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Use AI to draft objectives and outlines

"How can designers use generative AI to draft learning objectives?"

"How can generative AI be used to create design outlines?"


From drafting objectives and brainstorming creative ideas to creating structured outlines, generative AI offers a wealth options for streamlining the design process. This lesson uncovers many ways in which generative AI empowers instructional designers to craft more effective, personalized, and engaging learning experiences, offering a glimpse into the future of educational design and innovation.


Through this lesson, you should be able to explore the use of AI in the design phase of a project.



How can designers use generative AI to draft learning objectives?


Generative AI can be a valuable tool for instructional designers when drafting learning objectives.


Scroll through the carousel to discover the benefits of using generative AI to draft learning objectives.


Ready to give it a try? Here's a step-by-step process for using generative AI to draft learning objectives:


Step 1: Define the course topic


Before utilizing generative AI, clearly define the subject or topic of the course. This includes understanding the target audience, their existing knowledge level, and what they need to learn.


Step 2: Research and gather input


Use generative AI to gather information related to the topic. Input queries about the latest trends, key concepts, and foundational knowledge in the subject area. This step helps ensure that the learning objectives are relevant and up-to-date.


Step 3: Draft initial learning objectives


Utilize the AI to draft initial learning objectives based on the gathered information. You can input commands like, “Generate learning objectives for a beginner-level course in [subject].” The AI will provide a list of potential objectives that can be refined later.


Step 4: Refine and align


Review and refine the AI-generated objectives. Ensure they align with the overall course goals and are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). This may involve rephrasing objectives for clarity and relevance.


Step 5: Integrate feedback


Use the AI to simulate potential learner feedback on the objectives. You can input the draft objectives and ask the AI to generate questions or concerns a learner might have. This step helps in further refining the objectives.


Step 6: Cross-reference with educational standards


If applicable, cross-reference the objectives with educational standards or industry benchmarks. The AI can assist by comparing the drafted objectives with known standards in the field.


Step 7: Iterate and improve


Continuously improve the objectives. As the course material evolves, use generative AI to update or modify the objectives to ensure they stay relevant and effective.


Step 8: Create assessment criteria


Finally, use AI to draft assessment criteria aligned with the learning objectives. This ensures that the methods used to evaluate learners are directly tied to what they are expected to achieve.


How can generative AI be used to create design outlines?


The integration of generative AI in instructional design, particularly in creating detailed design outlines, is revolutionizing how educational content is conceptualized and structured. Advantages of AI-driven design outlines include:

  • Precision and relevance: AI’s data-driven approach leads to precise and contextually relevant course outlines.

  • Time efficiency: AI reduces the time required for initial drafting, allowing more focus on customization and enhancement.

  • Adaptive learning paths: AI can modify content sequencing and instructional methods to suit different learning styles and needs.

  • Consistency in quality: AI ensures a consistent quality in the educational content across different courses and subjects.

But what are the specific ways generative AI assists in formulating outlines that include topics, timing estimates, learning objectives, content sequencing, instructional methods, and assessment strategies? Here’s a closer look.


Developing topics and timing estimates


Input the course’s subject and target audience into the AI. It can then generate a list of relevant topics, complete with estimated time allocations for each. This helps in creating a balanced curriculum that aligns with typical learning paces.


Formulating learning objectives


The AI can propose specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) learning objectives based on the course content. These objectives are generated by analyzing successful learning outcomes from similar courses.


Sequencing content effectively


AI algorithms can suggest an optimal sequence for presenting topics, ensuring a logical flow that builds upon learners' existing knowledge. This sequencing is crucial for maximizing understanding and retention.


Selecting instructional methods


Based on the course’s topics and objectives, AI can recommend a variety of instructional methods. These might include lectures, interactive sessions, group work, or digital resources, tailored to the content and learner demographics.


Designing assessment strategies


AI tools can generate diverse assessment strategies that align with the learning objectives. This includes traditional tests, practical assignments, peer reviews, or interactive quizzes, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of learner understanding.


Making dynamic adjustments and iterations


As the course progresses, AI can analyze learner performance and feedback, suggesting adjustments in the outline to better meet educational goals. This iterative process ensures the course remains relevant and effective.


Summary and next steps


Generative AI, in drafting learning objectives and crafting design outlines, serves as a powerful assistant, providing instructional designers with a robust starting point. By leveraging AI for the heavy lifting in outlining topics, timing, objectives, content sequencing, instructional methods, and assessments, designers can focus on enriching the course with their unique insights and expertise. As AI continues to evolve, its role in elevating the quality and efficiency of instructional design is bound to expand, making it an indispensable tool in a designer's toolkit.


Want to learn more about design? Consider completing all lessons in our free Design lesson series.

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