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How to successfully utilize AI in eLearning development

Dennis Kyle

February 11, 2021

AI has a range of applications

Artificial Intelligence (or AI for short) is becoming a staple of the cloud computing scene, and its versatility and accessibility is allowing it to cross into other fields such as Training & Development, specifically eLearning development. This is because AIs can be trained on a myriad of different functions to help training development teams save time/money, build more efficient learning and provide a deeper level of personalization for learners.

AIs have the ability to provide a level of personal interaction and response to questions asked by learners, and continue to better themselves as they gather more data from those interactions. This can also be utilized to the benefit of the learner, as they are more likely to get a quality response from the AI.

Additionally, AIs can be used to help with other functions such as training salespeople in conversational interactions. “They practice asking questions and…taking questions from the bot, and the bot responds based on how the learner does. If a salesperson gets too pushy, the bot has been programmed to push back, to resist and object. If the salesperson is more consultative, the conversation flows along.”[1]

Functions like these can really help provide a more robust experience for the learner without needing to invest the time and money traditionally required to create a personalized, deeper individual learning experience.

Incorporating AI into your eLearning content

There are many ways to add an AI into your eLearning content, but first it requires an understanding about the AIs themselves, what they can do and what they can’t. AI can be trained using algorithms by feeding in types of data related to certain areas in order for the AI to understand what that data means and what you want it to do.

These algorithms are becoming more accessible, but in order to take full advantage of them, it’s important to be able to understand the code that goes into them and/or have someone in your workforce that does, so you know why the AI is reacting the way it does, in case the training needs to be adjusted.

An additional item of note is that AIs can often use up a large amount of CPU and GPU resources on computers. While they are becoming more efficient and accessible over time, it’s important to understand whether you have the sufficient resources to train and utilize the AI of your choosing.

While AIs can fill a not insignificant amount of rules within an eLearning presentation, they are not fully sentient being (yet) and will not be able to provide the same level of connection and interaction with users that a human can. Their limits are based on their programming and if a learner goes “off-script” so to speak, it can derail the experience.

Having said that, AI is a big part of the future. Below are some areas where AI can be very useful in an eLearning environment. This list is not exhaustive, but provides a variety of scenarios where AI can often supplement the other elements of a course to great success.

Chat Bots and Virtual Assistants

Chat Bots are a form of trained AI that are capable of answering student questions in real time.  Laura Lynch from Learndash, an online Learning platform, describes chat bots as being able to “answer questions from students, and grow more adept when they are used within a specialized branch of knowledge.”[2]

This AI can be used in place of a human and some of the better AIs are capable of not only answering pre-entered questions, but are able to parse the data they were originally given and extrapolate other questions that users might want to ask, and provide answers to those as well.

Some chat bot AIs can also be programmed to answer questions in multiple languages, to provide better personalization and assistance for each user. Chat bots can also be programmed to provide rudimentary conversation with learners to help them better understand their objectives and proceed through the training.

Finally, chat bot AI could also be adapted into a virtual assistant to help learners navigate through a course more easily by using search questions or navigational queues presented in the learning based on the learner’s interactions.

Personalization of Learning

AI can also be used to parse learner data and develop unique vocabulary in response, and they can also provide specific call outs to each user based on the way they engage with the material. This is often called Neural Matching, which a phrase used to describe the AI’s ability to understand the sentiment behind a question or action and provide the best response in return.

This type of functionality can go beyond that of simply a chat bot and can actually drive learners down different paths depending on their choices.  As Margie Meacham says, “The holy grail for a lot of us in the field has been how to customize learning to individuals. That’s where AI comes in. No army of humans would have the time to customize learning for every individual under their care, but a properly built and trained AI can deliver a customized experience.”

This customization could also potentially be used to generate entirely fresh content for users based on their preference and experiences. “AI systems, if well trained, can help to draw out valuable information and convert it into smart content for digital learning. This allows professionals to focus more on creating an engaging digital learning experience for their learners.”[3]

Final Thoughts

As AI programming becomes more mainstream and accessible, it continues to open up new avenues to use them in learning and development. AIs have a wide range of applications across many types of training and can continue to be trained to become better and more successful at its function.

Positive Results™ is a training development company that helps SMBs understand their business process, identify gaps and implement solutions to help solve for those gaps. AI is one of those solutions we see coming up more often, because it allows training to be created that is personalized to each user without spending the amount of time traditionally necessary to research and implement that. This saves time, money and still provides a high quality end result for the learner.

AI can seem complicated, but it’s more accessible than you think. Our team can help your company better understand the potential applications of AI within your unique business process and recommend ways to utilize this game-changing feature to ensure your training is engaging and successful.

If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:

 

Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions

440.499.4944

https://PositiveResults.com

 

[1] https://www.td.org/insights/ask-a-trainer-how-can-i-incorporate-ai-into-my-learning-programs

[2] https://www.learndash.com/how-is-ai-being-used-in-e-learning-in-2020/

[3] https://elearningindustry.com/artificial-intelligence-based-platform-impact-future-elearning

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