2024 is set to overshadow 2023 as the year of AI, with a second wave of new AI technology and tools that will soon become embedded in our daily lives. While AI tools may have once been viewed as exclusively for the tech-savvy, today’s offerings are user-friendly and easily accessible, making now the right time for companies to embrace AI tools and their many associated benefits. With over 60% of companies between 11-1000 employees already using generative AI in the workplace, generative AI is poised to transform a number of key business functions in 2024 – including L&D.
So how can businesses look to take advantage of generative AI to enhance their L&D? Many L&D teams are already exploring the use of generative AI to generate high-quality and impactful e-learning content efficiently.
Traditionally, developing content for e-learning courses and programmes relies on manual processes, with an in-house e-learning specialist or L&D team member leading the development process. Alternatively, L&D teams can acquire off-the-shelf content or bespoke content from a third-party developer. When completed in-house, the content development process can be time-consuming, costly, and requires a level of expertise that not all employees can offer.
The recent emergence of generative AI tools has allowed L&D teams to move beyond manual processes by automating content development and accelerating the entire process. Generative AI can create text, videos, images, and interactive elements almost instantly. This means L&D teams can keep up with the latest training requirements whilst delivering engaging and impactful content for their learners.
We hosted a webinar examining how powerful AI software can be used to create e-learning content, including a demonstration of three practical AI tools, led by bespoke content developer Ben Reeves. These tools included Adobe Photoshop, Midjourney and Storyline, and looked at how to convert text to speech, create AI-generated characters and create background scenes. In this webinar, we asked our audience some polling questions to gauge the impact of AI on organisations implementing e-learning. Let’s explore the results of these polls to better understand how useful generative AI is and how it’s being used today.
What factor is most important to you when choosing an e-learning development tool?
59.5% of our webinar audience chose a user-friendly interface and ease of use as the most important factor when choosing an e-learning development tool. Learning management systems and e-learning tools have evolved over several decades to become the user-friendly, intuitive, and sophisticated platforms we use today so it makes sense for users to expect the same from their e-learning development tools.
As an emerging technology, introducing generative AI into the e-learning content development process will require some trial and error, or some initial training. When the BBC shared five trends workers need to know about AI in 2024, they noted that employers will need to invest in upskilling those employees wanting to work with AI. While it’s beneficial to focus on AI tools with a user-friendly interface, employers should still prioritise AI-focused upskilling programmes to ensure that their employees are highly skilled in the use of AI and consequently aren’t limited to the use of ‘easy-to-use’ tools.
Generative AI tools can be optimised when users are aware of the techniques that will help them to produce the outcome they desire, such as a prompt that needs to be carefully and strategically refined. Additionally, it’s important to be aware that not all AI tools are best suited for every task and it’s worth exploring alternatives. For example, in our AI-focused webinar, Ben demonstrated the use of generative fill to create an entire scene: in this case, the image of a home office. Firstly, he looked at Adobe Photoshop generative fill but noted that there were limits to what it could produce and instead turned to Midjourney which created better results with a similar prompt. Understanding which generative AI tools are best suited to a task and how to use them to achieve the best results will require an experimental period so the organisations that jump on AI technology sooner rather than later will be better positioned to use AI tools to their advantage in the future and stay ahead of the competition as a result.
How often do you currently incorporate AI in your e-learning content?
The poll results indicate that incorporating AI into e-learning content is still a fairly new concept for most, with over half (51%) of respondents asserting that they do not currently use AI for content creation. For those in need of some inspiration, let’s explore a few ways that generative AI can be used to support the development of e-learning content.
Producing ideas – When creating L&D content from scratch, starting with a blank sheet of paper can produce an overwhelming sense of dread that can hinder the ideation process. To combat this, L&D teams can input specific and detailed prompts into a generative AI tool and ask it to produce some ideas that can serve as a jumping-off point.
Summarising long-form content – If the impact of microlearning on L&D practices has taught us anything, it’s that learners favour sharp and digestible pieces of content that can be consumed in fifteen minutes or less. To support this, generative AI can be used to instantly summarise long-form content and break it down into bite-sized bullet points that can be turned into microlessons.
Create characters and environments for interactive games – Another e-learning content type that has yielded positive results with learners is gamification. Before the emergence of generative AI, creating interactive games could be a time-consuming process. However, today’s AI tools can be used to speed up the process by creating characters and environments that will form part of the gameplay. Be sure to watch our webinar to see how this can be achieved.
In your opinion, what is the most promising aspect of generative AI in e-learning?
48% - Speeding up course content design and creation
Using AI tools, developers can instantly create large amounts of content that is relevant and tailored to the unique learning requirements of the intended audience. While today’s generative AI tools have their limitations, such as outdated knowledge, inherent biases, and unrealistic images, the time taken to simply edit and refine what has been created can take a fraction of the time it takes to manually create content from scratch.
Additionally, generative AI tools can be used to transform and enhance existing content. For example, simple text content that produces low engagement rates can be instantly transformed into exciting new media formats using text-to-video AI tools that boost motivation and knowledge retention.
22% - Personalised learning experiences
One of the biggest advantages of using e-learning platforms to deliver L&D programmes is the ability to create a personalised learning experience using features such as learning plans, competency scales, and learner dashboards. With generative AI, L&D teams can take personalised learning one step further by creating tailored learning opportunities. AI can analyse learner data, which can be extracted using LMS reporting tools, and use this data to assess where learners would benefit from additional support along with identifying key areas, preferred subject matter, and preferred learning styles to focus on.
19.5% - Ability to make e-learning more accessible
Generative AI has the potential to create a more inclusive learning experience with a number of powerful tools and functionalities. For example, L&D teams can instantly create realistic audio for visually impaired learners using text-to-speech tools. By taking advantage of the vast range of capabilities that AI tools offer, L&D teams can transform the accessibility of their e-learning content.
How familiar are you with the concept of generative AI in e-learning?
With nearly two-thirds of our webinar audience answering either not very familiar or somewhat familiar when asked how familiar they are with the concept of generative AI in e-learning, it’s clear that we’re still in the early stages of widespread adoption of the use of AI.
As Hubken Marketing Manager Darren Bindert noted in our webinar, ‘the potential to reshape how we create digital learning content is enormous’, so for organisations looking to get ahead of the curve and to take advantage of some of the points discussed throughout this article, now is the time to familiarise yourself with generative AI tools.
To kickstart the implementation of generative AI tools into your e-learning programmes and content development, download a free recording of our AI-focused webinar today. And be sure to check out our previous webinars including a ChatGPT-focused webinar.
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