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Many instructional designers worry AI is going to replace them. But AI is a complementary tool that can boost productivity and efficiency. Here’s how.

Embracing AI in Instructional Design: Top Productivity Benefits

Last month, our team attended ATD 2024, the premier event for talent development professionals worldwide. And artificial intelligence (AI) reigned supreme.

It seemed that almost every session touched on AI in at least some capacity – and rightfully so. AI is here to stay. It’s revolutionizing the way we live our lives and learning and development is no different.

However, many instructional design professionals may feel weary about embracing these tools. They may feel ill-equipped to use them. Or even worse – that AI is going to replace them and take their jobs. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Artificial intelligence is a complement – not a replacement – tool for instructional designers. And many instructional designers are surprised to find how beneficial these tools are for increasing productivity and efficiency. Here are some top ways AI can help instructional designers.

Adaptive learning experiences

One of the most significant advantages of AI in instructional design is its ability to personalize learning experiences. Traditional educational models often adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, which can leave some learners disengaged or struggling to keep up. AI, however, can analyze vast amounts of data to understand individual learners' needs, preferences, and progress.


  • Adaptive learning paths: AI algorithms can create customized learning paths, adjusting content and pacing based on the learner's performance. This ensures that each learner receives the right level of challenge and support, enhancing engagement and retention.
  • Targeted feedback: AI can provide real-time, personalized feedback, helping learners understand their mistakes and guide them toward improvement. This immediate response is crucial for effective learning.
  • Learner autonomy: With AI, learners can have more control over their educational journey. They can choose topics that interest them, set their own pace, and revisit material as needed, fostering a more engaging and self-directed learning experience.

Streamlining administrative tasks

Administrative tasks can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Enrollments, certificate delivery, and grouping can make admins wish they had another employee. AI can streamline and optimize these tasks, saving L&D professionals tons of time.


  • Automated grading and assessment: AI can automate the grading process, especially for objective assessments like multiple-choice quizzes. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency and objectivity in grading. For more subjective assessments, AI can assist by providing initial evaluations, which instructors can then review and adjust as needed.
  • Streamlined enrollment and scheduling: AI can manage enrollment processes, track course registrations, and handle scheduling. This ensures that classes are balanced, resources are optimally utilized, and learners are placed in courses that match their skill levels and learning paths.
  • Efficient resource management: AI can help in managing and allocating educational resources, such as textbooks, e-learning materials, and classroom spaces. By analyzing usage patterns and predicting future needs, AI ensures that resources are available when and where they are needed most.
  • Enhanced communication: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle routine inquiries from learners, providing instant responses to common questions about course content, deadlines, and technical issues. This reduces the administrative burden on instructional designers and support staff, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

Data analysis

Data is a powerful tool in instructional design, providing insights that can drive improvements in both teaching methods and learner outcomes. But interpreting that data, even with graphs and pie charts, can sometimes be challenging to make sense of. AI can help collect, analyze, and interpret data for more informed decision-making.


  • Learner analytics: AI can track and analyze a wide range of learner behaviors, from engagement levels to knowledge retention. This data helps instructional designers understand how learners interact with the material and where they might be struggling.
  • Predictive analytics: By analyzing past data, AI can predict future trends and outcomes. This allows instructional designers to proactively address potential issues, such as identifying learners at risk of falling behind and implementing interventions before problems escalate.
  • Continuous improvement: Data-driven insights enable a continuous improvement cycle. Instructional designers can use AI to evaluate the effectiveness of their courses, make evidence-based adjustments, and measure the impact of those changes over time.

Faster content creation

Of all the things on this list, content and course creation may be the most valuable. AI can help designers create courses on topics they have no knowledge on, saving weeks of time in just research alone.

And depending on the system, AI can also create entire courses and quizzes in minutes complete with assessments and pictures, amounting to hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars saved per year.


  • Automated content generation: AI-powered tools can assist in generating quizzes, summaries, and even full lesson plans. These tools can analyze existing content and create new materials that align with the learning objectives.
  • Intelligent content curation: AI can sift through vast amounts of online resources to curate content that is most relevant and useful for learners. This ensures that instructional designers have access to the best and most up-to-date materials without spending countless hours searching for them.
  • Content optimization: AI can analyze learner interactions with the content to identify which parts are most effective and which need improvement. This data-driven approach allows instructional designers to continually refine and enhance their materials.


Scalability is a critical challenge in instructional design, especially as educational institutions and corporate training programs grow. The need to deliver high-quality, personalized learning experiences to a large and diverse audience can be daunting. However, AI offers powerful solutions to scale instructional design effectively without compromising on quality.


  • Mass personalization: AI can analyze data from thousands of learners to create personalized learning paths for each individual. This means that even as the number of learners increases, each person can still receive a tailored educational experience. AI-driven platforms can adapt content delivery, recommend resources, and provide personalized feedback at scale.
  • Efficient content distribution: AI can help manage and distribute content across various platforms and devices. This ensures that learners can access materials seamlessly, whether they are using a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. By automating content distribution, AI ensures that updates and new materials are instantly available to all learners.
  • Automated administrative tasks: As the number of learners grows, so does the administrative workload. AI can automate many of these tasks, such as enrollment, scheduling, and tracking progress. This reduces the administrative burden on instructional designers and support staff, allowing them to focus on creating and refining content.

AI is an asset that every L&D professional should leverage

Struggling to keep up with your content schedule? Dealing with too many manual tasks? Need to get your L&D program up and running fast? These are signs that you should consider an LMS system with AI capabilities. From adaptive learning to automating manual admin tasks, AI can be an instructional designer’s new best friend for increasing productivity and efficiency.

Check out Dizi, the content assistant that creates courses in seconds


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