Instructional Design Topics: How And When To Use ILT Vs. VILT Training Methods

Instructional Design Topics: How And When To Use ILT Vs. VILT Training Methods
Summary: In this article, you'll learn about the benefits and drawbacks of both ILT and VILT training methods for use in employee training and development programs. Here's what a team of Instructional Designers would recommend.

How Instructional Designers Use ILT And VILT

When developing organizational programs for employee training and development and leadership training, organizations must weigh the choice of using ILT, Instructor-Led Training, or VILT, Virtual Instructor-Led Training. Both modalities are beneficial to create engaging training programs. However, they also require adaptations to ensure effectiveness. It is essential for instructors to create an environment that supports and directs employees to the desired goal in an authentic way.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of ILT In Employee Training Programs

ILT has added benefits of supporting the development of crucial relationships with employees during training and development and allows for instant feedback on if the training is effective. Discourse is an important aspect of training. Creating an atmosphere of communication is vital for leadership training and development. Through this discourse, employees can connect with each other and acquire insights about different positions throughout the organization.

One drawback of ILT is the removal of employees from their duties during training. Despite employee training and development being essential to the growth and success of an organization, having employees present and productive in their duties is also essential. If organizations choose this route for employee training and development and leadership training, then the training schedules should be staggered. Allowing some employees and leaders to progress through training ensures some employees and leaders are ensuring productivity. According to ATD's Handbook for Training and Talent Development, ILT can be implemented quickly but also entails enhanced logistics, time-consuming resources, and an expensive price tag.

That said, ILT is a vital means of providing the in-person coaching and support that engages learners and makes for an effective, experience-based training program.

How VILT May Be Used Effectively For Training

VILT is an excellent modality for employee training and development and leadership training due to the flexibility it allows. VILT can create an environment where an employee can learn according to their own learning type, which can be difficult to implement during ILT. When using VILT, the training can be done through prerecorded videos, which creates an opportunity for employees to learn on their own time. In addition to learning, employees must still perform their duties at work.

The cognitive load theory is a widely used learning theory aimed at Instructional Design with the belief that people only have so much mental capacity and that becomes drained from tasks throughout the day. If employees are in training with little mental capacity left, then the training and development of these employees isn't going to be as effective. Even though VILT removes the relationship aspect from the equation, it allows employees to learn when their mental reserve is higher. VILT also doesn't allow for instantaneous feedback; however, it can assist in supplementing on-the-job training, where further discussions can be had. VILT must be able to provide an instructor who has availability through different hours to ensure the success of the employees as they progress through the training program. Organizations also need to be aware of any technical issues that might arise during training if using VILT. Technical issues are common but should not be a major hindrance to training and development.

If technical issues are a consideration for your organization, it could be worthwhile to invest in this area, as eLearning and blended options can be a wise option to develop content that can be reused. Any time you develop content that can be replayed or reused, you increase the scale and return on your investment.


The truth is both modalities are excellent choices, and the final decision should be based on the needs of the organization. Your team could choose to use a needs analysis, performance mapping, and other pre-design methods to determine the best balance of ILT and VILT in your training.

Of course, employee training and development and leadership development can be intimidating due to the amount of planning and money it can cost. However, this investment can help an organization stand the test of time. The right training programs improve employee motivation, enhance performance outcomes, reduce waste, and increase employee retention.

The greatest companies ensure the development of their employees for the sake of the future. Through every step of decision making, planning, and considering modalities for employee training and development and leadership training, AllenComm is here to assist. Since we specialize in training and development, we can provide a training best suited to your organizational needs.

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