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Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools as a Starting Point for Inclusive Assessment

Special Series - Inclusive Assessment
Tools for Teaching

The rapid growth of tools such as ChatGPT has sparked ongoing discussions across the education sector. The Charted Association of Business Schools (CABS) recently published a post that raises the question of whether ChatGPT signals the end of assessments. As a social scientist specialising in technology development and utilisation, I have researched the potential of tools such as ChatGPT for academic purposes. I have learned ideas about how these technologies can foster inclusive education, where all people, regardless of their background or abilities, demonstrate their knowledge equally. In this post, I share my propositions on how ChatGPT and similar tools can facilitate inclusive assessment. 

In the Business School, we have emphasised critical thinking, which involves analysing a phenomenon from multiple perspectives using relevant theories. Humans tend to approach things based on past experiences, observations, and life views. In contrast, AI technologies draw on a wide range of experiences and perspectives. Instead of taking a personal stand on any given topic, they are designed to provide information and analysis from various viewpoints to help users better understand complex issues and make informed decisions. Consider a scenario where a business school educator is analysing a case study about a company that made work adjustments for an employee, without disclosing the reason. Initially, the individual might assume that the adjustments were made due to physical reasons, such as a broken leg or back injury. However, the case study includes sections that the employee was still able to attend meetings and make contributions to the company. By engaging with ChatGPT for additional information, the individual could gain insight into the possibility of invisible illnesses, such as chronic pain or neurodiversity, being the reason behind the adjustments. This could prompt the individual to view diversity in employee experiences, leading to a deeper understanding of their complexity.  

Educators encourage learners to use AI tools to explore and analyse diverse questions from multiple perspectives in their academic work. The long-term use of these tools can influence individuals' thinking to adopt a similar inclusive approach to understanding different phenomena. 

By leveraging diverse datasets, these technologies help learners develop a greater awareness of the unique challenges and experiences faced by individuals with different abilities, becoming more empathetic in their responses. If a user identifies any errors or biases in the technology’s responses, ChatGPT welcomes feedback and is eager to improve its performance.  

Educators prompt learners to reflect on how AI tools have broadened their understanding of diverse needs and experiences that they may not have encountered before. By encouraging such reflection, educators foster a culture of awareness and empathy, and empower learners to develop more inclusive mindsets. 

It is essential to view ChatGPT and similar tools as supplementary technologies to work with. Students can use them to enhance their understanding while still maintaining their learning agency.  

Educators encourage learners to leverage AI tools but to actively reflect and build on their limitations. This helps learners enhance critical thinking skills so that they are not overly reliant on emerging technologies. 

For example, a business school student could be tasked with developing a marketing strategy for a new product launch. The assessment encourages the students to use ChatGPT to generate a range of ideas on the target market and potential marketing channels. ChatGPT, hence, provides a starting point for the student's research, helping to identify potential gaps or blind spots in their thinking. The student can evaluate and refine the ideas generated by ChatGPT, taking into consideration factors such as feasibility, market demand, and brand image. In this manner, the student develops a comprehensive marketing strategy, while also gaining experience in using AI for reflection and decision making.  

Finally, developers' life views influence the technology they build. ChatGPT and Bing, two AI-driven technologies, approach user interactions and response provision, differently, but both can help create a supportive environment for all students. We can leverage these technologies, enhance awareness, and ensure that we never compromise our vision for creating more inclusive environments based on the foundational elements of understanding towards all. I conclude with this brilliant thought from Steve Jobs (1955–2011): Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. 


Shahla Ghobadi,, Associate Professor in Information Management, Leeds University Business School 

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