How AI is Removing Obstacles to Course Creation

Everyone is talking about AI and how it is changing education – and I’ll leave those conversations to the experts – but I thought it might be fun to share the ways AI is making course creation easier for me.

Two Obstacles to Course Development

The development of course content, from written content to scripting videos, is a time-intensive task that requires a lot of energy and effort from SMEs – who generally speaking, are busy people! I have found that a lot of SMEs find it easier to edit than to produce, so creating some content for them to edit is a strategy that I’ve used in the past.


Historically for me, two things have gotten in the way:

  1. the time it takes me to research the information to draft something semi-useful and,
  2. the confidence to show my non-expert draft to an expert!


Thanks to tools like ChatGPT and – both of those challenges are not as much of an obstacle as they used to be!


I can now quickly create content using assets like textbooks and journal articles suggested by the SME to draft content that will address the learning outcomes and objectives of the course. So far, I’ve had positive feedback from SMEs who appreciate having content to edit. Sometimes they make minor tweaks and add examples, other times they completely rewrite the content – but they appreciate having a draft to work from as it has helped to speed up the content development process.


Another challenge that I have experienced was drafting assessments, even simple multiple choice questions. I realized that I didn’t have the confidence or knowledge as a non-expert to create assessments that were accurate and appropriate for the level of learning expected. Again, my goal in creating these assessments was to reduce the workload of the SME and provide some examples of the types of questions that we could ask. Now, it is of course possible for a non-expert to draft questions, but in my experience it took a lot of time to learn and research the content well enough to create meaningful assessment questions.


But now, with the use of tools like ChatGPT, I am much more confident in drafting questions. I can prompt ChatGPT to draft questions based on content, or draft my own questions and see if the AI tool can answer them. It really does feel like I have a backup expert to check my work. Of course, the tool doesn’t always get the level of complexity right (sometimes the questions can be way too obvious) and the questions I draft have to be checked and confirmed by a real expert, but having a tool fact check my drafts has made me much more confident in presenting my questions to an expert.


My next quest is to use AI to create course images. I am a big fan of having visuals in courses (aren’t we all?), but sourcing the images that are most appropriate for the content can be time consuming and/or expensive. I know that AI can assist in this area by generating or suggesting relevant images based on the course content and can even create custom graphics and illustrations.



I decided to begin my image quest by creating an image for this blog post using ChatGPT 4. I went through several iterations of the prompt for this image to get it looking a little bit more like how I currently look writing this blog. And while this avatar does not really look like me, she sure has similar caffeine habits!


How are you using AI to create courses? Do you have any tools that you like to use? Please share your comments below – I’d love to hear about other course creators’ experience and suggestions!


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