How ‘Creator’ Platforms, ChatGPT Are Transforming Corporate Learning

By Dave Zielinski May 30, 2023

​The learning and development (L&D) team at ZoomInfo, a software company in Vancouver, Wash., had a dilemma. The team wanted to start creating short instructional videos to help new customers and employees learn the ins and outs of using the ZoomInfo platform. But while these learning professionals had an abundance of instructional design and teaching expertise, they had few video production skills.

The team resolved that problem when they discovered an artificial intelligence-powered video-editing app that enables not only L&D practitioners but subject matter experts (SMEs) outside of the training function to quickly create and distribute high-quality learning videos.

Vince Gorski, manager of learning and development for ZoomInfo, said his team now uses the video-editing platform from vendor Descript to create instructional videos that range from basic tips to the most advanced features of the ZoomInfo platform.

"Video production is new to our team, so having simple, easy-to-understand editing functionality was critical," Gorski said. "The tool has a screen-recording feature and can transcribe while recording, and also allows us to edit video content the same way you edit a text document, so it's super easy."

Creator Platforms, ChatGPT Transform Learning

New video-editing apps, along with ChatGPT and "creator" platforms developed by learning technology vendors, are helping organizations meet the growing need for workforce reskilling by expanding the pool of experts who can quickly create learning content. Vendors with creator platforms that enable employees to author learning content include Fuse Universal, 360Learning, Articulate, Udemy and more.

A Gartner survey of HR leaders found that learning and development is one of their top targets for investment this year. The survey also found that L&D offerings aren't keeping up with the pace of change in organizations, and that less than half of employees surveyed agree that the learning their companies provide is relevant to them.

Josh Bersin, a global industry analyst and CEO of HR advisory firm The Josh Bersin Company, said creator platforms allow regional L&D teams and SMEs to create and distribute training that's customized to local needs faster than corporate learning functions can.

"These tools are meeting a huge demand for training that corporate learning departments often aren't able to fulfill," Bersin said.

For example, in the past if a sales manager wanted to create a short, custom training course to help sales staff develop certain skills, the manager would have to make a formal request to the learning department for it, Bersin said.

"But it might be three months or more before an instructional designer built that course, often because corporate learning is so busy or is under-resourced," he said. "By using a creator platform, an SME in sales could use AI-driven tools like ChatGPT or course templates to build a series of videos or lessons teaching those skills that might be ready in weeks rather than months."

Bersin knows of one European railroad company that's used a creator platform in that fashion. "A safety engineer in the company built a whole curriculum on safety protocols that was so successful it replaced most of the training created by the corporate learning function on the topic," he said. "There are many people who are skilled at authoring content and teaching others who don't work in the learning department."

Udemy's creator platform helps users assemble courses in a variety of formats, including a mix of video and text content, interactive elements like quizzes and practice tests, and supplementary resources, said Scott Rogers, senior vice president of supply strategy at Udemy.

Articulate's 360 authoring platform allows users to jump-start e-learning creation with pre-built courses and course templates. Designers can choose from thousands of templates—including popular topics like compliance and diversity, equity and inclusion—and customize content for specific company needs, according to an Articulate spokesperson. Users can export courses to a learning management system (LMS), the Web or other distribution tools.

To help nonlearning professionals build instructionally sound content, creator platforms offer design tips, guidelines and templates. Udemy, for example, has a lesson called "How to Create a Course" that has been completed by more than 900 aspiring instructors. Articulate offers training resources, support and a free community of learners called E-Learning Heroes to give novice instructional designers guidance as they build their first learning courses. 

Experts say HR or learning leaders considering investing in creator platforms should ensure the system has robust administrative and reporting tools. "Implementing these platforms turns people loose to build a large amount of new learning content, so you need good data reporting to determine which courses are working and which aren't," Bersin said.

Using ChatGPT to Build Learning Content

Many of these creator platforms now have built ChatGPT into their applications, allowing users to create learning courses, step-by-step tutorials, summaries of long-form content and quizzes by using prompts or questions posed to the AI tool. Articulate, for example, has embedded ChatGPT in its 360 course authoring tool.

"It helps speed up development and get creators past the 'blank page' challenge when sitting down to craft learning content," said an Articulate spokesperson. "AI is used as a thought partner to help speed the content writing process."

Bersin said those creator platforms that haven't yet incorporated ChatGPT-4—the technology's most recent version—likely soon will. "Most of the vendors are working on it," he said, citing one provider in particular—Sweden-based Sana Labs—as an innovator in using generative AI. "It's both an authoring system and a learning management system," Bersin said of Sana Labs. "Users can upload content like documents, checklists, process guides and PowerPoint slides, and the AI builds learning courses around the content."

Creator platforms also are now offering courses designed to teach employees how to use ChatGPT. Udemy, for example, already has 400 dedicated ChatGPT courses on its platform.

Power of Video-Editing Apps

In addition to creator platforms, L&D departments have a burgeoning number of video-editing apps like Descript—which soon will add ChatGPT-4 to its suite of editing tools—to choose from to create instructional videos. Descript uses a text-to-speech feature, automatically transcribing recordings in multiple languages. The system allows users to edit videos like they would a text document and to arrange visuals as they would on a presentations slide.

Harmony Jiroudek, customer success manager with Descript, said the growing need to reskill employees makes it important for L&D teams to have user-friendly video creation tools at their disposal. "Most L&D practitioners aren't professionally trained video editors," she said. "They need simple but powerful tools that help them save time and produce instructionally sound, engaging learning videos."

Gorski of ZoomInfo said using Descript has brought new efficiencies to his L&D team's video-production process. "Before finding the app we recorded content with one tool and edited in another, so we wasted a lot of time exporting and uploading files," Gorski said. "We love having the ability to complete the steps to produce training videos with just one tool."

Other features in the app make it easier to create high-quality video, Gorski said. "A tool called Studio Sound has been a game changer for us," he said. "With one click it removes background noise and enhances overall audio quality, making it sound like we're using a professional recording studio."

Dave Zielinski is principal of Skiwood Communications, a business writing and editing firm in Minneapolis.



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