Why should organizations care about learning?
As generations begin to change in the workplace, there is increasing pressure on organizations to provide their employees with benefits that have no monetary value, to keep them motivated. As many as 87% of Millennials place a high value on career growth opportunities. People understand that continuous development is not only necessary and beneficial but find it enjoyable and a breath of fresh air in a task-based professional environment.
Education is most valuable when it is customized and offered at the learner’s pace, but this requires significant resources, not always available to companies. Due to this scaling need, technology is the natural step to take, and various e-learning platforms and MOOC platforms have emerged. The new frontier in this domain is to engage learners and to customize content in a way that allows each user to follow their path to deeper learning. This description calls for including AI in the training methods.
How can AI power e-learning?
Replacing educators with computers is sometimes considered impersonal and thought to decrease the impact of training programs due to a lack of a human touch. However, electronic learning tools offer one to one tutoring, regardless of the scale and adaptive learning. Education offered by people is flawed by the inconsistency of presentation, leading to even greater differences in results. Evaluation of the training program’s outcomes is also biased since it is based on self-evaluation. It is necessary to create a way that gradually evaluates progress.
Although rich content is already present in numerous training sessions, smart content is much more. Apart from integrating multimedia or even VR/AR to explain the topics, intelligent content allows in-depth learning about a specific side of the content by evaluating the user’s needs and interests.
The needs are deducted from evaluating performance until that point and comparing achievements with a predefined standard, while interest is ascertained by the terms previously searched by the trainee. A more advanced learning system which borrows and modifies e-commerce approaches could measure the time spent on a page and compare it with the average to determine the learning speed. Hovering with the mouse over certain words or images also denotes interest, and the system could react by showing a glossary, similar pictures or other appropriate media content.
An artificial intelligence company can create software that replicates the way a private tutor interacts with students. The algorithm learns about thinking patterns, the most difficult items and measures the engagement of the person in the activity by recording user interface interactions such as clicks, scrolls, time spent on a particular item and more, including eye tracking.
All the data is introduced into the machine, and a dedicated learning pattern is created. No longer will all the employees have to follow the same training from which each one takes their value, but this allows each one to delve deep into what they are interested in, at no additional cost for the company.
Even the best trainers’ performance varies from one session to the other due to human nature. Although some of these variations include improvements and adapting the content to the audience, others are just the result of fatigue, stress or other negative conditions. A system built using artificial intelligence will have the same performance repeatedly, 24/7.
The best part about AI is the predictive capacity of performance. Such a system can act as a private tutor and work with an employee on their weak points to help them reach at least the minimum requirements. A human trainer does not have the capacity to evaluate simultaneously and continuously all the participants creating a matrix of their performance by subject, while AI improves its performance by doing this.
Gathering all that data can be useful for other purposes as well, such as refining or even completely changing the curriculum. By studying the results of the engagement metrics, the curriculum designers can adapt the content in several ways. First, if the systems signals boredom, the ideas could be split into bite-sized paragraphs and accompanied by media. If a particular chapter yields consistently weak results during testing, it could be changed or supplemented with more exercises or workshops. Finally, for parts of the content that are not engaging for users, it is better to find a more suitable replacement.
In a classic learning situation, all this feedback could go under the radar since most of the times people are more concerned about maintaining social relationships than improving the curriculum and will not give authentic and critical feedback.
By adapting the curriculum to each participant, the system can increase engagement. If a person is a visual learner, the system will display more diagrams and pictures. In the case of a different learning style, other types of materials may be relevant.
In computer games, dynamic approaches change scenarios based on the user’s choices. E-learning can operate in a similar way by eliminating a strict syllabus and allowing the user to move freely as long as the objectives are fulfilled. This dynamic adaptation can change existing problems and scenarios and recombine them in new ways to create challenges. By using a trainee’s responses, the system can create the next level, testing the items that are expected to be the most challenging.
What is the current stage of implanting AI in corporate training?
Up to now, even organizations that have been providing corporate training have barely scratched the surface. Only 7% use AI prediction of some kind in their products. There is a world of opportunity waiting to be tapped in this area. By borrowing ideas from other applications of AI, e-learning can become much more than a requirement; it can be an immersive experience.
Future developments can include merging training and employee evaluation into a gamified approach, which offers the subject a continuous feedback and increasingly difficult challenges, fit for the person’s interests and progress.
In a high-tech world, access to information and lifelong learning should be on the agenda of every competitive organization. It is not enough to get trainers and an off the shelf curriculum. To maximize the impact of the time spent learning, you should give employees a fully customizable experience and use the data gathered in the process to improve the tools. Intellectual growth triggers interest and increases retention rates.
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