User-generated elearning content meets artificial intelligence
From 0 to 100 in 60 seconds – create learning content faster than ever with blish!
Creating and digitising learning content has never been this easy. The days of substandard corporate e-learning courses are over. The new imc product claims as much. Starting in the first quarter of 2021, blish! – publish all you know! lets absolutely anyone quickly produce didactically prepared learning content with ease.
We spoke to Oliver Nussbaum about how exactly that is meant to work, and what exactly sets blish! apart from traditional authoring tools. The Managing Director at imc in Austria was instrumental in the development of the software.
Hello Oli! Thank you for taking the time. What is the idea behind blish! and where did the product come from?
Authoring tools have been around for over 20 years, it’s an established software category. What has, however, increased dramatically in recent years is the need for user-generated content: Learning content created directly by various knowledge holders in a company.
Digitising knowledge and making it accessible to everyone is a major challenge in any company. Yet, this options simply didn’t exist. That is why we developed blish!
What is the difference between blish! and authoring tools like imc Content Studio?
To put this into perspective: An authoring tool is like Photoshop. It allows you to do very complex things. You can move every pixel separately. You can fine-tune every shade in every cropped image. Yet, without prior knowledge or some initial training, the program will simply overwhelm you.
In comparison, blish! is like an Instagram filter. You have an image that you want to post, and simply want to optimise it quickly. Instagram will automatically suggest various filters, you select one of them ... and you’re done. Instagram handles the design task.
Applying that same concept to Content Studio and blish! means that you need to know your way around authoring tools to use them. You need certain skills. Once you acquire them, you can access a wealth of configuration options.
You can test things and design learning content exactly to your liking. Meanwhile, blish! is geared towards a much broader user group. It is intuitive and requires no prior knowledge.
Why not simply use PowerPoint?
PowerPoint doesn’t help with didactic conceptual design, implementation or presentation. The company can store its own corporate design in blish! which is then automatically adopted. What’s more, the software leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to identify what type of content is being prepared, and places the contents in the corresponding templates.
What are the greatest challenges for people not dealing with learning content creation on a regular basis?
There are three aspects. First of all, 95% of the people don’t have the slightest inkling of good design. That may sound harsh, but it’s true.
Secondly, few people understand how to structure learning content didactically. How can I design my training to ensure that people enjoy it and remember it well? How do I package all that into an interesting and conclusive process? Those key points are extremely important for the conceptual design while also requiring significant time investment.
Finally, there’s a technology hurdle. Most people are overwhelmed when a software offers too many features. They don’t have the time or energy to really learn about them, and will struggle to figure it out. That’s a motivation killer.
This is why we set blish! up to “dictate good design”. Instead of making the user deal with countless possibilities, AI makes the decision for them and optimises content realisation.
Say, for example, you want to describe a product. You simply select the product description template and the software will give instructions, such as: “Enter a short text that describes your product in one sentence.”
Are there other applications that use AI?
Absolutely. It’s a major topic in the creation of barrier-free content. blish! uses AI to automatically set the right tags in the background to every image you insert to correctly describe and store the image.
For instance, if you insert a picture of a red cat, words like “animal”, “cat”, or “red cat” are automatically tagged. Naturally, that also allows other users to find your image directly if they do a search for “cat”.
blish! can also play any spoken text directly – that’s known as text-to-speech – or describe images using the tags. It goes without saying that the software can be used optimally on any device, it s both adaptive and responsive.
How does the creation of multilingual content work?
That was a key aspect for us. What usually happens is this: You prepare something and send it to a translation agency. When you receive the translated text back, you have to return it to the presentation format.
With blish!, you simply tick the box for the additional languages you want to prepare the training in. The training course is then automatically and directly translated, staying with the corresponding layout. While it will still need a linguistic review, the time savings are enormous.
Can I integrate the content I created with blish! directly into the learning management system?
Of course! It only takes one click, and works with all learning systems. Now, the big advantage with our LMS is that it supports automated import with shared users and rights management. But we also operate SCORM and xAPI interfaces.
OK, in a nutshell, who can or should work with blish!?
blish! really is suitable for everyone – from marketing manager to apprentice, from consultant to production line workers. Every company can use the software to digitalise its knowledge. We equally see great potential for schools and universities. blish! is made for anyone who wants to share and digitalise information and knowledge.
Our mission is to enable all employees to create great learning content by themselves to make poor e-learning content a thing of the past!
Thanks for your time Oli and let's blish!
More about blish!
I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019. Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.
To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.
Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot. I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.