognition features owing to the intensive research work by engineers and neuroscientists in the recent past. To ensure that students take no unfair means to ace an exam, universities use automated proctoring units that rely on face recognition. The accuracy and precision of detection are directly proportional to the volume of images being fed to the system. The system issues red flags to catch any cheating instances. Authentication via government authorized photo id proofs further lowers the probability of impersonation.
Researchers have long been working on voice recognition to enable systems to understand human speech. A voice-enabled auto proctor identifies audio for authentication and matches it to any background noise to eliminate cheating instances by providing a graphical representation of the speech patterns.
As of May 2017, Google’s machine achieved 95% word accuracy rate for the English language due to their machine learning algorithms that can detect speech and respond with meaningful results. This accounts for nearly 20 percent improvement since 2013.
AI accelerators are driving digital transformation outcomes for enterprises. Multiple technological advancements have led AI to take the next step by eliminating the need for human invigilators for creating student report card. After the exam is over, universities are sent system generated reports based on students’ performance. Since technology has improved the integrity and credibility of exams, universities look up to AI as the one stop solution for providing an efficient, affordable, and scalable solution for online education.
With increasing demand to provide quality education to a huge volume of students, the dependence of technology multiplies not only to share the human burden but also eliminate the error. The pace with which adoption of AI has gained momentum, manual and live proctored tests may completely be phased out in the next five years, thus paving the way for a completely automated examination model.
Originally published September 11 2018, Updated June 24 2020
A writer at heart, Megha has been in the content industry for 4 years. Starting her career from print, her journey spans across IT, legal and consulting industries. She has been associated with Mercer | Mettl as Assistant Manager, Content Marketing for 2 years.