ETS firmly believe that AI is a tool that supports humans. Our ongoing research and development are focused on the ethical use of AI in education. We see AI as a key driver in shaping the future of assessments, making them more personalized, responsive, and capable of providing deeper insights shared Michelle Froah, Global Chief Marketing Officer, ETS (TOEFL & GRE) in an exclusive interview with Garima Pant of Elets News Network. Edited excerpts:
There have been changes to GRE and TOEFL, what was the reasons for making changes to these tests?
Listening and understanding consumer needs are fundamental to our approach. We recognize that exams and assessments can often cause anxiety. To address this, we’ve concentrated on enhancing the examination experience. We’ve introduced shorter exams that maintain the quality and validity backed by our research. Additionally, we’re providing faster results, allowing students to quickly gauge their proficiency. We also announced the launch of insight reports recently. These reports will help TOEFL & GRE test takers to understand their performance and identify areas for improvement and development.
How is AI solving for assessments? Share a few examples of how ETS has applied AI.
At ETS, we firmly believe that AI is a tool that supports humans. Our ongoing research and development are focused on the ethical use of AI in education. We see AI as a key driver in shaping the future of assessments, making them more personalized, responsive, and capable of providing deeper insights. This allows learners to take control of their educational goals.
A recent example of our AI application is the TOEFL Go app, launched in July as part of our TOEFL enhancements. This free app offers learners AI-powered targeted feedback and coaching. It not only scores sections but also provides tips for the speaking and writing parts, along with high-level responses, enabling quick and effective feedback for improvement. AI enhances our overall efficiency and also speeds up the scoring process and delivers concrete insights, allowing learners to recognize their strengths and identify areas for improvement more effectively.
How is technology being used to strengthen test security measures and protest test integrity.
Security is of utmost importance at ETS. We recognize our responsibility to ensure accessibility, validity, and quality of scores for honest test- takers to accurately demonstrate their abilities. Annually, we invest tens of millions of dollars in our security infrastructure. We have also appointed a Chief Security Officer whose team is committed to maintaining the highest standards and consistency in processes and technologies, setting benchmarks in the industry.
For all our tests, including the TOEFL home edition and those conducted in test centers, we employ advanced security technologies capable of identifying suspicious activities. These technologies include facial recognition, keystroke analysis, and tools designed to detect plagiarism. Such measures bolster our efforts to support the human aspect of our processes, ensuring comprehensive, end-to-end security.
ETS offers tests at both test centres and home editions. Are these tests consistent across?
Yes, they certainly are. Both the Home edition and test center versions maintain the same level of validity and reliability. We believe it’s crucial that the test experience remains consistent, regardless of location. Our learners and the institutions that trust us expect this level of consistency.
Upholding this trust is a key part of our mission and something we are committed to maintaining at ETS.
Recently ETS launched TOEFL Go App to enable young test takers to prepare on the move. How has the response been and how is ETS using digital material to prep Indian students.
The offering, though is relatively new but is an exciting and significant addition to our educational resources for learners. The reception in India has been extremely positive, mirroring the global response. Indian learners, in particular, are among the top two user groups utilising this prep service. We conducted a study to gather feedback, and the findings are encouraging. Both Indian learners and those from other markets have expressed that this tool has enhanced their learning experience, particularly in preparing for the TOEFL exam. It has not only aided them in improving their English language skills but also in reducing their nervousness about the test, boosting their confidence significantly.
One Indian student described the experience as ‘fun and interesting,’ noting how they could track and enhance their scores through the feedback provided. Such feedback underscores the importance of integrating enjoyment into learning and demonstrating proficiency, which is central to our goals. Overall, we’re very pleased with the positive outcomes so far.Be a part of Elets Collaborative Initiatives. Join Us for Upcoming Events and explore business opportunities. Like us on Facebook , connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter , Instagram.