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Unlocking the Potential of Using AI in Instructional Design
Have you been curious about using AI in instructional design? At the Instructional Design Company, we are always looking for ways to improve our workflows to better serve our students and clients. AI has been rapidly revolutionizing the way we think about our Instructional Design work. We believe that AI tools can really enhance our productivity!
With AI, we can automate tedious tasks and free up time for more creative and meaningful work. We are excited to explore the potential of using AI in Instructional Design in the latest episode of AcceleratedID. So, are you ready to unlock the power of AI to improve your instructional design workflow? Let’s dive in!
Understanding the Basics of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Before we get started, let’s establish a baseline of what artificial intelligence (AI) means in terms of instructional design. In the world of Instructional Design, AI can be used to automate processes, analyze data, and create more personalized learning experiences. AI can also be used to help identify areas of improvement and provide insights into our instructional design processes, which is what we are going to focus on in this article.
Like many instructional designers, I tend to rely on the ADDIE method for project development. So, I thought it would be helpful to look at how we can leverage AI tools for each phase of the ADDIE model.
Why AI Shouldn’t Replace Instructional Designers
Before we get too far along on this topic, it’s imperative that we emphasize that I do not believe AI should do all of your work for you. If that happens, why would a company need you, and how good would that work be?
So, if you have any fear around the popularization of AI in the workplace, hopefully, this helps. Think of AI as another tool in your instructional design tool kit. Like a template, or a proven process that you always use to make your life easier. AI can be one of these tools if you know how to use it.
Josh Cavalier presented an interesting equation in one of his ChatGPT for L&D professionals training sessions that I attended. He said to think in terms of human, then AI, then human again. As an instructional designer (human) you have all these ideas for how to build a learning solution. You can then use AI to streamline some of the work you need to do to make your ideas a reality. But, anything that AI does will also require a human touch before it’s ready to send out into the world. Human, AI, human!
Disclaimer for Using AI in Instructional Design
Before I get into these cool tools that can streamline your work, there are a few important disclaimers to get out of the way.
First of all, you should always check how an AI tool will use your information before you input any sensitive or proprietary information into the tool. Be sure to research and follow a company’s policy for data sharing before you use a tool.
Second, remember the human, AI, human equation. We would never suggest you present work copied directly from AI as your own or as a finished product.
And finally, I don’t claim to be an expert in AI. I’m exploring and learning like you and others. Will our thinking expand on this topic as we learn more? Probably! I’m excited to continue exploring using AI in instructional design the more I learn!
Exploring AI Tools for Each Phase of the ADDIE Model
As AI technology continues to advance, we should be exploring and analyzing how AI tools can revolutionize our workflows by integrating AI tools into our everyday work. What I have been exploring with my team at the Instructional Design Company is using AI in each phase of the ADDIE model.
If you need to catch up on ADDIE, you can check out this article on ID Essentials.
Let’s take a look at how we can be using AI in each phase of an instructional design project!
In the Analysis phase, AI tools can really speed up a lot of the information-gathering tasks that are crucial to good instructional design. In my opinion, this is a great representation of using AI in instructional design to streamline the menial and leave more thinking time for the creative.
Using ChatGPT in Instructional Design Work
One AI tool that we’re going to recommend for a number of different tasks is ChatGPT. By now, you may have heard about some ways you can prompt ChatGPT to make your life easier. You might not yet have discovered that ChatGPT can come in handy for a number of different tasks. In the analysis phase, ChatGPT can:
- Help us validate our thinking and to expand our knowledge on a topic.
- Improve our learning objectives and outcomes
- Serve as surrogate subject matter experts when we don’t have one to work with OR we need to speed up the research process
- Create a project brief
Other AI Tools to Use in the Analysis Phase
Meetings are a necessary evil during analysis. One tool I’ve found that makes meetings less of a head is Fireflies. This tool will join your meeting and take notes. It captures calls to action, any links shared, and resources mentioned during the meeting so you can focus on your team instead of note-taking.
