AI Reflections and Tools, Scenarios: ID Links 11/7/23

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.

AI Reflections and Tools, Scenarios: ID Links 11/7/2023
A robot sits on the stone bench around a fountain of water in a lush park. The robot is looking down at its reflection in the water.

Reflections on AI, skills, and performance support

Custom AI Chatbots: 4 Powerful Applications for Employee Performance Support – Evolve Solutions Group |

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.

Everyone is above average

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

AI tools

Transcript.LOL – Summary, Topics, & Ask Questions

Automatic transcripts including speaker identification plus summaries and additional info. Post the link to a recording, and it can transcribe it for you. This AI transcription tool has different levels of paid plans for larger volumes of media and additional features.

Blockade Labs Skybox – AI-Generated 3D Worlds

Generate 360 images for free

AI Learning and Development | Simulations

An AI tools database for learning and development, categorized by the type of tool. This database currently has 400+ tools.

Example scenarios

Hana Feels

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.

The Return of Haji Kamal

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.

The Art and Science of Scenario Design: An Evidence-Based Framework — MAGIC

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

Should Instructional Videos Include a Talking Head?

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.

Additional resources

Check out my complete library of links or my previous bookmarks posts.

2 thoughts on “AI Reflections and Tools, Scenarios: ID Links 11/7/23”

  1. Nice summary! I was also wondering if the talking head would be supportive or not in a training. I developed a sample VR training with an invisible AI module I could talk to, after thinking that a scary looking avatar may look somehow creepy and distract from trianing. But as soon as the avatars look friendly and realistic, I can think of using these all the time for better connection to the user/student. And for children, it would be amazing for them to learn from their idol-figures, wouldn’t it?

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