Skip to main content
Monthly Archives

June 2023

ChatGPT and AI Tools: Tools to Use – 3 of 3

By Change Management, Learning No Comments

In the ever-evolving landscape of instructional design, harnessing the potential of AI tools has the possibility to be a game-changer because of the ways these tools can support a designer in each phase of the ADDIE model. For me, the biggest “aha” moment when exploring ChatGPT and other AI tools was realizing that they are not the first AI-powered tools available to instructional designers and learning professionals.

While ChatGPT stands out as one of the most advanced and sophisticated AI tools, you may have already encountered AI technology in your work without even realizing it. In this third article in the ChatGPT and AI tools series, I’m going to share some of the tools that I’ve been experimenting with as well as some questions to consider to determine what the right AI tool is for you and your organization.

“…AI tools can unlock new possibilities for creating impactful and engaging learning assets if used in responsible ways.”


For many learning and development professionals, it will come as no surprise that we’ve been living in the AI and machine learning world for decades. The difference that is causing the world to notice ChatGPT and AI tools now is the level of sophistication and user interfaces that are making AI generative tools more accessible to a wider population of end users instead of just the technology industry. For example, have you ever heard of or worked with one of the following tools: Vyond, Speechelo, Synthesia, or Grammarly? If you said “yes,” you have experienced AI generative technology.

With hundreds of options available, how do you choose which of the AI tools to start exploring?

I focused on four categories that can greatly assist in the design and development phase of the ADDIE model to create learning assets:

  1. Text to Speech
  2. Text Assisted Writing
  3. Graphic Visualization
  4. AI Video Generation

Key Criteria to Determine Tool Usage

What I found helpful was to create a list of key criteria to determine which tools would be best for the types of project work that I’m doing as well as my own personal growth.

The four key criteria I decided to use for the tools in this article included:

  1. Your Organization’s AI Policy – The first question to ask whether or not your organization has a policy about AI tool usage. Some organizations may or may not be interested in adopting AI technology or may have specific guidelines on what they think are the responsible uses of AI. For example, The CARA Group, Inc. recently published their policy in order to protect the business, their clients and their consultants.
  2. Ease of use – How quickly could I log into the AI tool and start creating without having to take a class, read a user manual or watch a YouTube video to learn how to utilize the tool.
  3. Cost/Affordability – Does the tool require a monthly or annual subscription and do they have a free trial? Many of these tools – especially the AI video tools – can cost hundreds of dollars for individual licenses and thousands for enterprise licenses. For me, a free trial is key in order to see the quality of the output.
  4. High-quality desired output – What is the desired output for the learning asset? Does your client need a certain file format? Does your client want to be able to update the files independently? For graphic visualizations, understanding the resolution and realism of the images was a significant deciding factor on whether to continue using the tool.

With these criteria in mind, let’s dive into the world of AI-powered Text to Speech, Text Assisted Writing, Graphic Visualizations, and AI Avatar Videos, by discussing some of the benefits and challenges they present along the way.

Text to Speech

One category of AI tools that can significantly benefit instructional designers is Text to Speech. These tools provide the ability to convert written text into spoken audio, adding a dynamic and engaging element to your learning assets. The benefits of Text to Speech tools include increased accessibility, improved learner engagement, and time-saving during content creation. However, there can be challenges such as ensuring natural-sounding voices, maintaining pronunciation accuracy, and achieving proper intonation and emphasis. Examples of tools include:

  • Google Text to Speech has been around since 2008. This is a free, effective tool for client mock-ups to give them a feel of what the text in a video or elearning will sound like without having to spend a lot of time in an AI video tool.
  • TextMagic, is a free tool with a range of 70 voices available in various languages. While the voices may sound similar to standard elearning voices, TextMagic offers a quick and cost-effective option for incorporating text-to-speech capabilities into your learning assets.
  • Speechelo, is a paid subscription and, from my experience, has some of the best natural-sounding voices. There are two versions: standard and pro. The main benefit to almost all of the AI-tools that I tried have standard versions that have watermarks and basic features. If a project requires additional languages and audio recordings with larger numbers of characters, then the pro or paid versions are a good investment.

