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Workshop: Generative AI for Education (GAIED): Advances, Opportunities, and Challenges

Paper 18: Small Generative Language Models for Educational Question Generation

Fares Fawzi · Sadie Amini · Sahan Bulathwela · Sahan Bulathwela · Zhengxiang Shi

Keywords: [ Generative language models ] [ question generation ] [ small language models ]


The automatic generation of educational questions will play a key role in scaling online education, enabling self-assessment at scale when a global population is manoeuvring their personalised learning journeys. This work compares the predictive performance of foundational large-language model-based systems and their small-language model counterparts for educational question generation. Our experiments demonstrate that small language models can produce educational questions with comparable quality by further pre-training and fine-tuning while producing very lightweight models that can be easily trained, stored and deployed.

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