AI for Distance Learning: Pros and Cons

Date: 11/06/2024| Category: FAQ|

In recent times, AI technology has become one of the most trending topics in society: from highlighting AI’s potential and limitations, to warning about its possible misuses, the topic of AI is constantly at the centre of conversations. In the realm of distance learning, AI can offer several benefits both to trainers and learners alike. It is a tool that can help professionals rethink how e-learning courses are offered. In this article, we identified 4 main areas of AI innovation and 4 major roadblocks to its implementation in the context of distance learning.

Personalised Learning Experience

The predictive capabilities of AI can transform distance learning courses into personalised learning experiences. In the future, AI could be used to better adapt online lessons to your proficiency and behavioural patterns. Thus, having different learning paths that better cater to your specific skills, competencies, and preferred learning methodologies.

Based on your proficiency, the course could adjust the amount of new information given. Adaptive lessons could better target your current level of knowledge, getting more complex as you gain sufficient expertise. Notions could be displayed in the format of content that is the most effective for you (as identified by the AI). Finally, AI can also be used to create flashcards and summaries that might help you in your memorisation process.

Overall, adaptive lessons could allow you to make progress at a steadier pace, increasing your knowledge organically, whilst not blocking your learning pace and allowing you to master specific concepts at your own pace.

Adaptive Tests

The benefits that adaptive learning can offer you are not limited to content creation and lesson structure, but also include taking exams and quizzes. In the future, your knowledge and comprehension could be tested with adaptive tests that are able to better assess your real knowledge of a topic, adapting the difficulty of each question to your performance.

In other words, if you correctly answer a question, the test will present you with harder questions that are worth more points, but if you are getting most questions wrong, the test will show you easier questions.

This method of scoring is able to score your preparation more accurately, removing factors like luck and bias. As of today, several high-level tests (e.g. Graduate Management Admission Test or short GMAT) have integrated adaptive technology to identify the best candidates for their programmes.

Intelligent Recommendations

Properly trained AI can offer you complementary and additional content (e.g., news, videos, articles, blogs, podcasts, academic papers), that are new learning opportunities outside the e-learning course. Being able to receive recommendations on content that could expand your knowledge in your preferred format (e.g., a podcast that you can listen to during the commute or an article that you can read in your spare time), might facilitate your comprehension and immersion in a specific topic.

Predictive Analysis

Finally, with its predictive capabilities, AI can invite you to send a notification so that you can receive personalised support if you are experiencing roadblocks or challenges in your training . This is particularly important in the context of distance learning, where the relationship between you and your trainer is mediated by a screen.

At QRP International we believe that AI could become an important tool for the arsenal of trainers, and that is why we are working towards a thorough analysis on how to best implement it in distance learning. However, we do not consider it to be a substitute for real-life human interaction. That is why we already offer and “Expert Support Line” function in our e-learning courses to help you overcome any roadblock you might have and get one step closer to your next certification.

Roadblocks to AI Integration in Distance Learning

AI can be a tool of incredible value for trainers and learners. However, at this point in time AI has not been fully integrated into distance learning courses because it carries several “cognitive traps” and technical roadblocks that are important to highlight.

Lack of Critical Thinking

The implementation of AI tools in the learning process could lead to reduced utilisation of your critical thinking skills. As an example, the introduction of simple AI tools in our lives has caused many users to over-rely on the capabilities of the tool. This is a dangerous trend because AI should be used to enhance humans and not to substitute them.

Uncertain Decision-making for Open-ended Questions

AI tools are able to instantly grade quizzes and tests, however AI tools have been proven to make mistakes when assessing open-ended questions. Furthermore, the reasons behind the evaluation that a machine can put forth are still uncertain. If the machine was the sole evaluator in deciding if you were to pass or fail an important certification exam, its decision could be easily contested, because it would be based on undefinable variables.

Need for an AI Expert

One of the major problems in implementing AI technology is that it is complex: a professional with technical knowledge is needed to create, implement, and constantly update an AI tool. If a company does not have an internal resource, it can either contract an external resource/agency or buy one of the premade AI tools available on the market. However, those are not tailored to your needs as a learner.

Furthermore, AI needs iterative implementation because there are always new discoveries, and an AI tool can become obsolete in a matter of months. To provide you with the best e-learning experience, constant re-work of the platform and its information is needed.

Cost and Ethical Considerations

Another major roadblock to AI implementation is the overall cost: from its creation to its training, implementation, and constant updates. Custom AI tools require a large amount of “relevant” data to be trained and become operative.

Nowadays, AI finds information online but that is not always the best course of action. If AI is trained with “garbage”, (e.g. biased, partial or incorrect data) the information you will learn during your e-learning course could actually be a detriment to your overall preparation.

Training AI with the “right” data is a costly operation in an ethically and legally grey area because the data the AI is “fed” is not owned by the companies that have created it. Further legislation will be introduced, but it is still an unknown variable.


In conclusion, AI tools will most probably become an important aspect of distance learning courses in the future but more analysis has to be conducted before identifying in which areas AI tools could be best fitted to offer a better learning experience for the end user.

At QRP International, we are always committed to offering you the best training possible, for that reason our trainers are taking the first steps in using AI processes. QRP has also established an AI committee that is helping the company integrate AI-assisted processes internally.

Many more steps will need to be taken before fully implementing AI functions in our training courses because our effort is, and will always be, first and foremost guided by our desire to give you the best and most satisfying experience possible.

Are you interested in learning more about our e-learning courses? Developed by QRP in-house experts, our fully accredited e-learning courses give you the freedom to learn when you want, where you want, as much as you want! For more information about QRP courses you can contact us!

If you want to learn more about AI applications in distance learning, read this related article that we used as one of our sources for this blog.

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