Artificial intelligence (AI) may sound like a high-tech buzzword but there are very good reasons why more and more L&D professionals are getting excited about it.
Suddenly AI seems to have become a part of our daily lives: digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa navigate us from place to place, social media platforms curate our news feeds, and online video sites’ algorithms select movies for us.
AI is embedded in our working lives too (as I type, my online document editor is helpfully suggesting correct spellings) and increasingly, within learning management systems. The ability of AI to capture huge amounts of data, store it and use it to perform a range of tasks means that AI-driven LMS applications are transforming the way we work.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss how using AI in L&D can help L&D managers and teams, and their organisations.
Ways AI can add value to L&D capabilities
There are many ways AI can add value to L&D capabilities, including the following:
Supporting L&D priorities
One of AI’s most powerful aspects is the way it automates necessary but repetitive tasks. Workplace learning involves many of those – from assigning modules and monitoring completion to cataloguing new content – but, if you have an AI-driven learning management system, it will handle many of them for you. That leaves you free to focus on the tasks that AI can’t handle: the thoughtful, nuanced and interpersonal aspects of learning and development.
Enabling learner-focused learning
AI also saves learners’ time. For example, it powers the search function in an AI-driven LMS, meaning learners can access more relevant materials quickly. Similarly, LMS platforms such as Docebo use algorithms to curate learning materials, presenting content that’s personalised to each learner.
Automatically putting learning theory into practice
It’s our job as L&D pros to embed learning theory into the materials we provide, and AI can support us in this. For example, it can provide learners with regular quick reminders that grow in complexity (in other words, spaced repetition and scaffolding).
Then there’s informal learning. We lost much of this during the lockdowns, prompting many of us to realise the value of learning via chats by the kettle. AI can’t replicate this, but it can provide easy-to-access support by prompting learners to explore relevant learning topics and responding to questions via a chatbot or virtual coach.
Instead of searching through files or emailing the L&D team, learners can ask the chatbot / virtual coach, saving time and lowering frustration levels. Plus, since these AI interfaces don’t judge, they can encourage people to ask questions that they might not share with a human – ideal when we need basic information but are embarrassed to ask our colleagues, or if we need to share sensitive details.
Maximising the power of data
If you work in L&D then you probably like planning, and if you like planning, you probably like data. All LMS platforms collect data, but AI collects LOTS of data and helps you interpret it. That deeper level of analysis is a huge benefit when you’re devising large-scale L&D plans. Not only will you save time but your plans will be more tailored to learners’ needs.
Transforming learner engagement
Perhaps the most important way in which AI can support L&D is through its ability to help people simply get on with what they want and need to do. It removes many of the obstacles both L&D professionals and learners experience and enables them to focus on using their strengths. Supporting people to do that sends a clear message that you value them and their contribution.
How to get technology working for you when using AI in L&D
AI has the potential to create never-before-seen value for Learning and Development teams but that potential needs to be recognised if you are to get the best from it. So, here are some easy ways to get the best value from your AI platform:
Use AI to automate administrative tasks
Go through all the routine L&D admin tasks you and your team usually do and use AI to automate them. For example:
- Translating course content into other languages
- Suggesting courses that are relevant to individual users
- Updating records, contact details, user information, etc.
Use AI to curate and aggregate content
Stop doing all your own content creation and aggregation. Instead, use AI’s ability whenever possible to automatically assess and curate content, to provide learners with only the most relevant and engaging examples that are suited to their individual learning styles.
Use AI to deliver personalised learning
The days of a one-size-fits-all approach to learning are rapidly vanishing. Integrate an AI engine into your learning platform so it can deliver personalised experiences for each learner. Or better still, choose an LMS like Docebo that is powered by its own built-in AI. The more learners engage with AI driven learning, the more attuned it will become to their individual tastes and needs, and the deeper their engagement and information retention will be.