Text Assisted Writing

Another valuable category of AI tools is Text Assisted Writing. These tools utilize AI algorithms to assist instructional designers in generating written content. They can provide suggestions, correct grammar, and spelling, and even offer ideas for creative wording. The benefits of Text Assisted Writing tools include increased productivity, improved writing quality, and reduced editing time.

In my experiments, I found the writing output generated to be fairly high quality, but the big problem is that it is not written in my own voice. However, if you’re tasked to write multiple choice test questions or text about general topics, I found these tools to be helpful.

The bigger challenge is ensuring that none of the AI text is copyrighted. I recommend doing the research to ensure as best as possible to validate the text being utilized in your learning asset and to ensure the correct citation is being done.

  • ChatGPT
  • Canva Magic Write

AI Image Generators (Graphic Visualizations)

When it comes to graphic visualizations, there are several AI image generator tools worth exploring. These tools provide benefits such as saving time and effort in graphic design, generating custom and eye-catching visuals, and facilitating creativity. However, challenges may include limitations in customization options, potential copyright concerns, and the need for a discerning eye to ensure the generated visuals align with the learning objectives.

  • Canva, a popular graphic design platform, offers Canva Magic Write, which utilizes AI to generate design suggestions based on your content. Canva Magic Write is an app that is added through the primary tool and is simple and fast. The quality has been inconsistent depending on whether the text prompts are common terms such as “safety, nurse, doctor, car, etc.’
  • DALL-E 2 is another intriguing tool that can generate unique visual assets, such as illustrations of unique concepts, by transforming longer textual descriptions into images. A more specific text prompt will produce clearer, more realistic images.
  • Midjourney is another tool that combines AI and design to create visually vibrant graphics that are even being sold as wall art products. I’m not sure this would be the most effective tool for an instructional designer creating elearning or job aids. From my research, this tool seems to be trending in the graphic design world and integrates with the Discord social platform.

AI Video Generation

Videos are a powerful medium for instructional designers and eLearning. There are a plethora of AI tools that can assist in creating videos from text such as and These types of AI generated videos also have the capability of adding AI-powered voice over which potentially eliminates the need for a professional voiceover depending on the project and overall voice quality desired.

Over a year ago, I was introduced to for a safety management class where we created micro videos to introduce each section of the two-day course. Instead of filming a newscaster for our television news show, we utilized the AI generated avatar videos. Synthesia enables the creation of videos by combining AI-generated avatars with spoken text. The output is an .mp4 file that can be easily inserted into your eLearning or instructor-led course. The benefit of is that there is a direct integration feature with Articulate 360. The avatars are improving each month with new releases from the company.

The challenge is if a client wants to edit the videos later and does not know how to use Synthesia. The files can be edited in any type of video editor such as Adobe Premiere or Canva, but the avatars cannot be changed outside of the app.

Be curious or be fearful?

In this final article of the series on my exploration of Chat GPT and AI tools from an instructional designer’s perspective, my question to you is will you be curious or fearful?

By exploring the diverse range of AI tools available, I’ve experienced a glimpse of what AI technology can do for an instructional designer. I believe AI tools can unlock new possibilities for creating impactful and engaging learning assets if used in responsible ways. Remember to consider your organization’s AI policy, ease of use, cost, and the desired output when selecting the right AI tools for your specific needs. Embracing AI-powered tools can enhance your instructional design process, streamline content creation, and ultimately elevate the learning experience for your audience.


Lessons Learned From an ERP Implementation

By Change Management, Communications, Learning No Comments

Most organizations today are undergoing digital transformation to include system implementations to enable their business and workforce performance. Successful implementations require focused and coordinated effort to ensure a Return on Investment. Having recently completed an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software) implementation at our organization, we collected lessons learned to share with you.

