Post-hype: What potential does AI already have in e-learning today?

Increasing efficiency, using personalisation options, ensuring inclusion and accessibility and improving quality – this is what the use of artificial intelligence (AI) promises in all areas of working life. Efficient, personalised, inclusive and accessible learning with high quality can also be achieved with web-based trainings (WBTs).

Can AI already optimise the creation of WBTs today? What possibilities are opened up by the use of AI, and which limitations still exist regarding its practical use? Let’s take a concrete look at the creation of an e-learning, starting with structuring the content and didactics, continuing with text creation and ending with image generation and video integration.

Is AI revolutionising structuring and method selection in e-learning?

An important requirement for creating a good WBT is a well-defined content structure and an effective choice of methods. For this task, you can consult a range of AI tools from AI Chat to text generators to the Playground of the OpenAI API. By analysing different learning contents and curricula, AI helps with valuable recommendations for the optimal presentation of the desired topic. In addition, access to data on the effectiveness of different teaching methods helps in the selection of appropriate interactions.

AI provides good optimisation assistance in this case – as long as you remember to constantly verify the facts yourself (AI sometimes develops a pretty vivid imagination). Especially with ChatGPT, you should also keep in mind that data after September 2021 is only included for subscribers. Since the e-learning industry is also developing rapidly, new interactions may not be included in your recommendations.

Can AI improve text creation?

Text creation is a central part of developing e-learning courses. AI can assist in several tasks to improve the quality of the texts.

One is that AI can act as a proofreader, automatically detecting and correcting grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. In German, especially for difficult words, we recommend to use the spelling correction by Duden Mentor, which reliably follows the official spelling recommendations. If entire texts are to be checked all at once, the use of a text generator is more appropriate, as these tools are based on probabilities and thus guarantee a more reliable detection of incorrect spelling or punctuation with regard to the context of the text, as well as providing alternative suggestions for better expression. But beware: common mistakes are also given as suggested corrections for exactly this reason.

Furthermore, AI enables the use of inclusive language. Again, it is important to be aware that AI is not a human being that is able to grasp contexts. Sometimes even dogs become “Hünd*innen” in an attempt to inlcude all genders. Often, you’ll also want to adapt the tone of existing non-fiction texts for your WBT in order to address your target group individually. This is not much of a challenge for text generators, especially regarding formal and informal speech, and all you have to do is check the modified texts according to your requirements.

Difficulties arise for the AI when it comes to summarising texts. In general, AI can only process a maximum amount of text at once. Then it separates sections according to paragraphs, sentence boundaries, headings and subheadings. So even if summaries work well with AI, you must always consider the limited coverage of contexts between paragraphs and provide them yourself.

One topic that is becoming more and more important for WBTs and where AI is already truly advanced today is the translation of educational texts. We probably don’t need to write much more about this except the fact that this text was also translated into English using DeepL.


How can AI create magical images in e-learning?

Pictures have an important function in e-learning, as they help to mediate knowledge in a visual way. Current AI tools can automatically generate suitable images for given topics, which facilitates the process of researching and selecting images.

Especially with photorealistic images, however, this often results in truly magical visual worlds. Although the fictional portraits, which are already very good, open up a high degree of flexibility in the design of settingsand atmosphere, in the case of concrete real-life settings or activities the image usually does not stand up to a fact check.

Thus, image generation is mostly to be considered for the illustration of the world of knowledge. Instead of using photorealistic images, illustrations in a wide variety of styles could also be used. The reduced level of detail of these images in comparison to photographic representations makes it easier to check the authenticity of the content. It also allows you to convey the desired mood or atmosphere in a targeted way.

What is the value of AI in videos?

Videos are a popular medium in e-learning because they can visualise complex topics and enhance learning. AI offers a wide range of possibilities to optimise the video creation process.

One of the main applications of AI in video creation is the automatic generation of subtitles. AI-based speech recognition systems can analyse the audio of a video and create subtitles that accurately reflect the content. This makes videos accessible and easy to understand even for people with hearing impairments.

Currently, it is already possible to generate video sequences with AI-generated speakers. Especially the integration of overlays and other media offers attractive opportunities. However, the difference to real people is still evident, so that longer sequences seem monotonous and therefore exhausting. Nevertheless, it is to be expected that there will soon be a rapid increase in quality that will offer an ideal supplement in WBTs due to the quick creation compared to professional videos and the independence of competent speakers.

In conclusion, we can state that AI is a powerful tool for the creation of high-quality WBTs and already offers many features that will certainly be developed significantly over the coming months and years. As with any other tool, AI is just as good as the application skills of the user. You can find out about the optimal use in your specific application context by attending the AI Check at the Arrabiata booth at the OEB.

Written for OEB Global 2023 by the team at Arrabiata.

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