June 14, 2023

Jisc Case Study


I'm thrilled to share with you our recent collaboration with the National Centre for AI (NCAI) in tertiary education. Graide, an innovative digital assessment platform, was given a remarkable opportunity to participate in a pilot led by the NCAI. The aim? To gauge the demand for AI-enhanced assessment tools within higher education and, most importantly, to put Graide through its paces and see how it rose to the challenge. For a detailed view of the original pilot program, you may visit the NCAI's article.

The Genesis of Graide

Before we delve into the specifics of the pilot, let's quickly revisit the origin and mission of Graide. Born from our experiences as educators at The University of Birmingham, our platform was developed with an understanding of both educators' and students' struggles. We sought to tackle the long waiting periods students face to receive feedback and the significant workload educators contend with in assessing vast volumes of assignments.

How Graide Works

Graide's defining feature is its intelligent use of AI. We built an intuitive platform where assignments can be assigned by educators, fulfilled by students, and then evaluated and returned, all within the same ecosystem. Beyond this streamlining, Graide enhances the value proposition by using AI to suggest grades and constructive feedback for students' work, identifying patterns in answers and common points of feedback.

The NCAI Pilot: An Overview

NCAI's initiative consisted of a series of pilots designed to assess the performance and potential of various AI tools. Graide was given a chance to shine, and shine it did. The pilot unfolded in two stages - the first involving introductory sessions and interviews with nine universities, and the second a hands-on test of Graide at five selected universities. These tests provided an all-encompassing evaluation of Graide’s strengths, revealing areas where our platform exceeded expectations and those where we could strive for improvement.

Encouraging Feedback from Stage One

During the first stage, we found strong demand in the higher education sector for technologies like Graide, which support both formative and summative assessments. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, affirming that our application of AI for marking and feedback was seen as potentially beneficial. Particularly for mathematical topics, participants expressed confidence in Graide's capabilities.

Key Insights from Stage Two

In the second stage, Graide was put to the test, and the resulting feedback further underscored its value. Staff appreciated Graide's engaging, intuitive interface and praised its effectiveness in providing feedback for mathematical questions. Our platform's design was applauded for its time-saving functionality, enabling educators to reuse feedback pieces, thereby enhancing consistency. Moreover, the support provided by the 6 Bit Education team was highly commended.

Areas for Further Development

The pilot project also identified some areas where Graide can develop further. These insights are invaluable as they guide our growth. For example, the feedback highlighted Graide's effectiveness in large student cohorts, prompting us to consider ways to optimise its value for smaller groups. We're also developing a feature to balance individualised and standardised feedback based on the suggestions from the pilot.

Student Feedback

Students' responses to the platform were equally encouraging. As part of the pilot, we surveyed a sample of students who had used Graide directly. The results were decidedly positive, with students citing quicker turnaround times, superior quality, and consistency of feedback as compared to other systems. Over three-quarters of the students surveyed expressed their wish to continue using Graide, reaffirming our belief in the positive impact of our platform.

Graide's Promise & Future Developments

The NCAI pilot validated that Graide holds promise and is already solving significant problems in higher education assessment. Graide shines particularly in scenarios where assignments are mathematically focused, responses are expected to be similar, and responses are digitally typed. However, we're not stopping there. We're excited to announce that we're developing new features that will broaden Graide's applicability. Natural Language Processing features are under development, which will allow Graide to identify similar ideas despite different word usage. We're also developing Optical Character Recognition features, expanding our capabilities to handle handwritten responses. These steps forward reaffirm Graide's standing as a strong, effective product.

Conclusion & Next Steps

The pilot demonstrated a fruitful partnership between Jisc, the universities that participated, and our team at 6 Bit Education. The overwhelmingly positive feedback and experiences give us confidence in Graide’s potential and inspire us to continually innovate and improve.

To learn more about Graide and explore how it can help with your assignments, we invite you to get in touch with us at contact@graide.co.uk.

For more detailed insights from this journey, you may download the full report below.

I am excited for the road ahead and invite you all to join us on this journey of transforming education through AI.

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