Many instructional designers are curious (perhaps even apprehensive) about changes to their toolkits and workflows. One of the reasons for this concern is the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence across L&D careers in the form of GenerativeAI, or generative artificial intelligence (abbreviated as GenAI).

What is GenerativeAI?

To borrow a common definition, GenerativeAI is artificial intelligence (AI) that uses machine learning algorithms to produce, copy, or revise information. Content output from GenAI can be text, imagery, audio, code, and other formats. The speed with which GenAI has come to affect our profession and many others has been amazing, and at the same time there are many other versions of artificial intelligence now in development.

GenAi in L&D today

In this article I will discuss how AI is already impacting our work in L&D and how to select AI-enabled tools for use in eLearning development.

  • How GenAI enhances instructional design features
  • How to incorporate GenAI into eLearning
  • How to match AI-enabled tools to the development process

Artificial intelligence does not involve programming: it is a "no code" application, or "low code" at most. At the same time, GenAI facilitates creation of materials that support online education and training, reducing time to delivery. Finally, GenAI can handle revisions to materials and curate the resulting versions.

If you need some basic information about AI, you can find it here.

Enhancement of instructional design

GenAi is transforming possibilities to enhance the authoring process, leading to more effective and personalized learning experiences. Here are some examples:

Automated content generation

The potential of AI for content generation is great for eLearning authors. Tell the application what you want, in your own language. Intelligent systems can scour the internet for relevant information and auto-generate course content, reducing the time and effort in content creation. You can prompt the AI as you go, and the AI will change the output. This also allows for real-time content updates, ensuring learners are always equipped with the most current information.

Adaptive learning paths

AI enables eLearning platforms to create personalized learning paths. By analyzing your individual learning patterns, habits, strengths, and areas for improvement, AI algorithms can adaptively modify course content in real time to cater to every learner's needs, promoting efficiency and engagement. These apps ensure that each learner is challenged at their own level, thus maximizing the learning outcome.

Enhanced assessment and feedback

AI not only assists in assessing learner performance but also provides insightful feedback. It can identify knowledge gaps and suggest remedial measures, fostering a more constructive feedback process.

Integrating AI-enabled apps in eLearning development

One of the critical aspects of the digital transformation in training and development is the rise of AI-enabled apps in eLearning. These apps offer a unique blend of features aimed at enhancing the learning experience, making learning more efficient and engaging.

Learning management apps

AI-enabled learning management systems (LMSs) streamline administrative tasks, track learner progress, and provide data-driven insights. They also offer features like automated grading, predictive analytics, and personalized content recommendations.

Content curation apps

Some apps can use AI to curate educational content. They can analyze vast amounts of data to identify relevant materials, organize them in a meaningful way, and update the content in real-time.

AI-powered authoring tools are not hard to use

Most popular AI-powered authoring tools are designed to be user-friendly, with intuitive interfaces and powerful features that allow users to quickly create rich eLearning content. Some tools provide comprehensive tutorials and support resources, making it easier for new users to get up and running in no time. In addition, popular apps offer user-generated guides in the form of YouTube videos. Learning Guild conferences, especially the annual DevLearn events, include expert-led sessions on apps. The Guild curates these sessions online.

The complexity of a particular tool will depend on the user's experience level and familiarity with authoring software. Make use of all these sources before investing in an AI-powered authoring tool to make sure it is right for your current skill set.

Finding AI-enabled authoring software that matches your needs

Comprehensive reviews of AI-enabled authoring software can be found on review websites such as Capterra, G2, Trustpilot, and Software Advice, and in industry magazines and blogs. These provide a way to get an unbiased look at software. Another source is colleagues who have already used these types of tools. These sources can help you make an informed decision about which authoring software will best meet your needs.