Utilizing generative AI tools can help in learning and development tasks and enhance the value of training for your employees.
This article was first published on July 18, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders, and has been adapted for HealthLeaders.
Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots—or generative AI—have rapidly transitioned from science fiction to trendy novelties to genuinely useful tools within a few short decades.
Today, AI chatbots have become ubiquitous in our homes, the businesses we frequent, and countless other aspects of daily life. Professionals across various industries are exploring how AI chatbots can simplify their lives and enhance their effectiveness, and the training industry is no exception, including learning and development (L&D).
However, simply having access to powerful tools like ChatGPT or Bard doesn’t guarantee users know the best ways to leverage them.
Here we take a look at some prompts and use cases for AI chatbots in L&D.
AI chatbots are renowned for their ability to set reminders, provide weather updates, and even tackle graduate-level exams at prestigious universities. However, they can also be used for more open-ended tasks such as idea generation and brainstorming.
“When it comes to self-directed learning, AI presents some interesting options for the employee keen to hone a new skill,” explains Mark Tippin, Director of Strategic Practices at Mural. “With little more than the name of a concept, like ‘agile methodology’ ChatGPT and other large-language-model-based AIs can open a world of conversation.”
Tippin likens the process to the kind of information exchange we’re all familiar with in an office setting where we might chat with a colleague who knows more about a particular subject. “Not everything you’ll read is guaranteed to be accurate,” Tippin cautions. But, he adds, “The way in which the results begin to provide some scaffolding becomes very helpful in supporting your approach to the topic.”
If you’re interested in learning more about “agile methodology”—for instance, when writing prompts—you might start with something simple like “Can you tell me what the generally accepted tenets of agile methodology are?”
You would then be presented with a list of things you may already know, like “customer satisfaction” or “iterative and incremental development.” But you might also find information that could prompt further inquiry, like “self-organizing teams” or “continuous improvement.”
“In essence you’re quickly mapping what you know into a larger context, creating your own learning scaffold,” Tippin says.
Even if the chatbot itself doesn’t have a wealth of information to share on a complex topic, these tools can be great for providing direction on further research. “I’ve found that ChatGPT is fantastic at providing new opportunities for learning and development through the quick identification of authors, speakers and thought leaders on a given topic,” Tippin notes.
For instance, you might ask, “Who has written peer-reviewed articles that are well regarded on the topic of self-organizing teams?” This will quickly return a list of names you could use to continue your research. Among them, Tippin says, you’d likely find people like Alistair Cockburn, Linda Rising, and Mary Lynn Manns.
Dynamic, Interactive Training
Generative AI tools can also be useful as “force multipliers” in the sense that they can achieve many of the benefits of having multiple human trainers without needing to actually have multiple human trainers. A great example of this is training programs that can dynamically adapt to a learner’s progress and adjust training materials and methods accordingly.
MedCerts training programs, for example, had traditionally been scenario-based and fixed to data already existing in the system. But, while highly complex, the programs were “constrained by the programming and the decision tree and database supporting those interactive elements,” says Dana Janssen, Chief Product Officer at MedCerts, which provides online training for allied healthcare and IT careers.
With ChatGPT, MedCerts students can now engage in dynamic role-playing and training that adapts to their responses in a way that couldn’t previously be achieved, Janssen says. In addition, each interaction between the student and the training scenario adapts through machine learning (ML), providing a larger pool of scenarios to leverage. Subsequent responses then become something different from what was originally programmed.
“The data pool becomes larger with infinite interactions between the bits of information, driven by algorithms but only within the pool of data it is allowed to search,” Janssen adds. “Over time that pool becomes larger because the responses students supply are added.”
He also says MedCerts is integrating ChatGPT elements into its nursing assistant training and its modules for mental health technician training and expects this to be available to customers in fall 2023.
AI represents new and exciting technology. The novelty alone makes it an engaging option for employee training. Trainees may be excited to participate simply for the opportunity to interact with AI technology. But there are many more ways AI can help make training more engaging.
One example is the ability to incorporate gamification into corporate training efforts. Gamification refers to the practices of applying gaming concepts to other contexts, such as training. For example, language learning applications like DuoLingo use progressively more difficult lessons, various challenges, point-based reward systems, and other gaming concepts to help teach learners different languages.
“With gamification, quizzes, simulations, and virtual reality training modules can become more involved, which allows employees to learn faster in the least period of time,” says Kathryn Boudreau, Operations and HR Manager for CallerSmart. “Create automated voiceovers for learning materials, HR onboarding videos, and illustrations to make learning more engaging.”
Opportunities Are Virtually Endless
The opportunities for L&D professionals are virtually endless (pun intended). Here are some ideas for basic prompts you can experiment with when planning and preparing L&D programs and materials to help you see just how powerful, flexible, and productive these tools can be:
- What are the current industry trends and best practices related to XYZ?
- What are the key challenges or gaps in employee knowledge or skills the training should address?
- Are there any relevant case studies or success stories that can be incorporated into the training content?
Creating training outlines:
- What are the main learning objectives or outcomes that a training program on XYZ should achieve?
- What are the core topics or modules that should be covered in the training?
- How can the training content be organized to ensure a logical flow and effective training experience?
Creating training materials:
- Using the following content (provide one to two paragraphs of copy), create some options for PowerPoint® slides that best summarize the information.
- What interactive elements could be incorporated to best engage the audience?
Creating evaluation materials:
- Given these training objectives, provide suggestions for questions to gather feedback from training participants.
- Given this content from the training program, provide some ideas for pre- and post-training assessments or surveys that would be most suitable to gather feedback.
Creating training exercises:
- Provide some ideas for hands-on activities, simulations, or role-playing exercises that could be incorporated into a training program to reinforce learning and encourage practical application.
- Provide some real-world examples or case studies that can be used as exercises to bridge theory with practical application.
These prompts are really just the tip of the iceberg. Keep in mind that as you generate responses from whatever tool you’re using, you’ll likely come up with additional questions to help drill down into the information to make it more meaningful and relevant to whatever type of training you’re developing.
Generative AI tools have been attracting a lot of attention in recent months and for good reason. There seems to be no limit to the tasks these tools can perform, and new applications continue to be discovered. Take some time to experiment with these tools to learn how they could augment your L&D tasks and enhance the value of training for your employees.
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