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3 Takeaways from “Using AI to Design More Human-Centered Learning Experiences”

On our recent webinar, ATD Master Instructional Designer and co-founder of Lavender Dragon Team Mary Nunaley joins Vyond Customer Success Manager Laura Kennedy to discuss what might sound like a counterintuitive idea: how AI tools are helping instructional designers create more human-centric eLearning content.

Vyond July webinar recap speakers image

With her 25 years of field expertise, Mary offers practical advice on how to assess and integrate the latest AI tools out there: from generative AI tools with broad use cases to L&D-specific AI-powered software.

Mary explains the psychology underpinning human-centered design, the characteristics that define it, and which AI tools can help ensure you’re honoring those characteristics with your training content.

And she reminds us why, ultimately, generative AI tools are only as good as the personal input and experience of L&D professionals using them.

Below are a few takeaways from her presentation. But for all of Mary’s insights and AI tool recommendations — and to listen to the great L&D questions she answered in our Q&A — make sure to watch the full webinar recording.

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When it comes to exploring AI tools, keep an open mind and critical eye

In the first AI wave we had Siri, search engines, and transcription software. Then ChatGPT and image generators like Dall•E joined the fast-growing collection of AI-powered tools.

As even more advanced apps and software explode into the L&D space every week, it’s important for professionals to sort the hype from tools that really are time-saving and effective — and decide how to best use them.

The sheer volume of tools may feel daunting to keep up with right now. But at Vyond, we believe this is a passing phase.

As the AI space evolves, soon you won’t have to seek out disparate tools. The best AI will come to you, in your favorite tools.

Human-centered eLearning content is relevant, accessible, inclusive, diverse, and enjoyable

Human-centered design is an approach that runs counter to top-down, old-fashioned approaches that treat learners as empty containers to pour knowledge into. Human-centered design is empathetic and asks instructional designers to get curious and put themselves in learners’ shoes.

Human-centered eLearning experiences seek to understand and solve for root problems, and are user-friendly, accessible, inclusive, and enjoyable, Mary says.

Seek to understand and solve for root problems
This characteristic maps onto the ADDIE model’s “analysis” phase: doing your due diligence and ensuring you understand the challenges at hand by consulting subject-matter experts, interviewing actual employees, and speaking to stakeholders.

Take compliance training as an example. Most companies mandate annual anti-sexual harassment training. And in many cases, it’s what instructional designers would call “click next to continue” training: everybody completes it, but it’s cookie cutter and not likely to influence institutional behavior.

How would we give that training a human-centered makeover? Mary says it would mean talking with employees to understand their lived experience with the company culture, then creating a tailored, meaningful training to reflect those findings.

The one-size-fits-all course is a trap: far easier to push out and check the box — yet unlikely to spark behavioral change.

Be accessible
Imagine all the potential challenges your learner audience might face when they try to engage with your training. Think about people’s different abilities and consider the physical or digital environments that courses will be shared in.

To see which AI-powered accessibility tools Mary recommends, check out the full webinar.

Be user-friendly
Focus on giving information to people when it’s needed, in the flow of their actual work, rather than fixing it to a scheduled time.

To see which AI-powered tools create more convenient learner experiences faster, check out the full webinar.

Be representative and inclusive
Reflect the diversity of your audience — race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. — in how you communicate your content, through characters, voices, and languages.

Video platforms like Vyond allow you to customize characters to better represent your audience and subject matter. AI language tools such as Vyond’s instant translation features a variety of AI voices and dialects. The new Deepl app is also proving invaluable for translating content in workforces where more than one language is spoken.

Make content enjoyable
The bar is high for keeping people’s attention and making learning fun. AI tools can help you create eLearning that entertains, surprises, and doesn’t feel like it’s dragging on. Incorporating storytelling, real-life situations, and relatable characters makes eLearning more involving and fun to watch.

To see which AI-powered tools can help you generate more creative, eye-catching content, check out the full webinar.

Mary recommends following two L&D influencers on LinkedIn who are experimenting with AI and game-based learning: Sarah Le-fever and Mohsen Memon.

Even the coolest AI tools need a “human touch” to create effective employee courses

While AI tools are brilliant at kick-starting our creativity, human-centered design can’t rely on them alone. AI is trained on data, not experience. Emotional intelligence, experience, understanding context, and being funny — humor is something that ChatGPT hasn’t quite nailed yet — these are qualities that only living, breathing people can deliver in a high-quality learning experience.

We hope these takeaways have given you some useful insights into AI in eLearning and shown how you can use AI tools to create even more human-centered experiences.

To get further insights and to watch the audience Q&A session, check out the full webinar. And if you haven’t yet tried Vyond (and the AI-powered Vyond Go) but would like to, you can try it free here for two weeks.