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Using Artificial Intelligence to Design Training

Sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it?

One of the most common problems L&D practitioners have is lack of time. Particularly time to design training, which is always under-estimated and inevitably squeezed and squeezed. So the thought of having AI write your training materials for you is very tempting. How amazing would it be to just type a few sentences into your laptop and have a training session magically appear before your very eyes! Is it finally possible?

Well, sort of – yes… If you want your training materials to be nothing more information handouts, AI can do a great job of putting together what you need in virtually no time at all.

As long as you ask it the right questions of course – otherwise, it’s a case of rubbish in, rubbish out. Most AI technology out there (and it’s still relatively new) is aimed at answering short questions not handling complex and multi-layered topics.

So you still need to do your research and analysis. You still need to be clear about your aims and objectives. You need to have a structure and flow in mind. At that point, AI can help to develop your training materials.

What Training Materials can AI produce?

  • But training materials are WAY more than information handouts: Training materials consist of session plans, slides, workbooks and exercises.

  • Session plans explain how to introduce a topic, what to highlight, how to bring it to life and how to summarise it. The same session plans will include timings, reference supporting materials and useful links as well as give practical instructions for the trainer. AI is going to need a LOT of specific guidance to be able to create this.

  • You probably also want to include some slides. AI may struggle to create key points that are succinct enough. It certainly won’t be able to put that information into a visual format or select appropriate pictures.

  • A delegate workbook is very handy, especially one that includes all relevant information (like ours do) so that participants don’t have to waste time taking notes. I admit that AI can be useful here. It can help to pull that content together quickly – which is great! But it won’t format it, use your industry’s language, reflect your organisation’s culture or include specific examples that resonate with your audience.

  • It can (to my surprise) suggest activities for bringing content to life BUT the vast majority of these exercises are based on group discussion. So if you want something a little more creative, you’re going to have to come up with that yourself.

So perhaps it can’t do as much as we’d hoped.

But I tell you what can… a human!

AI versus human-designed training...

If you can’t get a bot to create your training materials for you, why not rely on an L&D designer to take the pain out design? If you’re willing to let AI create training materials for you, why not consider getting ready-written materials designed by an experienced practitioner? They can do all the things that AI can’t because (unlike a bot) they’ve actually got delivery experience. They know how training workshops actually WORK.

So although you can use AI to:

  • to get you started - to get something onto a blank page.

  • quickly flesh out content for you.

  • generate lists.

There’s also a lot that I wouldn’t use it for – at least not at the moment.

It may seem like a huge help BUT:

You still need to decide what you want to include and carefully phrase the question to get the sort of content you want. I would recommend creating your outline the old fashioned way i.e. by yourself, and then using this as a guide to help generate content to flesh things out.

It won't format things for you. You will have to do a lot of copying and pasting into your session plan, onto your slides and into your workbooks. It won't cross reference, add timings or trainer instructions either.

I'm not particularly impressed with any of the activity design ideas really. Use the Transform Deck, a Liberating Structure or turn to your fellow designers for inspiration if you can. Try the Training Designer's Club VIP membership for on-demand support.

It draws on the most common information as far as I can tell, rather than the latest information, so you will have to fact check when it comes up with. Lots of information is misinterpreted or has been updated, or even debunked. AI doesn’t know that.

Finally, I am concerned that as more and more AI content gets out there, it will start to draw on AI generated content to create MORE AI generated content. Therefore facts will start to become difficult to distinguish, and misinformation will be standard.

So for now, if you want to outsource your training design because you don’t have time, I think you’ll get far better quality from materials created by a human – like Power Hour Training Materials. Why not browse our range HERE?

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