A Comparison of Instructor-Led Training with Virtual Instructor-Led Training

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Over the course of the last few months, we have published several blog posts on the role of virtual instructor-led training in organizations, and why more companies are beginning to embrace such modern training strategies, rather than a traditional Instructor-led training approach. The ability to include in-vogue microlearning and video-based learning modules to deliver employee learning are important factors. As the global workforce continues to battle the pandemic and remote / hybrid work environment becomes a norm rather than an exception; L&D teams are focusing more on enhancing their existing training content to help train their employees. In this blog post, we will compare the two formats of training, offer insights on developing better virtual instructor-led training, and reiterate why it is the way forward for organizations and L&D teams.

A Comparison of Instructor-Led Training with Virtual Instructor-Led Training
A Comparison of Instructor-Led Training with Virtual Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-Led Training Versus Virtual Instructor-Led Training 

Let us look at how the two training formats stack up against each other:

Instructor-Led Training (ILT)Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)
Requires the presence of a physical instructor and a traditional classroom-based learning approach.The instructor can appear online and communicate with the learners via Skype, Google Meet, or email. 
Requires a lot of planning by L&D and HR teams to facilitate the attendance of all relevant learners and the instructor to be available at the same time. This requires only a fair bit of planning for the learners and the instructor to be available online at the same time. Alternatively, learners can email their queries, which can be answered later by the instructor.
Traditional ILTs rely on the knowledge and presence of mind of the instructor to help learners with their queries.L&D teams or organizations with a bigger budget can incorporate an AI-powered chatbot within the program to help answer common questions raised by students. This requires a fair bit of time and investment. If done properly, it can significantly improve the learning experience.
Budget plays a key role for hiring a professional trainer, and arrangements for their accommodation and travel increases the overall costs of deploying the training program.The budget depends on what features you are integrating within the VILT. If you are going ahead with an AI-powered chatbot, based on the interactive programming / query-reply interface, the budget can shoot up. As stated earlier, if this is implemented properly, over a period of time you can recover the cost of development. 
Not conducive for self-paced learning.Can be designed to facilitate self-paced learning.
The same training content delivered by a different instructor or trainer can offer a different learning experience to the employees / learners.  Hence, the actual trainer or instructor plays a major role in creating a good learning experience. By using technological tools, resources, and modules, a more standardized and uniform learning experience can be delivered.
Not conducive for remote learning.Works perfectly for remote learning.
ILTs are not scalable. You can only teach about 15 to 20 participants in a direct classroom training program for effective learning.VILTs are scalable and can be suitably deployed for a larger audience when used in synchrony with a proper chatbot and self-paced learning in the form of videos or microlearning nuggets.
ILTs use outdated formats, and  PowerPoint presentations that are text-heavy, dull, and lackluster. VILTs are designed for the modern learner and are effective to counter the attention-deficit tag, and foster employee learning too.

As you can take note with the above, VILT is a much more scalable, engaging and sustainable training model. With VILT, there are many opportunities that can be leveraged to ensure superior learning outcomes.  

ALSO READ :   How to make an effective transition from ILT to VILT

The Elements of Effective Virtual Instructor-Led Training Program Design

To transition from ILT to VILT, there are a number of aspects to consider. Each one of them is critical in delivering an effective virtual instructor-led training.  We are listing the factors that define the course conversion process here  for your understanding. . In short, we would like to reiterate that simply taking your PPT to a web conferencing platform does not mean adopting a VILT strategy. Creating a module that encapsulates sound Instructional design is the essence. 

  • Course conversion is not taking your existing PowerPoint presentation and animating it with some voice-over added for effect.
  • The requirements of a self-paced learning program and an in-person classroom training program are vastly different.
  • Elements that work perfectly well with an  instructor may not necessarily work the same way without an instructor or in a virtual-instructor-led training program.
  • Chunking and sequencing of content in a proper and logical manner takes time. Re-writing and re-designing course content also takes time.
  • Course-conversion simply for the sake of making your training “look cool” is not going to help your employees / learners.
  • Voice-overs, animated videos, and chatbots for replying queries all take time to develop and integrate within a learning program.
  • Believe in creating unique learning experiences that deliver impactful results for your organization. Therefore, creating a good learning experience will take time. 

