Is a one-size-fits-all training the best option?
We are certainly living in turbulent times right now, not only here in Canada but all over the world, forcing the majority of people (those who are able to do so) to stay home and perform all their business tasks and jobs from their home office.
And not only jobs are affected by this new “normal” but also training in general. It’s true that eLearning has been around for a very long time, and it ranges from videos to very interactive and innovative (like our VR module) eLearning modules, but now more than ever companies heavily rely on tools and companies to generate training content and keep improving the skills of their employees by ways of online training, as opposed to classroom based training, which was the case for several of our clients.
However, the thing with eLearning is that it often uses the philosophy if a one-size-fits-all training, meaning that the content is tailored in a general form to cater to all the learners (apart from the accessibility requirements which are very specific to people with disabilities), and it doesn’t really take into account the specific skills of each individual. This is where I want to say that usually eLearning is aimed to supply the training needs of a role or position, and not of the individual.
If you think about classroom based training, when the facilitator is explaining a topic and you have a question, you only need to raise your hand and ask, which in turn can generate a conversation or a debate that will move the training in different directions. But what happens when you are taking an eLearning course and have a question? You might then need to contact support (if you are on a LMS) or talk to your manager, which may not be ideal, since you probably want answers immediately and not later in the day or week.
So, how do we fix this? (or at least, try to)
This is where, I believe, Artificial Intelligence comes into play, and if there was ever a time to invest on AI systems to improve your eLearning courses, I believe that time is now.
Why AI? Well, let’s go back to the scenario in which you are going through an eLearning module and have questions about the content, and nobody around to ask. With AI, you can have a system that, with the proper “training” (that’s right, Artificial Intelligence needs to be trained, paradoxically), you can answer questions in real time, that will cater to your individual needs, as opposed to those of a general audience. The AI can keep track of your action on the eLearning module and adjust the content, like what you need to earn next, what activities to show, and even what questions to ask on a quiz, depending on your behaviour throughout the module.
Not only that, AI can also help SMEs by generating content depending on the needs of the learners, giving them and the programmers more time to focus on making the eLearning more interactive and captivating.
With AI you can even have a system to analyze and recognize the learner’s way of communicating (called Natural Language Processing), which can come in handy when solving doubts or answering questions, without worrying about semantics or specific ways of asking them. Think about an FAQ section on your eLearning that is equally interactive, intuitive and innovative.