In the design phase, we can again use generative AI tools like ChatGPT to help us draft course outlines and blueprints with suggested timelines for each section. You can also prompt ChatGPT to critique and copy-edit your completed content.
With ChatGPT 4, which is a paid subscription, you can even draft a decent storyboard to use for course builds.
Canva is a tool that we’ve been using for design for a while. I’ve been excited to use some of Canva’s new and improved AI features as I find them.
One of these is image generation. I ask ChatGPT to give me ideas for images that would fit a topic, then I feed those ideas into Canva. This cuts down on a lot of time usually spent clicking through pages and pages of search results for stock images.
Canva also has a “magic” feature that is an incredible asset for those that need to do some image editing. It automatically removes backgrounds, puts images into mockups, and automatically creates a scene that you describe.
Development using AI
There are some really great AI support tools in the development of slides and instructional videos. Here are some of my favorites so far:
You have probably already used the AI feature in PowerPoint called Designer. This AI function helps design your slides by doing the leg work for you.
With your existing content on screen, simply click the Design ribbon and choose Designer. The popup pane will populate different ideas for your content.
Canva also has a Magic Design feature where you can input some information and it will create a slide for you. If you’re already a slide-design pro, you might not find this super helpful, but it’s nice for those that need a starting point to get a new design going.
Pictory is a pretty cool tool that I really enjoyed experimenting with in the trial version. You can input a script, an article, or some images and it will create a video for you. After the video is created, you can customize it to better meet your training needs.
My current obsession is Descript video editor! Upload a video and it will convert that video into a transcript. This might not sound so exciting until you read this next part.
You can edit your video directly through the text editor. Want to cut something from the video? No problem. Highlight the text and hit delete. Bam! Your video has been edited.
Once you’ve cut what you don’t need, you can add transitions, on-screen text, images, video blocks, and more.
AI transcription services are useful in the development stage if you need to generate a script from an existing video or create closed captions. Temi was my top choice for transcripts. Although now, I’m using Descript for all my transcripts.
If you’re developing for eLearning or video-based training, you probably need accompanying voiceover work. Right now we’re using WellSaid Labs to create a video voiceover for a client who wanted a voiceover artist but didn’t have the budget.
I’ve been super impressed with how realistic the voices sound. They are not just your average text-to-speech or Siri-sounding voices! It’s also nice to have the option to make quick script changes when a word or phrase just doesn’t sound right.
Implementation using AI
As you know, the implementation phase is all about putting the courses that instructional designers create out into the world for learners to consume. That could be a live delivery virtually or in a classroom or it could be through a learning management system.
At the Instructional Design Company, we are currently in the process of migrating course information from our existing learning management to better support our ID students in our Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator system and certificate program.
The primary reason we opted to make the shift was the availability of AI features in the new LMS. When we upload a video, it creates a transcript and subtitles for us. It also creates a lesson description and indexes content so it’s searchable by our learners. These are all separate steps that will be removed from our usual process.
That all means more efficiency and productivity for my team and me, so that we can spend more time focusing on our students!
Another way that AI shows up for us in the Implementation phase is by writing promotional course copy to help share the news about new courses. As an instructional designer, you might be responsible for sending an email or writing content for a company newsletter to launch a new course.
We are using tools like Jasper.AI and ChatGPT to help us with these implementation-related activities.
AI can be a powerful tool when it comes to analyzing data in the Evaluation phase. Especially if you tend to live more comfortably in the analysis/design/develop phases of ADDIE. AI can act as a data analyst so you don’t have to. Its capabilities extend to identifying patterns in survey data, providing valuable insights for decision-making.
For instance, consider leveraging AI in the form of generative tools like ChatGPT. By inputting the data collected through end-of-course or program surveys, these tools can summarize key findings, identify recurring themes, and even generate suggested actions based on the data.
These actionable insights can then be used to inform and enhance future iterations of a course or lesson, ensuring continuous improvement.
Wrapping it Up
Alright, time to address the elephant in the room. You may not be sure about AI, but what we can be sure about is that it is here! AI will impact jobs undoubtedly, but those who know how to effectively use AI will be in demand.