In the Fall of 2022, we went live with our ERP. The implementation was both a challenging and rewarding 16-month journey. Along with the software implementation, we also implemented other organizational initiatives such as new business processes, new ways of working and organizational structural changes. These initiatives gave us firsthand experience with change saturation and change collision. Recognizing this reality, we knew to win around it required focused organizational change management and learning strategies and tactics to drive the adoption needed to meet customer expectations and drive business success.

“Throughout the implementation, we continually refined our requirements to align with the organization’s capacity for change.”


Nine months post go live, I’ve had a little bit of time to look back and document my lessons learned to share with those also navigating change.

  1. Strategically prioritize change initiatives and ensure everyone in the organization’s goals are aligned to drive adoption.

The ERP implementation was one of several initiatives for the company. As part of our performance management process, we ensured every individual had a goal aligned to the implementation’s success. This alignment allowed for individual accountability, better coordination and minimized conflicting efforts.

  1. Identify your organization’s skillsets and skill gaps. Bring in consulting expertise to bridge the gap.

We formed an internal team consisting of our system admin, subject matter experts, and leadership stakeholders. However, we also engaged with three experts to enable success.

  • The first was an implementation partner that guided us through the ERP implementation process. They educated us on the system’s capabilities and helped us redefine our processes.
  • The second was a CARA OCM Strategist who collaborated with the ERP team to create a change roadmap to bring us through design, deployment and destination.
  • The third was a CARA Learning consultant with expertise in technical writing, information architecture and the skills to design and develop a SharePoint site for organizing and hosting our training and performance support content. The ‘How CARA Works’ SharePoint site enables us to provide content and training around new processes and provides on demand help in their moment of need. We collaborated to create assets such as tutorial videos and how-to documentation. This site is now the centralized location for all our processes, procedures and training and enables us to easily make updates aligned with our continuous improvement post implementation.
  1. Pull together a group of super users to be your change champion network.

We were changing so many things for so many different people and needed representation from all the teams to test, sign off, and serve as escalation points as well as trainers. We brought the change champion network together before deployment and they invested in and took ownership of the change. They knew their teams and understood what they needed to hear from the implementation team for things to really click. Their input allowed us to address resistance early on and make adjustments to processes, training and communication as necessary. The super users also became fluent in the new system language and they continue to operate as their teams’ advocates to this day.

  1. Plan and prioritize communication and training.

Post Covid, we became a remote first organization which required us to rethink our approaches to communication and training. Using the change champion network as a sounding board we tested our plans and adjusted to ensure we met each user need. We leveraged existing touchpoints and meetings for communication along with clarified the cadence and location of where users could find communication and provide input.

  1. Define standard practices instead of managing to the exceptions.

We discovered many one-off processes that lacked standardization, hindering employee training and overall company growth. As a conscious decision, we converted disparate processes into standard practices that worked for 95% of situations. The remaining exceptions were addressed post-deployment.

  1. Refine your requirements to align to address change saturation.

Throughout the implementation, we continually refined our requirements to align with the organization’s capacity for change. We focused on delivering a minimum viable product and made the decision to phase in additional features over time, considering the teams’ ability to absorb and adapt to the changes.

  1. Acknowledge interdependency and transparency of data for better teamwork and more data-driven decision making.

We had several barriers across departments where one team had no idea what another team was doing to make their wishes become a reality. Our new system has spread the ownership for outputs across the company, and with this enhanced teamwork, fostered empathy for different responsibilities, and enabled real-time access to valuable data, empowering the team to make informed decisions and drive daily actions.

An ERP implementation journey can be a lengthy and challenging. However, we take pride in the valuable lessons learned and hope they will assist you as you consider or embark on your own implementation.


OCM’s Value Add Part 3 – Humans’ Desire for Credible Leadership

By Change Management No Comments

As we set out on our yearly goal of envisioning what organizational change management (OCM) will look like in the coming year, we reviewed two vital questions to assess OCM’s value:

  1. Does the OCM increase the speed of the organization’s adoption of their future state?
  2. Does the OCM sustain changed behaviors? Does the change “stick”?

With the above two questions in mind, we set out to, first, determine the year’s business priorities and the changes to OCM that enable those priorities.

