ChatGPT: Force for good in assessment

AI benefits in a large first year human biology assessment task






The advent of open-access AI has created a complex challenge to assessment strategies used in higher education. Concerns associated with academic integrity and potential student use (Crawford et al., 2023; Sullivan et al., 2023) provided an urgent imperative to re-imagine assessment for a large and diverse, first-year Australian Human Biology course.


Redesigned an assessment item to achieve the following: (i) To use AI to develop digital proficiencies but maintain academic integrity (ii) Low stakes early assessment task (iii) Engaging and interesting topic options (iv) Provide flexibility for personal buy-in (v) Incorporate an artistic component (vi) Develop oral and written communication skills (vii) Provide educational support to students that included content concepts, academic integrity and transition-to-university support mechanisms.


The assignment was developed to meet the design brief made of two components.

Part 1: Preparation for Interactive Oral Discussion - Students were required to: (i) select an interesting human body fact (ii) use an open-access AI art creation program of their choice to create an artwork that represented their interesting fact and (iii) create a dialogue with ChatGPT to develop a 300-word paragraph. This paragraph needed to clearly articulate the anatomy and physiology of the interesting fact, discuss how the artwork represented the interesting fact, be written to communicate with a general audience and to provide content citation. Students were then provided with a variety of validation methodologies they were required to implement.

Part 2: Interactive Oral Discussion - Students engaged in a one-on-one conversation with an academic staff member to provide evidence using examples from their Part 1 submission of how they validated a variety of information. Critical reflection on the positive, negative, and ethical considerations of using open-access AI for university assignments was also required.


Students developed a wide skill-base through assessment completion that supported content knowledge, communication capabilities, self-efficacy, adult learner strategies, support resource awareness, academic integrity requirements and digital proficiencies. The opportunity to provide a one-on-one conversation with a university staff member early in their academic journey had surprising benefits from an academic perspective. These included a reduction in the marking time, opportunity to correct misconceptions about how university works and what support resources are available, develop a sense of connection and belonging through normative conversations.


Crawford, J., Cowling, M., & Allen, K. (2023). Leadership is needed for ethical ChatGPT: Character, assessment, and learning using artificial intelligence (AI). Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 20(3).

Sullivan, M., Kelly, A., & McLaughlan, P. (2023). ChatGPT in higher education: Considerations for academic integrity and student learning. Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 6(1).

Author Biography

Mary Sarah-Jane Gregory, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Nathan QLD 4111, Australia

Dr Sarah-Jane Gregory (PhD) is a biochemist, science educator (senior lecturer) and WIL convenor in the School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Australia. She actively engages in collaborative, evidence-based development and evaluation of innovative curriculum and scholarship in science. Her research  approaches are both quantitative and qualitative,  action-orientated and focussed on holistic student experiences in higher education, particularly those in associated with transition into/through/out of the middle-years of degree program. The breadth of her work includes various aspects of student success, technology-enhanced learning, and the support of developing academic educators. Her excellence in scholarship, leadership and practice in these areas has been recognised through multiple local and national level grants and awards.