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AI course creators: the good, the bad and the ugly

Ready to use AI to generate courses? This guide gives expert advice on what to look for in the best AI course creators and the red flags to watch out for. AI is going to disrupt the learning industry, will you be on the front foot?

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AI course creators: the good, the bad and the ugly
May 30, 2023
AI course creators: the good, the bad and the ugly

So, you want to save yourself some time and build a course using AI? Here’s what you need to know to choose the best AI course creator, and red flags to watch out for.

What are AI course creators?

Also known as AI course generators and AI course designers – there's a range of tools out there claiming to be able to rustle up a whole course in a matter of minutes. But their capabilities vary hugely.

Why embrace AI for course design and creation?

Let’s be honest – some aspects of course design are a little dull. Building questions from content, researching the subject, chasing SMEs for content, updating content...the list goes on.

AI is here, and it opens a world of opportunities for you to focus on the more valuable, stimulating and creative stuff.

5 things L&D can do when AI designs and builds courses for you.

In general, there are some great benefits to using AI for building courses – but of course these will depend on the tool you are using. Here are some of the major ones:

  • Speed – you can design and build courses in minutes, not weeks or months
  • Free up time to focus on higher impact activities – with AI doing the drudge work, you can focus on things that will really make a difference, such as delivery, strategy and data-based optimisation.
  • You don’t have to start from a blank slate – AI is not going to give you the perfect course, but it’ll catapult you over the tricky getting started gate and give you something good to work from.
  • New ideas – using AI can give you content and ideas that you may not have thought of.
  • Cost saving – AI can help keep the cost of course creation down
  • Do more with less – all those learning requirements that have been stuck in the backlog...AI can help you free them up!

Where AI for course creation goes wrong

Like everything, not all AI course generators are made equal. Each has a slightly different focus and will have its own pros and cons.

Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Lack of alignment to objectives. To be effective, learning experiences need to be tied to clear transfer objectives. In a workplace context, objectives need to be about the behaviours you want to see on the job. Unless the AI considers this, it won’t generate a course that will deliver the right results.
  • Only focusing on content – a major problem in L&D is the over reliance on sharing content. There are too many learning programmes that overload participants with content and expect that to result in them being better at their jobs. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. AI has the potential to fuel this already out of control fire. More content generated faster is not going to lead to better results because it doesn’t support learning transfer.
  • Claiming to be the finished product – if an AI tool claims to give you a course ready to launch to learners – think again. Your specific context, your learners needs, the objectives of your learning programme are unique to you. You need to take the time to validate, tweak and personalise the content so that it hits the mark.
  • Lack of evidence-based approach – there are a lot of AI tools for L&D cropping up without any solid learning theory behind their approach, or relying on discredited learning theories (e.g. learning styles).

What do the best AI course creators include?

The best AI course creators for workplace learning will do the following:

  • Follow an evidence-based approach to learning design
  • Help you define clear transfer objectives based on the audience and skills you’re aiming to develop
  • Design the content based on your context and learning goals (not just a generic statement)
  • Do the heavy lifting of content creation for you
  • Keep the content light to avoid cognitive overload
  • Go beyond content to support with learning transfer, e.g.:

  • Supports work-based actions to transfer knowledge to skills in the workplace
  • Prompts engagement with mentors and coaches for feedback

Compare AI course creation tools

It’s always worth comparing a few tools against each other. Here’s an overview of what Stellar Labs’s AI boosted platform does - see how the alternatives stack up!

Compare against Stellar Labs

The Stellar Labs platform is unique in its focus on learning transfer. Co-founded by Stella Collins, the neuroscience for learning expert, it takes an evidence-based approach to designing and building learning journeys that help build skills, not just knowledge.

AI is used to support this transfer, not just churn out content.

Stellar Labs uses AI to:

✅ Suggest detailed behavioural outcomes (a.k.a transfer objectives) based on your audience and skills you wish to build

✅ Design and build courses based on the agreed objectives, using an evidence-based structure for the learning journey

✅ Bake in ingredients for learning transfer into every programme

✅ Generate questions for quizzes and spaced repetition, to help knowledge stick

Take our AI course creator for a spin – request a free trial.

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