October 2023 Newsletter

Is ChatGPT the Real Deal?

Recently I was delighted to speak at the Tech Learn conference in New Orleans. Several speakers, including me, presented their opinions and strategies for using ChatGPT in the design and development of training. Using highly structured, detailed prompts as well as more open-ended prompts, training professionals are experimenting with the benefits of having an AI assistant on the design team. 

I think of ChatGPT as an eager, enthusiastic, and sometimes very misguided assistant. Yes, it can churn out content as fast as lightning. No, you can’t always rely on ChatGPT to get it right. It “hallucinates” when it doesn’t have the facts and occasionally spits out very convincing but completely erroneous content.  

ChatGPT uses a language processing model, and it is powered by a deep neural network (which has been compared to the human brain). One of the most engaging ways to use this chatbot is to hold discussions with it to refine the output it has prepared. If you question its results, ChatGPT will look again at your prompt and then present a modified response. 

I enjoy using ChatGPT to take a first pass at drafting objectives, outlines, or reports. Then I read the output very carefully to ensure that it accurately reflects the information I want to include. Think of ChatGPT as your design partner. It can help you by: 

  • Generating ideas, questions, and analogies
  • Analyzing information
  • Developing objectives and outlines
  • Creating scenarios 
  • Editing content
  • Repurposing content

Our next NetSpeed Nuggets session, Leveraging ChatGPT to Enhance Virtual Training, will explore the many uses of ChatGPT and help you gain new strategies to increase your productivity. Join us in on Wednesday, November 15, at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT. Registration is required. 

Cynthia Clay

Virtual Trainer Tips: Handling Challenging Questions and Comments

At a conference I attended last month, I observed two speakers demonstrating examples of adaptive learning from their training programs. About halfway through the session, a fellow participant raised her hand and challenged them directly about whether the examples they were showing reflected adaptive learning. 

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We think our session is flowing smoothly when suddenly one challenging participant contradicts what we’re saying. How should you respond? 

In this real-life example, the presenter looked quite taken aback. Then she repeated exactly what she had already said, more emphatically and quite a bit faster. Her co-presenter jumped in to back her up and essentially repeated the same talking points. And then they simply moved on to their next point. 

While they may have dodged the challenge, their ineffective response seemed to betray an air of defensiveness. You know what they could have done differently? They could have engaged the challenging participant by asking her to explain her definition of adaptive learning. Then they could have acknowledged her observation without defending themselves. And they might have invited her to stay after the presentation to explore their differing opinions more fully. 

The dialogue might have sounded like this: 

Challenging Participant: I’m not sure any of these examples actually demonstrate adaptive learning. 

Presenter: Really? That’s an interesting observation. Would you share your definition of adaptive learning with us? 

Challenging Participant: Adaptive learning allows learners to skip content that doesn’t meet their learning needs. You just showed an example where you forced the learner to view content that they wanted to skip. 

Presenter: That’s a fair point. We believe that adaptive learning methods can give the learner greater control over what they learn and how they learn content. However, in this example, we also wanted to ensure that every learner reviewed the key content before proceeding. I’d be happy to explore this more with you after the session, if you’d like to stick around and chat. 

A less defensive response to the challenging participant would have actually increased our knowledge as fellow participants. And the challenging participant would have felt included rather than having her challenge dismissed. 

It’s not always easy to handle challenging comments and questions, but take a deep breath, and choose to engage in a conversation. Then you can gently steer back to your presentation.


NetSpeed Nuggets

Join us at the next NetSpeed Nuggets virtual session. This 30-minute, rapid learning sessions will introduce strategies and tactics that increase your effectiveness in the virtual workplace.

Leveraging ChatGPT for Enhanced Virtual Training

What if you could have an able assistant at your side, willing to research, write drafts, suggest options, edit content, and create scenarios? If you are an instructional designer, someone who creates presentations, or facilitates virtual training, ChatGPT might just offer you greater efficiency, creativity, and productivity. If you want to generate ideas, questions, and analogies; analyze information; develop objectives; draft outlines; create scenarios; edit or repurpose content, then this session is for you. Plan to Join Cynthia Clay for an engaging, fast-paced exploration of the promises and pitfall of ChatGPT.

Wednesday, November 15th, 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT. 30 minutes. Complimentary.

Learn More and Register

Become a Certified Online Learning Facilitator

Now is the time to build stronger virtual facilitation skills!

The Nov/Dec 2023 Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course is now open for enrollment.

This popular course has received rave reviews from participants as it provides a deep dive into best practices for virtual facilitation and design.

Now it's your turn to rock the virtual classroom! The Nov/Dec course opens on Thursday, Nov 6th with the first webinar on Thursday, Nov 13th.

Become a Virtual Producer

Every virtual facilitator needs a capable virtual training producer.

As a skilled virtual training producer, you perform a critical role by supporting the virtual facilitator behind the scenes, manage the technology that can sometimes distract from the online learning experience and free the facilitator to focus on the content and the learners’ needs.

Develop your skills in our September Virtual Producer Training! Class starts Tuesday, Nov 14th. Pre-webinar assignments start Tuesday, Nov 7th.

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One Final Thought

Download our ebook, Create Great Hybrid and Virtual Training for tips and practical techniques for hybrid training.

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