There’s so much excitement about AI generated content at the moment.
I can see the appeal: You give the bot a few pointers and then let it magically create insightful content in no time at all, and voila – your design is complete. For the over-stretched L&D professional who never seems to have enough time to design training, it probably feels like the answer to all your prayers.
We know that content isn’t training.
Content is just information.
AND there’s plenty of it freely available on the internet (where do you think ChatGPT, Jasper or any of these AI content generators get it from?)
Providing cold hard content isn’t good enough.
What makes training ‘training’ is the way that we bring that content to life. How we make it meaningful, how we allow people to explore it, work with it, find meaning in it, work out what it means in practice, make it relevant to them and embed it.
That means tailoring the content. It means creating exercises, discussion points, examples and case studies. It means using the right language to make it accessible. It means mixing up the way content is provided to make it memorable. And perhaps most importantly, it means making that content actionable, so participants can move from KNOWING to DOING.
That’s what a training designer does to turn content into a learning experience.
So I find it quite baffling that so many L&D professionals are keen to outsource their training design to AI, yet won’t entertain the idea of outsourcing design to someone else. And why buying in ready-written materials that have been created by a professional training designer (such as Power Hour training materials) is looked down upon. Why is it seen as cheating to let an experienced training designer do the heavy lifting, yet smart to get a bot to do it? Do we feel that the bot is better qualified? I don’t think so.
Instead I fear it’s another case of the shiny-object getting us all excited.
As L&D professionals, one of our greatest strengths is our curiosity and eagerness to explore. But it can also lead us to get easily distracted away from what matters.
We KNOW what works. We KNOW that great learning experiences are only partly down to the content we create and share. What really makes the difference is how we share that content in a meaningful, relevant and timely way so that it is USEFUL to those we are developing.
AI is an interesting tool that definitely warrants investigation, but it’s a long way from being able to design training as well as a human.