Dr Nicholas de Cruz’s talk addressed the significant transformations in education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the shift towards digital learning and the implications for teaching practices. He highlighted how the pandemic accelerated digital education, with many educators, including himself, spending more time teaching online than in physical classrooms. De Cruz noted the challenges associated with this shift, such as the increase in mental health issues among students, particularly around assignment deadlines, and questions whether current assessment methods are fair and effective.

He stressed the importance of designing assessments that challenge students while supporting their learning needs, advocating for authentic assessments that promote critical thinking and independent learning. De Cruz also reflected on the role of educators, emphasising that despite the focus on research outputs, teaching quality should not be neglected. He discussed the ongoing debate in Higher Education about the best ways to assess students, considering the limitations of traditional exams and the potential of online assessments.

De Cruz incorporated his teaching philosophy, which centers on student-focused, teacher-supported, and learning-driven practices. He underscored the need to embed metacognition in teaching, helping students understand how to find and use information effectively and highlighted the role of technology, including tools like ChatGPT, in education, suggesting they can support learning but cannot replace the critical thinking and reflective skills developed through well-designed assessments.

[This summary was generated by AI and checked for accuracy and edited by a human.]


While ChatGPT can enhance adaptive and personalised learning, concerns about its ethical use, especially in assessments, have surfaced. This session delves into the potential risks associated with ChatGPT in higher education’s online and open-book exams, which are becoming increasingly prevalent. Recognising the historical ineffectiveness of attempting to ban emerging technologies, this session will advocate for a proactive approach. It will underscore the need to adapt curricula, integrate essential literacies, and redesign assessments to align with the evolving educational landscape. Moving beyond challenges, the session will explore opportunities to harness ChatGPT for education while addressing potential pitfalls. Strategies encompass the creation of open-ended assessments promoting originality and creativity, cultivating an anti-cheating environment, and reshaping assessments to emphasise higher-order thinking skills. The session will introduce authentic assessments as a viable option, emphasising realism, contextualisation, and problem-solving. It will also examine the impact on student learning, autonomy, motivation, and higher-order cognitive skills, advocating for a shift towards developing creativity and critical thinking in students, aligning with the demands of an AI-dependent education system. Educators will be encouraged to embrace the potential for richer and more authentic learning experiences by aligning assessment practices with the evolving educational landscape. Responsible use of technology and preparing students for challenges beyond graduation will be highlighted, reinforcing the importance of proactive adaptation in the face of advancing educational technologies.

About the speaker

Dr Nicholas de Cruz is a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Surrey and Visiting Lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. His research is focused on the psychosocial issues of sport using cultural sport psychology as a theoretical and guiding philosophy. Nicholas aims to shed light on the cultural differences and similarities that exist in relation to the extant literature and investigate how an understanding and appreciation for various cultural perspectives can shape sport psychology in both practice and academia.