As an instructional designer, look for ways to make AI an integral part of your instructional design process. By leveraging AI tools you will be positioned to create more efficient and effective learning experiences faster, thus providing more value to the organization or client you are working for.
Your knowledge and ability to effectively use AI tools will reduce costs and can lead to more impactful learning experiences for learners. Instructional designers who embrace AI will be well-positioned to succeed in the rapidly changing world of instructional design.
So, with that said, I’m curious to hear how you are using AI in instructional design. Drop me a comment and join the conversation in The Instructional Design Hangout – a community for instructional designers of all levels.
FTC Disclosure: Hey, there! If you happen upon a link to a product or tool, you should assume that it is an affiliate link. If you click on it and like it and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission. We only promote tools and products that we believe are helpful and good.
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The Testimonials are In:
Working with Shanwtay and Katie at the Instructional Design Company was a dream come true. Their creativity, expertise, and professionalism throughout the entire process was beyond top notch. I engaged them to help turn my first book into a training course, and I could not be happier with how the final product turned out. If you have an instructional design project and you’re considering which company to work with, you can stop your search and thank me later. They are truly the best in the business.
I joined the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program because I struggled to find jobs in instructional design beyond the development phase. I’ve done a couple of training programs with lots of random projects, but I was overwhelmed, not connecting the dots, and not good at structuring my writing to hit learning objectives. I was looking for motivation and direction at beginning a better Instructional Designer.
After taking the Instructional Design & Tech Certificate program and joining my fantastic team for support, I found the structure and approach to be what I need to take my next steps, evening improving my skills in the development stage.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I love how this course let’s you work at your own pace. I got great tips and learned many things. The ongoing support for multiple people and groups is what I love the best. You are never alone in this process. I have been able to adjust my resume and began creating a portfolio of work I’ve completed to add when applying for jobs. I use many of the PowerPoint skills in my lessons and trainings. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to become an instructional designer.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!
L&D Project Manager
The Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator certificate program is one of the most comprehensive ID programs out there for beginners. If you’re looking to grow your schools in ID and development then I highly recommend this program. Not only will this program give you an overview of theory, but you will receive a thorough walkthrough of how to apply what you have learned. Although I had already secured a position in Learning & Development when I bought this course, it helped me to move up into a new position as a Learning & Development Project Manager!
Future Instructional Designer
If you have any interest in ID, sign up for this program NOW! Shawntay and her team are top notch! The course content exceeded my expectations in a big way and the encouragement and support continues to be so valuable. You will not feel alone going through this course, you will learn so much, you’ll have many cheerleaders, and you will have fun!
Future Instructional Designer
I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).
Future Instructional Designer
I can’t say enough great things about the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program! The length of the program is perfect; it doesn’t feel rushed and there’s just the right amount of structure to give you the accountability you need. There are so many opportunities to get live answers to any questions you have related to the course content or anything ID-related! This program gave me the support and structure I needed to both feel affirmed in the relevant skills I already had coming in and to fill in the gaps I had as a career-changer going into ID. Shawntay, Katie, and all the coaches are super helpful and supportive. I now feel confident that I have the tools and access to resources I need to apply for ID jobs without wondering if there’s something I’m “missing” in the preparation process. I’d highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition into ID or who just wants to brush up on their skills in the field.
Krista Johnson Awomoyi
Freelance Instructional Designer
I’d highly recommend the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program. I’m blown away by how much I learned in just 12 weeks. I had ID experience prior to taking this course and was just looking to get a better understanding of applying adult learning principles. This course well exceeded my expectations! Not only did I gain a clear understanding of adult learning principles, I was also able to apply those principles by creating assets for your portfolio using PowerPoint, Adobe Premiere Pro and Storyline. The hands on support that we received was top notch.