So, we decided to look into the future, i.e., beyond the next calendar year, and see if we could get a picture of the longer-term value of OCM. In doing so, it became obvious that the changes needed to be tied to the way humans change. OCM aligning with the way humans change. Imagine that!

That created five challenges that govern our thinking. They are:

  1. Humans’ desire to retain control.
  2. Humans’ desire credible leadership.
  3. Humans’ preference and success in learning by doing.
  4. Humans’ desire to understand the “bigger” picture.
  5. Humans’ desire to be a part of something that matters. Something that makes a difference.

In this post, we will look at Challenge # 2: Humans’ desire to work with credible leadership.

Challenge #2 – Humans Desire Credible Leadership

  • Credible (knowledgeable and trustworthy) leadership is perhaps the most important variable in ensuring change. It is the foundation needed for humans to change.
  • Case in point…. from our last blog we talked about the need humans must have to believe they are in control… or feel they have as much control as they can get. This allows them to adapt to changes more rapidly. Study after study indicates that even if you are sharing bad news, humans want to know what it is and how it impacts them.
  • Perhaps this is obvious, but trust in leadership is the lynch pin that makes this work. If people don’t believe what leadership is telling them, or what they are hearing, they will not change! It’s that simple.
  • What isn’t simple is building and maintaining that foundation of trust at many levels and across the organization.
  • While transparency regarding the future is a good start, it is not all of it. Leaders must own successful change. While not expected to perform the tactics of a change management program, they do need to be aware of their responsibilities, how change impacts the bottom line, where points of resistance exist and their responsibility in managing them, and the impacts of the change to their employees.

How it works today

  • The role of credible leadership today is primarily addressed with communications that are transparent, high level, and aimed at creating excitement about the future.
  • The process and art of management of expectations is not fully understood by leadership. The overwhelming approach is to wait to communicate until they have all the answers.
  • Leadership does not fully understand what OCM is and its role in driving behavior change.
  • Leadership is often less than proactive on issues that are most likely to present resistance and their role in mitigation.
  • Leadership does not understand its specific accountability for the success of OCM.
  • Leadership views change management as a necessary evil and most often at the project level.
  • Leadership does not actively seek input regarding change from managers and change champions.
  • Management and leadership cannot articulate their specific roles in OCM.
  • Leadership cannot articulate the impact of the changes on their employees.

What tomorrow will look like

  • Change communication occurs at both the strategic and tactical levels…..and at the same time. Strategic communication constantly sets the context for the tactical.
  • The need for leadership to set expectations is constant and includes what isn’t currently known but will be and when.
  • Leaders are actively involved and understand the specifics of how the business strategy will impact their people.
  • Leaders understand how the various projects complement each other.
  • Leadership groups are aligned on the business strategy and understand how change impacts the acceleration to the future state and ensures sustainability of behaviors.
  • Leadership and management understand their specific accountabilities in OCM.
  • Leadership and management understand OCM, how it works and its value.
  • Leaders own change communications and can articulate how the changes impact employees.
  • While changing, many Leadership Development programs are “lite” on OCM at the leadership level.

Near term actions you can take as a change practitioner

  • Know where your leadership currently stands (utilize an external assessment) in their understanding of OCM’s value, potential points of resistance to change, accountabilities, alignment on the strategy, and their roles in driving change.
  • Ensure leaders understand their employees’ need for control and that communicating when they will they know more is often as valuable as having the answers themselves.
  • Ensure leadership understands their employees’ current questions and concerns regarding the future.
  • As a model for the future, share your organization’s plan for AI, the process and timing to advance essential impacts to roles, when you will know and share more, and their expected involvement in the process.
  • Ensure that your external consultants have a “bent” towards their client’s leadership education on change management. In short, look for a change management consultant who is looking to “put themselves out of business.
  • Ensure that leadership’s role in OCM is part of your Leadership Development curriculum.
  • Engage “Report Out to” leadership on addressing Change Management issues and risks. See leadership as a partner vs. a boss.

