Digital project explores how artificial intelligence can help university staff reduce their workload

Jisc’s national centre for AI launches pilot of Graide, a digital assessment platform developed by students at the University of Birmingham.

Jisc is helping UK universities explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can reduce workload for their staff by piloting Graide, an AI-based digital assessment and feedback platform.   

Supported by Jisc’s national centre for AI in tertiary education, teachers of STEM subjects at four universities will test how Graide, which uses AI to automate repetitive marking tasks, can help them cut marking times and respond to learners faster.    

Manjinder Kainth, Graide’s CEO, says:

“We built Graide while working as teaching assistants in the University of Birmingham. Based on our own experiences, we designed it to be as flexible and easy to use as possible.

"It accepts handwriting, doesn’t require programming, and fits into existing workflows – all of which saves time and effort. Our studies have shown that it can speed up marking by up to 89% over paper-based methods.”  

Graide, which is now in use at the University of Birmingham, gives students quality feedback at pace whilst also optimising the grading process for educators.   

The platform uses AI to analyse student responses during marking, allowing teachers to give feedback anywhere on the student’s approach, not just the final answer. It also learns how educators give feedback, so they never have to mark the same method twice. The ability to mark multiple responses in parallel saves valuable time.  

Graide also aims to boost staff responsiveness by providing rapid feedback and, unlike fully automated solutions, it gives the formative feedback that students need. In addition, it provides aggregate class analytics so that educators can see where students are struggling and update their teaching accordingly.   

In the first stage of the pilot, Jisc and participating universities will work with Graide to pinpoint where it could add the most value. Participants will then use Graide directly while Jisc evaluates its benefits. On completion of the pilot, a report will be published so that other institutions can learn about the effectiveness of using AI in digital marking and assessment. 

 Jisc’s head of edtech, Sue Attewell, says:

“This work with Graide is part of Jisc’s program to increase the skills, understanding and readiness of the education sector for a digitised future.

"The pilot will enable all participants to find out more about the positive impacts of using AI. At the same time, implementing Graide will help staff increase their confidence and skills in using the AI tools needed for Education 4.0.”