This program is one of the most robust yet fulfilling L&D programs I’ve seen. I learned so much about the industry and about the limitlessness of my own capabilities. I am so appreciative of Shawntay and all of the trainers who took part in the program. They went above and beyond with not only guiding, but communicating live and working one on one or in small groups. If you are on the fence, I say take the leap and you will not regret it! There’s so much to learn, not only from the trainers, but also the learners in your group. Everyone comes in with their own skills and can be additional support and guidance for you. Thank you for creating this program!
Instructional Designer Training Facilitator
Shawntay is an amazing individual. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of ID and eLearning. She is also very compassionate and loves to help and see everyone around her grow and prosper. Shawntay has been a great mentor to me and she has helped me mature as an instructional designer and eLearning developer. She has provided me with opportunities when others have overlooked me. I am very grateful to have met and built a lifelong relationship with Shawntay.
I recently got hired into my first instructional design / training position and Shawntay was one of the first people to congratulate me!
Freelance Instructional Designer
My teacher-to-instructional-designer journey began two years ago when I left my teaching comfort zone and started my first freelance ID job. Now, I’m stepping out of the classroom and taking my freelance work full-time, so I’m thrilled to be joining the Tech Accelerator program. Adding technologies like Articulate 360 and Adobe Premiere Pro to my qualifications will help me take my courses to the next level and attract more clients!
Teacher Transitioning into Instructional Design
I am genuinely grateful for this course. I wanted a real-world perspective and feel like I got it. I’m teaching now, but nearing retirement age but can see myself working as an instructional designer well into my retirement years. My other goal is to take as many courses in statistics as possible in hopes of bringing some mathematical precision to the ROI question. Like you say, getting accurate metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but I intend to work on that part. That’s unimportant right now, what is important is the fact that I feel like this course was well worth every penny I spent and I would to it again in a heartbeat. I have too much going on right now, but as soon as I get some time freed up I intend to take your course in project management.
Turns Your Written Thoughts Into a Masterpiece!
Shawntay Skjoldager can turn your written thoughts into a masterpiece. She is great to work with and the most organized person I know!
President and CEO, The Creative Entreprenuer
Shawntay has been incredible!
Shawntay has been incredible and her team is responsive and effective in translating my training programs into professional presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact her for your project.
Beth B. De Lima, MBA, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP
President and Principal of HRM Consulting, Inc.
IDC is My Secret Weapon to Soar Above My Competition!
The IDC team has been my secret and special weapon of success. They have delivered above and beyond with every single project out in front of them. They have met and beat timelines. They have been Uber responsive every step of the way. I keep them on speed dial and have and continue to recommend them to friends and clients. If you are in need of instructional design and plenty more, this is THE ALL-STAR team that will more than deliver and help make you and your project soar above the competition.
LT. COL. Jason O. Harris
U.S. Air Force Officer, Special Operations Pilot, U.S.A.F. Academy Instructor, Motivational Speaker
A Tremendous Asset to the Project Team!
Working with Shawntay and the Instructional Design Company has allowed our university to meet the growing demands of our programs. Shawntay’s expertise allowed for the course development to be completed on time and met all of the university requirements. Shawntay’s project management skills were phenomenal and allowed my team to work on other areas while she completed this project for us. Her work is of high quality and her professionalism and willingness to help made her a tremendous asset to the project team.
Academic Quality Assurance Specialist, Abilene Christian University
Creative & Highly Talented!
Shawntay is a creative and highly talented instructional designer. She brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership that enabled her to own the design and creation of a full scale facilitator curriculum and train-the-trainer program. It was a pleasure to partner with Shawntay, her project management and communication skills ensured the project was on time and on budget.
Breaks Down Mammoth Projects
“Shawntay is quick study and carefully synthesizes information for presentations that are clear, concise and captivating. Her personality draws the audience in and her content mastery is excellent. A team player and organizer, Shawntay has the ability to break down mammoth projects, keep everybody on time and on task.”
