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How to detect AI usage during tests in the classroom

How to detect AI usage during tests in the classroom

Posted: 10 Aug 2023

As technology rapidly evolves, schools are encountering fresh hurdles in academic honesty! One such challenge involves detecting students' use of AI tools during assessments. While these tools can be handy for learning, they raise concerns about potential cheating. Let’s delve into approaches for educators to adeptly identify occurrences of AI utilisation by students during assessments, to ensure a fair and authentic assessment environment.


Familiarity with student work patterns 

Educators often become familiar with their students' writing styles, patterns, and thought processes. Sudden deviations from a student's usual work can be a red flag that prompts further investigation. If a student's responses consistently show complexity or expertise beyond their previous work, it might indicate they have used external assistance!


Real-Time Monitoring 

During assessments, educators can observe students' behaviours. While closely monitoring every student might not be feasible, walking around the classroom and staying vigilant can discourage cheating attempts. Additionally, students are less likely to use an AI tool if they know they are being watched!


Varied Question Formats

Creating questions that require critical thinking, personal analysis, and application of concepts can make it difficult for students to rely solely on AI tools. Educators can deter students from seeking assistance from AI sources by designing questions that demand unique insights or individual experiences.


Oral Presentations 

Students are less likely to use AI for assessments that require more than written responses, like oral presentations. These formats emphasise communication skills, which becomes evident if a student lacks a deep understanding of the subject matter.


Randomised Questions and Time Constraints

Utilising question banks and randomising questions for each student can discourage collaboration and make it harder for students to seek external help during the test. Additionally, imposing time constraints can limit the time available for students to access AI tools.


Conducting follow-up discussions 

After an assessment, educators can hold follow-up discussions with students about their answers. Asking them to explain their thought processes and elaborate on certain concepts can help identify whether they understood the material or relied on external assistance.


Using Plagiarism detection tools

While not explicitly designed to detect AI tool usage, plagiarism detection tools can sometimes flag text generated by AI models. Educators can use such tools to identify sections of text that do not match a student's previous work or writing style.



Integrating AI tools into the classroom offers immense potential for enhancing learning experiences. However, educators must also be initiative-taking in addressing potential challenges like cheating. Educators can effectively detect AI usage during assessments by understanding students' work patterns, employing vigilant monitoring, and creating assessments that require critical thinking. Striking a balance between leveraging technology and maintaining academic integrity is crucial for fostering a fair and authentic learning environment.


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