There is a new AI on the block, called Eduaide which can be used by teachers to mark homework. But students can also potentially use the bot before they hand work in to get better marks. Students and teachers are going to be happy about this, if it does what it claims. But what can of worms are we opening here?
Eduaide is in a beta testing period and you can use it to your little heart’s content for free (for now). Assuming that it works well, and all the bugs are removed, it will probably be commercialised. If you are a teacher, now is a good time to try it. But it might also be a good time to try it if you are a student.
What Eduaide is used for
Eduaide has been designed for teachers, and it works like a classroom assistant. For example, teachers can upload homework or assignments into the AI, and the AI can mark the assignment. It can also provide feedback on how the student can improve next time they hand something in.
While this sounds like an amazing tool to lighten teachers’ workloads, haven’t we been down this road before?
Professor Toby Walsh is Chief Scientist at UNSW’s AI Institute in Sydney. He says ChatGPT can grade and critique homework in the same way.
“It’s the usual double-edged sword you get with AI. On the one hand, you can give this to students and let them get personalised feedback before they hand their work in. Is this good enough to get the grade you want? But on the other hand, what if teachers use this to mark?”
He recalled the scandal in the UK during the pandemic, when algorithms were used to hand out grades. “Even though those grades were statistically identical to previous years.”
Unless we are sure the AI is accurate, all of the time, is this just playing with fire?
Bot circle jerk
There is another angle to think about. Students can use such AI apps to hand in the perfect homework or assignment. If they are using AI to help generate their work, and they hand it into a bot to mark it, then is education just a bot speaking to a bot? Are we going down a weird road here?
Students and Eduaide
Of course, while there is the opportunity for students to try eduaide.ai, they should. It is exceptionally easy to upload homework, type in the “rubric” (or instructions for the task) and get feedback on how to improve the document. The student can then use the advice from the AI to improve the work before they hand it in for real.
So we tested it out, by feeding the AI a genuine assignment from two students in two different schools in Queensland.
Student One is in grade 11, and uploaded a biology assignment. She also uploaded the assignment’s “rubric” – that is, the instructions given by the school on how to do the assignment.
Here is the feedback given by the AI:
So did it provide good feedback?
The student who handed in this assignment said: “I don’t think this feedback is valuable, because I don’t think it’s accurate according to the criteria of the assignments. For example, it said I should put in less personal context, but part of the criteria was to put in personal context. I wouldn’t pay a subscription for it, yet. I can get really good feedback for my assignments from ChatGPT, so for now, unless it is better than ChatGPT, I wouldn’t prefer it, although I think I will experiment with it from time-to-time.”
Student One did however say that if the AI was actually better, she would definitely use it every time she had an assignment. But it would have to improve a lot first.
The assignment we fed into the AI had already been marked. The human teacher’s feedback was different from the feedback written by the AI. So while the AI might be helpful, it will still need to be checked by a human teacher to make sure it is giving customised and correct feedback.
The second student is in grade 9, and submitted an English essay about Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
“The Eduaide AI gets some things wrong, like with the grammar,” she said. “It is definitely helpful, although I probably wouldn’t pay to use it, yet. ChatGPT is free and helpful, but it, too, isn’t always right. In general, ChatGPT can be a guide, but if you feed in the criteria and get ChatGPT to assess it against the criteria, it often fails. So until the AIs are better I guess we have to have teachers.”
So, we aren’t quite there yet with this AI. But we are very, very close.
Homework AI: Conclusion
Are we getting into a situation where students will begin to write to please a bot marking system? Will they be sending their AI-generated assignments to AI-generated marking bots? Will this make teachers obsolete?
We asked some other students if this AI could potentially replace teachers. They laughed and they all agreed – it was a hard no on that one. Let’s check back in a year, though, because this wild new frontier is changing fast.