Point of Interest: For anyone who has led an OCM initiative, you know that “making change stick” is perhaps the least understood and the least successful of OCM efforts. It involves changing behaviors and leadership’s role in achieving that goal. Since we are talking about leadership in this edition, here is a link to a McKinsey piece[1] that does a nice job of identifying the challenge and what we know about changing behaviors.


CARA Client Ace Hardware Wins 2023 ATD Excellence in Practice Award

By Announcements No Comments

The CARA Group is pleased to announce that our client, Ace Hardware, has won the 2023 ATD Excellence in Practice award in the Onboarding category for their Retail Support Center (RSC) New Hire Onboarding Training program.

Nick Zahos, Manager of Training, Onboarding, and Culture – Retail Support, had this to say “Ace Hardware is extremely proud to be recognized by the Association for Talent Development for our Retail Support Training and Onboarding Program. It took a complete team effort, from the corporate office staff to the Retail Support Center leadership to the individuals on the floor, to produce a program that enhances the training and retention of our new hires. The success of this program has opened several other avenues in the training, onboarding, and engagement arenas for Ace, and we are continuing to look for ways to make a positive impact. At the center of it all has been our partnership with CARA, and their fantastic consultants. CARA has had a solution for all our needs, and I look forward to continuing to partner with them.”

Michelle Reid-Powell, CARA’s President and CEO, said “We are incredibly honored to have supported Ace in achieving the ATD Excellence in Practice award. This recognition is a testament to the power of collaboration and the transformative impact of effective learning solutions. This achievement would not have been possible without the dedication and trust of our client, and the leadership of our consultant, Eileen Terrell. This award is a validation of our shared commitment to excellence, and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone together.”

Congratulations to Nick as well as to the Ace and CARA team!

The CARA Group Named to Training Industry, Inc. 2023 Top 20 Custom Content Development List

By Announcements No Comments

The CARA Group is pleased to announce that we have been named among Training Industry’s 2023 Top Custom Content Development companies.

“We are proud to once again be recognized by Training Industry, Inc., as we believe this award speaks to our commitment to understand the unique needs of each client, and design, manage, and deliver best-in-class solutions to drive workforce performance,” said Michelle Reid-Powell, CARA President, and CEO.

“This year’s selections for our Top Custom Content Development Companies list offer quality customized training across a wide range of subject areas, topics and industries, as well as a range of custom services and processes,” said Jessica Schue, market research analyst at Training Industry, Inc. “These organizations offer high-quality instructional and curriculum designs to increase learner engagement while at the same time bringing in tools, features and processes to help solve the needs of their clients.”

Selection to this year’s lists was based on the following criteria:

  • Breadth and quality of content developed and services offered.
  • Industry visibility, innovation, and impact in the learning services training market.
  • Client representation.
  • Business performance and growth.

Contact us to learn more how CARA can partner with you to help you achieve your learning goals.

About The CARA Group

The CARA Group is a consulting firm focused on change management, learning, and communications solutions that enable the workforce of the future. Our unparalleled commitment to the success of our clients and consultants makes CARA solutions unique.

About Training Industry, Inc.

Training Industry ( is the most trusted source of information on the business of learning. Our authority is built on deep ties with more than 450 expert contributors who share insights and actionable information with their peers. Training Industry’s courses, live events, articles, magazine, webinars, podcast, research, and reports generate more than 10 million industry interactions each year, while the Top 20 Training Companies Lists help business leaders find the right training partners.



Allyson’s AI Journey – #2

By Change Management, Communications, Learning No Comments

Welcome to my second blog about my AI Journey. I prompted ChatGPT to help me with a definition for Artificial Intelligence:

“AI is the technology that makes computers smart and capable of doing tasks that normally require human intelligence.”

I like this simple definition, however, I believe that, as humans, we will still be required to develop our own intelligence to operate in an AI enabled world.

Being a Gen Xer, I had the benefit of entering my career just as computers were becoming ubiquitous in the workplace. During my initial job interview, I assured my first employer of my proficiency in WordPerfect. Thanks to a crash course I received a week before my start date from a friend, I acquired sufficient knowledge to complete my job tasks.

