Every time a brand new and revolutionary tech knocks at an industry’s doors, everyone is a bit skeptical about it.
Intelligent assistants were no exception. In fact, they didn’t start as well as everyone hoped.
They appeared clunky and inconsistent, unable to understand human interaction and provide the best answers.
Having said that, over the past couple of years, things have changed for the better. The intelligent virtual assistant market will be worth $19.6 billion by 2025.
This tech has many diverse applications, but we are going to focus on the use of intelligent assistants in online training.
How will these smart assistants affect LMS software? Will they bring any changes to the use cases of employee training software and its capabilities?
How will the future of online training with intelligent assistants look like in general? Let’s find the answers to these questions.
Instant meaningful feedback
Instant feedback during the learning process and the very assessment bear many benefits for learners. Effectiveness of training is important for companies because they invest resources and assets into it.
Meaningful feedback via employee training software can be achieved via a trainer who is always there to provide feedback, or by displaying pre-built feedback in specific pass/fail scenarios.
To achieve the best results, the feedback has to be meaningful. In other words, it has to target specific individual needs related to the specific learning or assessment task at hand.
The benefits of this practice are many, both for the organization and the learners:
- Learners can create a more effective learning strategies.
- Companies can discover more efficient training practices.
- Promotes independent learning.
- Promotes interactions.
- Motivates learners to stay on track.
- Improves course engagement.
Armed with natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent assistants are capable of providing meaningful feedback on the go, serving multiple course attendees at a time.
Since they can be used with a standardized learning platform such as LMS software, they don’t require special care from the IT department and can be used seamlessly.
Automation of instructors’ tasks
Employee training software comes with many automated features that make the life of instructors considerably easier.
Nevertheless, instructors are still able to manually review reports, discover trends, assess the course attendance, completion times, and performance.
In many instances, trainers are also in charge of the grading and improvement of learning methods for each individual enrolled in a course. This puts a lot of pressure on trainers and eats up a great chunk of their time.
Intelligent assistants are not here to replace instructors in the online learning environment. It is quite the opposite, they are here to help them achieve better results. How? Through process automation.
Smart assistants are capable of automating all the processes we discussed above.
And, more importantly, they can instantly notify instructors about specific developments (low attendance, bad performance, and so on).
Enhanced learning experience
Modern LMS software solutions are moving away from SCROM software specification to Tin Can. This allows any organization to benefit even more from employee training software.
Tin Can enables learning platforms to track and record every learning activity and use this information to gain a better understanding of learners and improve the training even more down the line.
However, it takes a lot of effort to go through the Tin Can database and review the learning experience of each course attendee.
Intelligent assistants are able to do this automatically.
They work well with Tin Can-enabled LMS tools. In the future, we can expect to see smart assistants capable of analyzing the data Tin Can generates to deliver customized learning paths for each learner.
It appears the AI assistants are the future of individualized learning.
Easy implementation with LMS software
LMS software solutions have seen some major updates in the last couple of years.
Thanks to cloud technology, organizations can now benefit from cloud-based LMS platforms and make online learning easily accessible and convenient.
Smart assistants can be implemented in systems that require human to human interaction.
Fortunately, cloud-based LMS tools involve interactions in many forms – direct chat with instructors, message boards, group chats, and so on.
Since intelligent assistants are nothing more than just an additional piece of software, you can seamlessly integrate them with existing solutions.
Many smart assistants are cloud-based as well, and they provide full functionality just by inserting a piece of code in an existing solution.
The ball is in the chatbot companies’ court, and we can safely assume that they will extend the functionality of their smart assistants to cater to the needs of the e-learning industry.
Optimized information flow
When it comes to training in the business ecosystem, organizations are always on the lookout for new and more effective ways of sharing information and making it easier for employees to find what they need.
The giants in the smart assistant field such as Google, Amazon, and Apple are already leveraging their assistants to help users find the necessary information as quickly as possible.
What is the future role of these assistants in online training in terms of information accessibility?
During training, many learners ask questions, look for specific information, submit research papers, and solve problems.
Unfortunately, all this data becomes irrelevant once the course is over. In the future, digital assistants will be able to use this data to provide instant answers to learners.
Perfectly timed support for simulations
Organizations always strive to find experienced and knowledgeable employees. Providing training to employees can get real expensive if it has to be done with real machines and materials.
This is why simulations and scenarios have become important in employee training.
One of the major problems of this approach is that most scenarios and simulations are procedural, and learners have to successfully complete the previous steps to make progress.
Digital assistants can prove useful in procedural learning. They can be programmed to provide advice to struggling learners.
For instance, an intelligent assistant can monitor time elapsed for each task and jump in to provide relevant advice to a learner who has spent too much time on that particular task.
Benefits of smart tech synergy
In the future, intelligent assistants will be able to tap into all sorts of data and analyze it.
Smart technology is rapidly evolving and the data it generates can help intelligent assistants become even better at helping online learners overcome obstacles.
Can an instructor know that a specific assessment is causing too much stress to the workers? Of course, he can’t.
But if the workers wear smartwatches, an intelligent assistant can see their blood pressure and heart rate when exposed to stressful assignments and learning materials in specific scenarios.
These assistants are also able to gauge the workers’ schedules and project assignments and provide them with relevant learning materials to help them complete their tasks successfully.
Group collaboration and learning made easier
It is a common practice to assign a team leader to any team undergoing training. These leaders are assigned tasks crucial for the learning process.
The tasks range from providing guidance and instructions to facilitating group collaboration and direction.
It is safe to assume that digital assistants will be able to help these leaders accomplish those objectives, if not replace them completely. Why?
Because intelligent assistants are able to compile reports and provide resources that a group needs to continue collaboration.
Otherwise, they’d have to stop collaborating and get to those resources individually.
Incentivizing learners to progress
One of the major concerns regarding online employee training is motivation. Many companies struggle with finding the perfect motivational methods and learning how to time them.
Intelligent assistants are capable of tracking the progress of every individual involved in the course in real-time.
These smart digital aids can see when someone is struggling. They can also compare the past scores with the current ones and identify discrepancies between them.
When this happens, intelligent assistants step in to encourage learners to continue on their path.
This encouragement can come in different forms – motivational quotes, past results, course completion rate, and other relevant stats.
Benefits for learners with special needs
Many organizations employ workers with special needs. Organizing effective training for them can turn into a daunting task that requires additional resources.
Ultimately there is no guarantee that they will receive the course very well, given their condition.
Intelligent assistants ensure that learners with special needs get the most out of an online employee training experience.
Thanks to the NLP and voice capabilities, they can read the course instructions and text to visually challenged learners.
They can also identify the best learning resources and suggest them to learners with special needs.
As you can see, the future of intelligent assistants in online learning looks very bright.
Thanks to their versatility, seamless LMS software integration, and numerous applications, smart assistants will be able to enhance every aspect of online learning.
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker.