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AI in learning: should we all pack up and go home?

The biggest learning trade show/conference of the season – Learning Technologies – is in town, and it’s got AI all over it. And with good reason. The typical elearning project involves taking a stack of stored specialist knowledge, filleting it for actionable insights and then playing them back to learners in an easy-to-digest format. That’s exactly what ChatGPT does (amongst many, many other things).

Generative elearning is either already here or presumably a few days away: fill in a prompt and get an AI-generated elearning course a few moments later, ready to deploy. Thanks very much.

So, should we all pack up and go home? Maybe not. And here’s why.

We tried it. It’s not bad. But it’s not great either.

We didn’t actually generate a whole ready-to-deploy course, just the script for one. We picked customer service as a topic, and trialled-and-errored the prompt in Chat GPT to get something we liked. It took… maybe twenty minutes.

Then we smashed the output into Articulate Rise 360, varied the assets we used so there was a bit of variety in it, grabbed some photos off the net like people do. The only extras we added were putting some breaks in it, between screens and between lessons. What you see is what we got out of the AI.

And this is what we got. Click the link. Have a go. Leave some feedback if you want.

It’s… fine. It’s adequate.

Is it going to change anybody’s mind? To put it in Articulate Rise 360 format…

It’s an interesting experience to complete the course. It’s like tasting some food that’s trying to match something good you had in a restaurant, but it’s not quite there – you want to know what the missing ingredient is.

Compare and contrast. Here are the highlights of an elearn we built for Mitie, a giant facilities management company, on customer service. (You might spot some congruence between the scenarios in this and the AI generated one).

We didn’t use AI to generate it; we did a good deal of legwork, speaking to learners and leaders in the business, understanding what makes them tick, what it’s like to be in their shoes, what they feel about what they do, and whether they’d be interested in doing it a little better.

Want to know what the missing ingredient is in the AI course? It’s this: empathy for the learner, a sense of connection with them, in a word: humanity.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more (and we’ll send you the prompt we used in ChatGPT).



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