Following that, I had the benefit of working for an organization which invested in computer training for its employees. In classes of 30, we learned how to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using the earliest versions of the Microsoft software.

Early AI Example

Do any of you remember Microsoft Clippy? Clippy was an example of AI, an animated character that gave the user help with Microsoft Office applications. It used what in AI is called NLP (Natural Language Processing) to help the user. In simple terms, NLP is a field of AI that helps humans interact with the machine. To learn about NLP click here [1]or ask ChatGPT. While not everyone loved Clippy, it was an early attempt at integrating AI into user interaction with the computer.

Looking Ahead

Today, as organizations embrace or determine how more advanced AI will alter or disrupt their businesses, talent and learning leaders are partnering to determine how to build the AI competence of their current and future workforce. That competence building starts with our own learning and development.

“You have to learn to like to learn!” Allyson’s 6th grade science teacher, Mr. Martin

Thanks to my sixth-grade teacher, I learned that to keep up in our ever-changing world, we would need to keep learning. More importantly, he helped develop his students’ love for learning. As I’ve been on my AI learning and development journey, it’s becoming readily apparent that to be able to adapt to the rapid pace of change, the ability to be a continuous learner will be a necessity.

Here is a proposed learning journey for building your AI Competence.

  1. Start with your WHY
    1. Why do YOU want to learn more about Artificial Intelligence?
    2. What is motivating you to learn?
  2. Get curious and build AI fluency
    1. There are a lot of acronyms and terms to learn. Start with AI, NLP and Generative AI.
    2. Prompt ChatGPT or Bard to help you learn. One prompt I used was, “Act as a novice in the area of Artificial intelligence and create a 10 questions quiz on the top terms I should learn.”
  3. See what the experts are saying
    1. There are many newsletters, Ted Talks, blogs, webinars, and events out there. Here are a few of the I am currently reading.
      1. TLDR: daily newsletter: AI, ML, and Data Science in 5 Min[2]
      2. Artificial Intelligence newsletter by Andriy Burkov [3]
      3. CARA’s blog series by Laura Antos “ChatGPT and AI Tools: An Instructional Designer’s Exploration Featuring the Why, Lessons Learned, and Tools to Use – 1 of 3”
      4. CARA’s blog series by Laura Antos “ChatGPT and AI Tools: Lessons Learned from My Exploration – 2 of 3”
  4. Experiment
    1. Use your own devices if your company hasn’t allowed it, and experiment with the tools available. Have you downloaded ChatGPT on your iPhone or are using Bard or Bing?
  5. Connect with others on a learning journey
    1. Learning leaders know that power of cohort and learning communities. Join or start your own to power your AI learning journey.

We are in for more disruption to our ways of working and machines can be a friend or foe, but you won’t know if you don’t learn more.

More to come as I continue my learning journey…

[1] Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science,,

[2] TLDR AI Newsletter,

[3] AI Newsletter, Andriy Burkov, LinkedIn

ChatGPT and AI Tools: Lessons Learned from My Exploration – 2 of 3

By Learning No Comments

Are you an instructional designer looking to transform your creative process and maximize your efficiency? Discover how ChatGPT and other AI tools can take your instructional design to new levels. This is the second article in a series called, “ChatGPT and AI Tools: An Instructional Designer’s Exploration Featuring the Why, Lessons Learned, and Tools to Use.”

In the first article, we examined the reasons why an instructional designer may want to explore ChatGPT and other AI tools. To recap, first, they serve as exceptional brainstorming tools by swiftly generating a plethora of ideas and suggestions when faced with a blank canvas. Additionally, AI tools like ChatGPT can analyze content, enabling you to effortlessly create various learning assets such as course outlines, video scripts, case study scenarios, and reflection questions. Furthermore, these tools can aid in the creation of innovative visuals for your slides and participant materials, though results may vary depending on the tool. They can also be utilized for proofreading, editing, and rewording content, saving an instructional designer valuable time and effort. Ultimately, leveraging ChatGPT and other AI tools can enhance your productivity, offer fresh perspectives, and open doors to innovative possibilities you may not have considered before.

