7 Reasons To Include Instructor-Led Training In Your Online Training
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Why Your eLearning Course Needs Instructor-Led Online Training

How much time do you have? This is our response when somebody asks us what the benefits of online training are. Because when it comes to eLearning, the long list of training advantages could take at least an hour to explain.

Yet, so many people still think online training is cold, faceless and automated. And the idea of training without an authentic human element, a real person-to-person connection, is too much to bear. But we know something they don’t: online training can go hand-in-hand with an Instructor-Led Training course.

But how?

When Online Training Gets An Instructor

At this point, you might be wondering what an ‘instructor-led meets eLearning’ training program actually looks like. Well, this kind of blended training comes in different forms. Mostly, it’s about the tools and environment that you choose to use when introducing an instructor into your online training program.

Today, the most common approaches are traditional classroom ILT training and Virtual Instructor-Led Training. We’ll look at each of these next.

Classroom Training

It may come as a surprise, but traditional classroom training and online training courses don’t need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, they pair well together.

For example, sales staff might attend a 2-day classroom-based training workshop where they learn and practice how to operate a new product. Afterward, they might complete an eLearning course about the benefits of the new product, return policies and customer service tips. Because this information is available online, employees can return to the relevant information whenever they need it.

Virtual Instructor-Led Training

Today’s Virtual Instructor-Led Training software allows us to bring the instructor into the online classroom. Webinars and video conferencing tools connect employees online so that they can attend real-time training from anywhere in the world, and connect with a Subject Matter Expert.

Now that it’s clear that ILT and online training can be combined, here are a few reasons why pairing the two is a good idea.

Why ILT And Online Training Are A Match Made In Heaven

We already know that online training offers flexibility, cost savings and a lot of other benefits. On the other hand, Instructor-Led Training provides real-time human connection and opportunity for first-hand practice. But add these two training approaches together, and you’re in for a whole new world of benefits that neither can offer on their own:

1. Access To Expert Advice Across Different Channels

Asking for help during training can be difficult, and even embarrassing at times. For some learners, typing a question on a chat forum is the easier route, because they feel more anonymous. For others, it takes in-person access to an SME before they’ll raise their hand.

Either way, pairing your online training program with Virtual Instructor-Led Training lets the learner choose when and how they ask for guidance. Not to mention that ILT will allow learners to benefit from immediate responses, too.

2. Tailored Reinforcement Of New Knowledge And Skills

The greatest advantage of classroom training is that learners can access subject matter expertise in real time. But remembering everything that’s discussed during a training session can be tricky. And trying to take notes and listen to the instructor at the same time can be even trickier. Fortunately, Virtual Instructor-Led Training holds the answer.

After learners attend a webinar or conference, they can return to the online recording to recap any points that were missed or forgotten. During the online ILT session, learners can also ask the SME for additional resources if there’s a concept they don’t understand or a topic that they are just particularly interested in. These resources can be accessed online as part of the eLearning side of the training program.

All in all, this offers learners more opportunity to learn, practice, repeat and explore new knowledge and skills. More opportunity means deeper understanding, and deeper understanding often leads to better recall and application in the workplace. Those are a whole lot of positives!

3. A Community Of Learning

We’ve all heard of it, and we all want it: a learning organization. These are characterized by corporate cultures and values that put continuous learning at the forefront of, well, everything. Because online learning connects employees from different teams, offices and even countries, it goes a long way towards creating a connected community of learning. Even if just via discussion forums.

But, throw an instructor into that mix and you’ve got an even better community than before. Why? Because instructor-led online training places employees in the same room, at the same time, and gives them a voice. Employees get the chance to learn from each other, interact with an expert instructor and build personal relationships with colleagues.

4. An Immersive Learning Experience

Today, learning is about so much more than information recall. It’s about understanding, practicing and experiencing new knowledge and skills in a meaningful and relevant way. And nothing beats instructor-led online training when it comes to an immersive learning experience.

Whether virtual or classroom-based, ILT gives learners the opportunity to actively participate in their learning. This is done through Instructor-Led Training activities like brainstorming, problem-solving or role-playing. Then, learners return to the online learning platform to practice their new skills on activities like quizzes and interactive video simulations.

5. Adaptable For Different Learning Styles

Some say that the classroom is the best learning environment for promoting focus and concentration. No computers or mobile phones in the room means no emails, notifications or other tempting distractions that compete for learners’ attention. But here’s a thought. Maybe, just maybe, not everyone learns well in a classroom environment.

We know that people have different learning styles and preferences, and what works well for one might not be as effective for another. For example, some people enjoy peace and quiet while they learn, some like to be taught, and others like to direct their own learning. A few people even work best in the hustle-bustle of a local coffee shop.

The big advantage of pairing ILT with your online training is that this combination caters to different learning styles. Employees can learn online in whichever environment suits them best. But they can also have access to virtual or traditional classroom training, where instructors adapt their speed and approach to the particular needs of their audience.

6. Essential For Complex Skills And High-Risk Jobs

A blend of instructor-led and online training is always a dream. But there are certain skills and jobs that make ILT more important than a nice-to-have. So, when to use Instructor-Led Training? It’s especially useful when the skills are complex or the job involves high-risk tasks and responsibilities.

For example, complex soft skills required for leadership or customer service might be best learned through live training activities, like role play. Surgeons, nurses, pilots, and police officers are obvious examples of high-risk and high-responsibility jobs that require Instructor-Led Training and in-person practice and feedback.

7. Improved Tracking And Measuring

While instructor-led online training (or offline training) might have some undeniable benefits, it’s not always easy to measure training effectiveness in an objective way. But, combine ILT with a powerful Learning Management System (LMS), like TalentLMS, and you can track learning problems and improvements quickly and easily.

For example, imagine that a group of middle-level managers attend an Instructor-Led Training session about resolving conflict in their teams. Next, they might be asked to complete an eLearning course, including videos, infographics and written notes, about conflict resolution strategies. Throughout this course, they could also complete a number of automated assessments, like scenario-based quizzes, that measure their knowledge and understanding.

Reports from the LMS would provide details on progress, learner engagement, and completion rates, as well as performance on the quizzes. This will indicate how effective the ILT was in teaching the managers about conflict resolution.

Conclusion

So, have we given you enough reasons to include Instructor-Led Training in your next online training program? You can stop being torn between ILT and eLearning, and instead, combine them and get the advantages of both worlds.

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