Teaching & Learning


Designing assessments for an AI-enabled world

This resource provides guidance on how to adapt assessment to better support learning. It also explores how to accommodate the required changes that might arise from the global use of generative AI.

On this page:

This resource focusses on the pedagogical impact of AI on our assessment practices. It is designed to promote an environment of trust and responsibility with students through enhanced assessment practice and the fostering of a strong sense of academic integrity.

The suggestions, both in the short and longer term, are designed to enable students to understand  and work effectively with  the capabilities, limitations and ethical implications of using AI in assessment.

Some first steps

  1. Try out ChatGPT or other generative AI tool for yourself – enter a sample past exam question (don’t use a real one) or writing task and see what it comes up with.  

  1. Consider your current assessments critically. Does the current design really measure what you want it to measure? How else might you ascertain students’ learning? 

  2. If needed, consider amending your exam questions or written assessment tasks to make them more difficult for an AI tool to answer (see below). 

  3. Make clear to your students what is acceptable use of AI in the context of your assignments, and what is not. Tell your students that they must not try to pass off work created by such tools as their own as this would constitute academic misconduct. Point them to UCL’s guidance on academic integrity and to the Academic Manual (section 9.2.1 g, h and m). Read our guidance for staff on using AI tools in assessment.

  1. Contact your Faculty Learning Technology Lead or your Arena Faculty contact if you would like further advice. 

Before you make changes

Changes you can make for the academic year 2023-24  

You can use this series of six videos to guide changes to policy and practice at programme or module level – they have been selected to align with UCL’s  Assessment Change Timeline.   

1. Discuss Academic Integrity and AI with your students

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_trEmbxZ6g

Key points 

  • Tell students when and how use of AI is permitted in assessment
  • Signpost where to find guidance (see below under 'Additional resources')
  • Explore capabilities and fallabilities of AI with students and colleagues in a context of transparency
  • Build critical AI literacy

Watch the video on MediaCentral

Additional resources

For students 

For staff 

2. Feedback and formative assessment

Formative assessments need to be part of an integrated assessment plan where they are linked to success in the summative assessment and where there is a clear rationale for student engagement. These IDEAS cards provide some excellent ways to engage students in formative activities.   

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gvZCTv-kec

Key points 

  • Create a shared understanding of the conception and purposes of feedback
  • Encourage students to be active participants in feedback process
  • Consider combining tutor, peer and students' self-assessment (the latter could be informed by AI)

Watch the video on MediaCentral

3. Revise exam questions

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkQh1x2vKOs

Key points

  • Pose hypothetical questions with no simple answer
  • Pose scenario-based questions for problem solving
  • Ask students to interpret information from a range of sources
  • Ask students to evaluate AI responses
  • Consider authentic restrictions to assessment that reflect those in the 'real-world'

Tip: Speak to your Faculty Learning Technology Lead or your Arena Faculty contact if you would like further advice

Watch the video on MediaCentral

4. Revise essay questions  

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uND2rRJ8KBw

Key points

  • Switch the format
  • Students to focus on their personal experience and record development in thinking
  • Ask students to generate, critique and improve AI responses
  • Ask students to write for a particular audience

Watch the video on MediaCentral

5. Convert generic questions to scenario-based questions 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/zzhPXJvNO10

Key points 

  • What are the learning oucomes?
  • What action is required of the student?
  • What is the object of the action?
  • What is the context?
  • What is the scope or remit of the action?
  • What evidence does the student need to provide?

Watch the video on MediaCentral

6. Upgrade your Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 

This video includes examples of how ChatGPT3.5 deals with a range of MCQ questions. 

Detailed timings
  1. Overview of types of MCQs and performance with ChatGPT (0 mins) 
  2. ChatGPT and maths questions (3 mins, 40 seconds)  
  3. Examples of ChatGPT responses to a range of MCQ type questions (4.36 mins) 
  4. Summary of strategies for upgrading your MCQs (10 mins) 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqNviAJZk_Q

Key points 

  • MCQs, single best answers or extended matching questions that have factual answers may be best be assessed in an invigilated context
  • Consider including images in the question
  • Ask students to assess evaluation of AI responses
  • Reduce the number but increase the complexity of your questions
  • Ask for 'workings out'
  • Ask students to submit audio responses including a rationale for their thinking

Watch the video on MediaCentral

Plan for larger changes to assessment  

Download the Assessment Menu [pptx]

The Assessment Menu provides you with different options to consider when making changes to your assessment. They are aligned to the Assessment Framework for taught programmes

The menu includes 40 different cards. Each card illustrates an idea for an assessment that either engages students directly with AI or for which AI find it difficult to generate a response. The suggestions here are starters for discussion and application within your discipline. 

Please note:

  • This is an evolving resource as things are developing at pace.
  • Currently there is free access to many applications. UCL do not yet have subscriptions to AI software and it is likely that AI will be embedded in our everyday tools.  
  • Issues of access, equity and transparency with students need to be considered if using AI is an integral part of an assessment task. We need to be attuned to inclusive practice and provide options where appropriate.    
  • Learning outcomes and associated criteria will likely need review to reflect capabilities that graduates will need in an AI-enabled world. For this reason you may find entries such ‘emotional intelligence’ or ’contextual intelligence’ that do not directly map onto Bloom’s taxonomy as we know it. 

The Assessment Menu is licenced under a Creative Commons Share Alike 4.0 License.  

The Jisc National Centre for AI have created an interactive PowerPoint version of the slides that can be downloaded.

Additional resources

Content for the Assessment Menu is drawn from range of sources and is largely based on Lydia Arnold’s Top Trumps resource.

You can also get ideas from the Good Practice in Assessment guide written by expert academics in the IOE, UCL’s Faculty for Education and Society. This book includes a resource bank with models, links and ideas that are ready to use and based on evidence.  

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