Now that you know some of the reasons or potential benefits to utilizing ChatGPT and AI tools, are you ready to hear some of my valuable lessons learned during my exploration? Diving into the ChatGPT and AI tool world requires experimentation to get the most effective results. Here are just a few of my lessons learned to develop even more engaging and creative learning assets.

Lesson #1: Utilizing specific, detailed prompts is critical.

It is essential to provide specific, detailed prompts. The quality of the generated responses is solely based on the quality of the text prompts the tool is provided.

ChatGPT is one of the largest and most advanced models of its kind. ChatGPT runs off of algorithms and it does not have ideas of its own or emotions. It only knows what information it is fed. There are two different types of ways to think about exploring with ChatGPT:

  1. Use the tool like an internet search similar to Google where you ask it to find a specific set of information.
  2. Use it to create or generate something new like your first draft of a video script, images for an eLearning course or presentation, etc.

Lesson #2: Shift your mindset from internet search to “thought partner”.

After using ChatGPT for several months, I’ve learned that shifting your mind from Google or internet browser search to having a conversation with a thought partner to bounce ideas off of generated better results. I design many courses about giving and receiving feedback, but who knew that I would have to provide ChatGPT with feedback on its performance to get more accurate results.

An example of this is when I was researching tips for the onboarding of new managers into an organization. ChatGPT would provide a list of tips or facts and I would type in or highlight the specific results that made sense and provided feedback on what I wanted to explore further or drilldown into more.

Lesson #3: Provide value through first drafts and new ideas.

It’s also important to understand the value AI tools provide for instructional designers. These tools can go from a blank page to a list of ideas and suggestions within minutes, making the ideation process much more manageable. However, most if not all, of the results generated in my experiments have needed to be slightly modified. Why? This leads us to lesson #4.

Lesson #4: Suggests ideas that do not align with your audience.

One key caveat is that ChatGPT and other AI tools run off math and algorithms. These tools do not have the relationships you have with your client or team and they don’t know the course or program audience like a human does unless you provide information about the audience. While the scripts and learning scenarios generated by these tools can be great to use as a base, they still need refinement for your clients and their organizational needs.

Lesson #5: Dealing with people’s reactions.

Lastly, not all clients, friends, or colleagues may be sold on or be ready to embrace the value of AI technology. It’s important to be patient and focus on the benefits that these tools can offer. If you believe in AI technology and want to explore this new world for your organization, consider sharing success stories and case studies from other organizations that have successfully integrated AI tools into their training programs, and highlight the specific ways in which these tools can benefit business goals and objectives.

The most important lesson learned

As you delve into the world of ChatGPT and AI tools, remember that shifting your mindset is paramount to their effective utilization. Conducting small-scale experiments or piloting projects to test the effectiveness of the AI tools in meeting your specific needs is crucial in the overall development of your learning programs. While these tools offer a wealth of ideas, it is essential to refine them to align with your audience and organizational requirements. Additionally, navigating the reactions of others and determining if your organization’s culture is ready to implement or accept AI tools should be discussed ahead of time. By incorporating these lessons, instructional designers can ensure they are ready to leverage ChatGPT and AI tools in creating impactful and tailored development programs within the corporate learning context.

Discover which of the game-changing AI tools that were utilized during my exploration process in our upcoming final article and see a sample of my results. After reading the next article, you just might say goodbye to traditional approaches and embrace the future of instructional design with cutting-edge AI tools.


ChatGPT and AI Tools: An Instructional Designer’s Exploration Featuring the Why, Lessons Learned, and Tools to Use – 1 of 3

By Learning No Comments

How many times a day do you see or hear something about ChatGPT or Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools? For me, on one hand, it seems like the world of AI has been unleashed with the rolling out of ChatGPT in November 2022. I was at a birthday party recently and friends were discussing how ChatGPT is taking over the world. There were a mix of opinions on what they thought AI tools could do for their industry, yet most of them had not tried ChatGPT or any other AI tool.