Author, Speaker, Strengths Coach
“I have had many opportunities to work with Shawntay—mainly in the support of implementing new eLearning initiatives. I have been very impressed by her ability to quickly learn how to use rapid eLearning development tools and effectively use them to create multiple courses within a short timeframe. Shawntay’s enthusiastic nature, attention to detail, and dedication to her work make her a pleasure to work with and a great asset to both Texas A&M University-Commerce and the broader training community within the Texas A&M University System.”
Director of Learning Strategy, Caveo Learning
Top Notch Professional
Working with Shawntay has been an immense pleasure. She is atop notch professional who brings enthusiasm and extensiveexpertise to professional curriculum development and execution. Her knowledge of tried and true techniques to maximize the effectiveness of presentations is invaluable.
Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research, CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research
Fortunate to Find Shawntay!
“I was fortunate to find Shawntay when our organization was looking to expand and update our educational offerings. Shawntay proved herself to be an educational and personal development expert who immediately made an impact with our clients throughout Europe. Everyone who came into contact with Shawntay was immediately impressed by her level of expertise and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawntay to anyone looking for an education subject matter expert.”
Director of Qualifications and NSD Services, Mary Kay Inc.
Short Turn Around. On Time. Under Budget!
“We hired Shawntay to develop a training facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint slide deck for an operations manual heavy with technical content. The project was made more challenging by a very short turn around, 5 business days, and the fact that the operations manual wasn’t complete and was being updated simultaneously with the facilitator’s guide and slide deck. Despite these challenges, Shawntay delivered as promised. On time and under budget.”
Dave Beeman, CPP
Vice President, Andy Frain Services
Need an Expert Who Consistently Delivers?
“Working with Shawntay you will immediately notice her professional presence and poise, but over time her tenacious pursuit of excellence and her skills in instructional development and adult learning will really impress you. I worked with her at Mary Kay, and was able to experience firsthand her great rapport with regional partners in Europe, understanding their unique sales force training needs. In addition, Shawntay consistently exhibited grace under pressure, made executive decisions to move business forward. If you are looking for an expert who consistently delivers and goes the extra mile to get things done, contact Shawntay!”
Marketing Director, Academic Partnerships
Quality Products & Solutions!
“I had had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shawntay on more than a few occasions. I found her to be a very good business partner and very committed to delivering a quality product or solution in a timely manner. I have always had a positive experience in partnering with Shawntay and would recommend that you consider leveraging her talent.”
Judy Owen, CPC
Transformational Leadership Coach
“Invest in yourself and take your skills to the next NEXT level!”
Get yourself signed up for Shawntay Skjoldager’s Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program today and be on your way to success! Within the first week of taking her course, you will experience growth! Be sure to plug into her Facebook Q&A sessions for personalized help, too. This is THE course to take if you are new to instructional design or have landed on the training team and need help getting started.
Managing Partner, PHiG
“Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!”
Shawntay has exceptional knowledge and experience with all aspects of creating and implementing effective, performance based training for adults. She is exceptional at needs analysis – identifying target audiences and collaborating with business owners to keep training focused on business needs. And she is great to work with – always providing great support to get projects done on-time and on-target. She is always on the look-out for new and more effective ways to engage learners. Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!
eLearning Developer/Instructional Designer, Vivos Therapeutics
I have known and worked with Shawntay as a education program director and use the expertise of ShawntayMichelle for the development of my presentations. The service has always been “spot on” with professionalism, care and attention. Shawntay’s recommendations to my ideas make me look good to my clients.
Al Lomas CMP, CEM, CMM, CFE
Owner, Certified Consulting Services
“Shawntay Skjoldager reached in and made my training life so much easier!”
I am new to the training design and development world and I was SO excited to get in there, but I really lacked the real-world knowledge that would set me apart from my peers. And, then Shawntay Skjoldager walked into my life with an outstretched hand and a seemingly endless list of ways to knock every training out of the park. From the Training Analysis Form to the Tay Tay tips, this course made my life so much easier and even ironed out the review process that I had been struggling with for months.
Take time to invest in your own learning and make sure to put Shawntay Michelle at the top of your personal development list!
Training Specialist, LegalShieldCourses