As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links about once a month here on my blog. This post includes links with examples of scenarios, tips for creating scenarios, AI tools, reflections on AI and skills, and research on using videos for learning.
I’m continuing to experiment with AI tools for creating images. This one was created with Playground.AI.
Reflections on AI, skills, and performance support
Tristia Hennessey describes possibilities for using chatbots trained on internal data to help with performance support. Chatbots are an area to watch, especially as the technology continues to improve. There’s opportunity for instructional designers to help support organizations using these AI chatbots.
Ethan Mollick reflects on possible ways AI might affect skills. It could be a leveler, reducing the differences between the top and bottom performers. it could be an escalator, raising everyone’s skills fairly consistently. Or, it could be akingmakerer,” elevating a small number of power users as the top performers who get the most out of AI. While this isn’t written from a training perspective, it has implications for how the L&D field might change in the future.
Selected quotes from “Everyone is above average”:
Modern professional work consists of a wide range of activities, rather than a single specialization…
AI acts as a leveler, raising everyone to a minimum level of performance…
Just because early results for AI suggest that only lower performing people benefit does not mean that this is the only possible pattern. It may be that the reason only lower performers gain from AI currently is because the current AI systems are not good enough to help top performers. Or, alternately, it might be that top performers need more training and work to get benefits from AI. If either of these conditions prove true, and they certainly seem plausible, then AI might act more as an escalator, increasing the skills for everyone, from top to bottom performers. After an adjustment period, the relative skill positions stay similar, but everyone gets more done, faster…
Alternately, it might be that some people are just really good at working with AI. They can adopt Cyborg practices better than others and have a natural (or learned) gift for working with LLM systems.-Ethan Mollik
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An AI tools database for learning and development, categorized by the type of tool. This database currently has 400+ tools.
An example of interactive fiction built in Twine. This isn’t exactly a training branching scenario, and there isn’t always a clearly right answer. While I don’t want to give any spoilers, this deals with some mental health topics that probably justify a content warning.
From structural perspective, I like how the choices themselves are pretty short, but the actual dialogue is often a little longer. I also think the layout works effectively with a look like chat bubbles, but just having the choices at the bottom and not bothering with scrolling or fancy animation. Behind the scenes, there’s clearly some scoring happening to reflect how Hana feels, how she responds, and what ending you see.
This was also interesting because you make choices for multiple characters who interact with Hana, rather than seeing it from her perspective. Again without giving spoilers, this story structure might be helpful for dealing with other sensitive topics like DEI.
Stephanie Harnett has rebuilt Cathy Moore’s classic “Connect with Haji Kamal” example in Storyline (with Cathy’s permission). The original branching scenario relied on Flash, so it hasn’t been fully available to play through for several years. I’m glad Stephanie has made it available again as an example.
More on scenarios and games
Escape Room Activity Pushes Boundaries of Nursing Education at IWU | Illinois Wesleyan Interesting description of how the Illinois Wesleyan University (where I graduated) School of Nursing created an escape room using a mannequin to reinforce learning about medication administration. One thing I appreciate in this description is how it’s clear that the clues were placed in ways to reinforce the content, not just as a completely artificial escape room concept disconnected from the learning.
This article provides an overview of evidence-based principles for creating scenarios to support learning. Parts of this article are based on an interview that the author, Jiani Wu, conducted with me on the topic of scenarios.
Research on videos for learning
The research on the value of a talking head with instructional videos is mixed. It can improve the sense of teacher presence and learner satisfaction, but it may also increase cognitive load and interfere with remembering.
Results revealed detrimental effects of talking heads on the recall of factual knowledge covered in the videos. Interestingly, participants rated their perceived learning as being higher for videos with talking head. Furthermore, participants assigned higher satisfaction scores to videos with talking heads and selected them more frequently when choosing between different formats…
Higher levels of teacher presence have been positively associated with student satisfaction and student perceptions of learning…
Findings suggest that combining talking heads and annotations in asynchronous video lectures yielded the longest watch time, and highest satisfaction, engagement, and attitude scores.