On the other hand, my curiosity has been increasing over the last several months about what AI tools can do for me as an experienced learning professional and instructional designer. I must admit there have been moments of being shocked and surprised at the results. I decided to devote some time each week to exploring and learning about the world of AI and it’s been quite fascinating.

In this series of articles, we’ll explore why an instructional designer might use ChatGPT or other AI tools, share some of my lessons learned to for more effective results, and provide some insights from my personal exploration of specific AI Tools.

Why Use ChatGPT or Other AI tools?

  1. Great brainstorming tool

One of the primary benefits of using ChatGPT and other AI tools is that they can be great brainstorming tools to help you generate ideas quickly. When you’re faced with a blank sheet of paper, it can be challenging to know where to start. However, with ChatGPT, you can provide it with some prompts or questions, and it will generate a list of ideas and suggestions within minutes.

I was researching a course on time management. I could have gone to Google and asked similar questions to what I asked ChatGPT, but let me show you the difference of what an AI tool can do for instructional designers.

My ChatGPT time management prompts in order:

  • What are 10 tips for managing time at work?
  • Tip number 5 from above mentions time management tools. What are some examples of time management tools?
  • What’s the number one time waster at work?
  • How do you know if you’re wasting time?
  • Write a 60-second video script on how to manage time and be more productive at work using the information from above.

The key difference is not only can you ask ChatGPT to list off topics, the tool allows for drilling down on a particular result and, as the conversation continues, ChatGPT is applying the logic from the conversation to the next question.

  1. Paragraph analysis of content to create different types of learning assets.

In addition to ideation, AI tools like ChatGPT can also help you create different types of learning assets. For example, it can analyze a paragraph of content and generate a high-level course outline with learning objectives, a paragraph description of a course or suggested modules, the first draft of a script for an eLearning or explainer video, scenarios or role plays for case studies, or reflection questions for blended learning.

One of my experiments was taking a page of text from a participant guide from a recent course on safety management. I asked ChatGPT to think like a “corporate learning instructional designer and to write three multiple choice quiz questions based on the participant guide text.” I was surprised to see how quickly three multiple choice questions were generated and the accuracy of the questions compared to the questions I had personally developed for the course.

3. Innovative visuals for slides and participant materials.

Another benefit of AI tools is that they can be used to create innovative visuals for your slides and participant materials. For example, Canva has a “Magic Write” function that allows you to type in a description of what you want in an image, select whether you want a drawing, cartoon, or photo, and then it creates four choices per search. An example of the “Magic Write” function was when I was creating a slide to depict the patient satisfaction process. I wanted a particular scene with a home healthcare clinician knocking on the door and then greeting the patient. With just a few words of text, “Magic Write” generated over 16 images for me to select from and I could have continued generating images with different prompts.

So far, the AI graphic generator tools have been very hit or miss for me. For example, I wanted an image for a leadership course of a male hurdle jumper who misses the hurdle and one where they knock down the hurdle. Most of the images generated had an arm missing or part of the hurdle missing or the image had strange angles that did not look realistic.

  1. Proofread, edit, or reword content.

AI tools can also be used for editing or rewording content. ChatGPT can quickly analyze and provide initial responses and content that can be edited for your specific audience, saving you time in the process.

  1. Time-saver.

The bottom-line is that ChatGPT and other AI tools can save time and provide new, innovative ideas that you may not have generated on your own.

Ready to explore ChatGPT and other AI tools?

According to, “as of March 2023, ChatGPT crossed 1 billion users”. Yes, over one billion people have tried ChatGPT and are taking steps into this new world of AI. ChatGPT and AI tools are powerful resources that can greatly enhance your instructional design work and help you create more effective development programs. From generating new ideas and content to providing real-time feedback and support, these tools offer a range of benefits that can improve the overall learning experience for employees and leaders alike.

Curious about what lessons were learned during my exploration of ChatGPT and specific AI Tools? Stay tuned for the second article in this series which will focus on five valuable lessons learned to help produce more effective results with your AI Tools.