We just highlighted some of the points that go into course conversion and why ILT to VILT conversion takes time. Here is another blog that walks you through the process of converting ILTs to self-paced microlearning modules. In the next section, we will look at how virtual instructor-led training programs can help L&D teams meet some of the common challenges of employee learning.

ALSO READ :   Addressing Skill Gaps in Workplace Learning with Virtual Instructor-Led Training Programs in the “New Normal”

Addressing Common L&D Challenges with Virtual Instructor-Led Training Programs, and How it Leverages Impact through Technology

It may probably take another year for the world to recover from the damages caused by the pandemic. Even then, we are not sure how many organizations will return to a full work-from-office-mode; as most employees are now comfortable working from their homes and have settled into a proper routine. Leading technology firms around the world are coming to terms with the benefits that remote work is offering to them in terms of cost savings with respect to rent of premises, electricity, hardware maintenance, and other associated costs linked to running a company and managing employees at the workplace. So, do not be surprised if companies shift to a completely remote-work model and keep the bare minimum support staff in their office premises. In such a scenario, L&D teams have to be prepared for training the employees to work better,  ensure that they remain productive, and keep acquiring skills relevant to their jobs.

Anytime Anywhere Learning

Virtual instructor-led training programs can be designed to function as self-paced learning programs that employees can access at their convenience. This ensures that employees are not forced to skip their regular tasks, and are able to learn when they have free time. 

Makes  Learning Engaging 

Removing the presence of a physical instructor may cause some learners to be anxious but most learners will be happy to adapt to self-paced learning or AI-powered chatbots to answer their questions. Specific questions that the bot is not able to answer can be addressed by subject matter experts via email or video-chat. Incorporating games and interactives within the learning program ensures that learners do not lose interest and that they are able to retain and recall what they are learning. VILT enhances overall training experience by including modern technological tools, resources and formats.

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Tracking Learner Progress

This is one challenge that has no standardized solution. One easy way to answer this challenge is to examine the quality of work or output of work before and after an employee completes a training program to measure the effectiveness of learning. Other ways to measure progress is the enthusiasm shown in learning new topics, completion of assignments, and participation in group learning activities. Get creative with technology to make even mundane activities fun and engaging. 

Spaced Learning for Better Results

When you combine virtual instructor-led training with self-paced learning, you have the opportunity to integrate the best of both. Spaced learning lets you send nudges, notifications, and reminders that reinforce the topics that the employee has learned over a period of time. Video nuggets, audio-clips, links to podcasts can all be used as a medium for spaced learning and improve the retention of learning.

Delivering eLearning

Did you know that this is where several organizations falter? Despite spending a considerable sum of money on creating captivating eLearning,  they stick to a legacy LMS to deploy their eLearning. The times are changing. We are faced with a generation of learners who are accustomed to using smartphones for most of their daily tasks. Organizations should consider shifting to a learning delivery platform that offers a seamless learning experience across devices, whether it be a laptop, an iPad, or a smartphone. Do explore our award-winning learning experience platform Origin Fractal LXP, and discover how you can deliver engaging virtual instructor-led training programs. 

The Way Forward

We are at an interesting point in time where the L&D industry is adapting and evolving continuously to meet the challenges posed by schools, higher education institutions, and corporate learners who have all been forced to go digital and online in a big way. Effectively transitioning from an ILT model to a VILT model is the first step towards training success. As we see more learning delivery platforms being launched on a regular basis, it is important to remember that good eLearning is simple, effective, and result-driven.   When you design and deploy your eLearning, remember to partner with a trustworthy and experienced organization that can help you meet your L&D goals. 

Write to us at info@originlearning.com to redesign your learning curriculum, and address all your training challenges effectively.


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