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ChatBOT Doing the Leaving Cert?

ChatBOT Doing the Leaving Cert?

The arrival and rapid development of ChatBOT AI tools is certainly creating a storm in education.  Already studies are showing ChatBOT capability for being able to pass multiple choice exams, including in areas such as medical certification!  Clearly the recent decision to postpone plans to introduce additional teacher-based assessment for the Leaving Cert has been influenced by concerns over ChatBOT advances . . . and fears.

There are increasingly powerful and accessible tools available to support study and to assist with preparing for exams.  If we were to roll things back a bit, the introduction of books would have changed the traditional oral-based traditional practices in education.  The arrival of the internet and search engines – Google and the like – clearly expanded everyone’s horizons for ‘researching’ information sources. 

In truth, tools that assist not only research but presentation of material have been around for a while.  And frankly such tools often scare educationalists.  Counter tools – e.g., turnitin – are making inroads to what has always been a problem in education – assessing the true learning of a student and not their ability to present ‘their’ material. 

College environments – where self-study and essay / thesis evaluation is a significant routine – have been particularly sensitive to these developments.  Anyone with experience in evaluating research or in assessing student submissions will be awake to the need to see through the submission to the source, understanding, and presentation of the student’s work.  

If such concerns have existed for many years, the emerging concerns over ChatBOT are taking things to a new level.  A sense of perspective is needed to counter over-expectation and fears of a deluge of ChatBOT-driven attempts to undermine assessment and exams in schools and colleges

It is unlikely that any ChatBOT will ever register for the Leaving Cert.  Though the use of ChatBOT tools for managing and assessing exams not only cannot be ruled out but should be welcomed in time.  For now, it seems students will still have to turn up to exams as well prepared as possible and as able as they can be to deliver and perform in their exams.  Anything that faciliates their preparation should be welcomed, notwithstanding the challenges that modern tools do and will present. 

ChatBOTs may be around the Leaving Cert for the foreseeable, but, hopefully, they won’t be the ones ‘doing the Leaving’!

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