5 Software Must-Haves For Your VILT Toolbox (Even If You Outsource)

VILT Tools To Include In Your L&D Program
Summary: Is your VILT toolbox looking a bit sparse? Do you need to replace outdated platforms? This article features 5 software must-haves for custom content development, even if you outsource.

eLearning Tools You Need For Your VILT Program

Most companies automatically add video conferencing software to their shopping list when they decide to implement VILT. It’s a given. But which other tools do you need to boost employee engagement and track online training initiatives? How are you going to develop fresh online training content for your team and facilitate remote collaboration? Resources are limited, so you must choose wisely to stretch your L&D budget. The key is to expand your toolbox with intuitive, feature-rich systems that multitask. For example, platforms with built-in asset libraries, community calendars, and private chats. These VILT tools are always worth the investment, even if you choose to outsource your Virtual Instructor-Led Training strategy.

eBook Release: VILT Success For SMBs: How To Find Your Ideal VILT Content Provider At The Right Price
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VILT Success For SMBs: How To Find Your Ideal VILT Content Provider At The Right Price
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1. Learning Management Systems

Think of the LMS as the central VILT hub. It’s there to deploy online training courses, monitor employee progress, and equip your L&D team with crucial Big Data. You can also organize and store online training content in one spot to maximize resource allocation. There are 3 popular types of Learning Management Systems to consider for virtual training:

  • Cloud-based
    This LMS is hosted by the vendor on the cloud. As a result, your team can access content and online training metrics from anywhere in the world. The same anytime, anywhere accessibility applies for front-end employee training participants. Employees are able to get JIT support and participate in compliance courses after they’re assigned a username and password. The caveat is that these SaaS are often based on a monthly subscription model. Thus, prices may fluctuate, and you don’t own the LMS software outright. But it’s a great option for SMBs who need flexible pricing options and scalability.
  • Locally hosted
    Locally installed Learning Management Systems are usually downloaded through the vendor’s site and hosted on your own server. In most cases, you pay a one-time licensing fee instead of a monthly subscription. This LMS option is known for its customization and branding benefits. You’re able to personalize the platform to suit your VILT needs and reflect your corporate identity. However, it may lack the "whenever, wherever" accessibility of cloud-based solutions.
  • Open source
    That brings us to open source, which is usually free and fully customizable. The catch is that you need IT pros on the payroll to modify the coding and resolve any glitches, such as bugs or programming errors that compromise navigability. These options are generally limited when it comes to support as well. For example, there may only be a user community or general FAQ.

2. Rapid eLearning Authoring Tools

Rapid eLearning authoring tools are essential for organizations that need to develop content or update existing online training resources. Particularly platforms with built-in multimedia libraries, eLearning templates, and themes that cut costs. You must also ensure that your eLearning authoring tool is compatible with the LMS. For example, they both support the same content delivery format. Finally, your eLearning authoring tool of choice should be user-friendly for the entire team, regardless of their tech skills or experience level. They rely on this software to create the VILT curriculum, online courses, and JIT resources. And steep learning curves slow down the process and lengthen the implementation timeline.

3. Web Conferencing Tools

As I mentioned earlier, web conferencing tools (or video conferencing tools) are often the first platform that springs to mind. You need this system to host live events, record webinars, and schedule regular team meetings. Here are a few essential features to look for in your next web conferencing platform:

  • Screen sharing
  • Whiteboard
  • Instant messaging
  • Shared browsing
  • Recording and editing tools

Last, but not least, the software should have private rooms where instructors and peers can break away from the live session for one-on-one support. For example, an experienced staffer can meet with a new hire to discuss company policies or offer some skill pointers. This gives everyone the opportunity to address performance and knowledge gaps more discreetly, instead of asking numerous questions during the VILT course that cover redundant info or take the conversation off topic.

4. Project Management Platforms

A PM platform centers on collaboration and open communication. It’s not just for back-end online training developers and instructors to share ideas and resources. Your front-end employee training participants can also use the system for peer-based support and collective problem-solving. There are also community calendars so that everyone knows about upcoming events and courses. As well as task trackers and, in some cases, video/chat options. Many Project Management tools are free, but branding is limited. Thus, you might consider paid options that allow you to host more users and lock advanced features to improve functionality. For instance, they can upload larger files or unlock older messages in group chats.

5. All-In-One Systems

Some Learning Management Systems package all these VILT tools into one. You can host virtual classrooms and VILT events, as well as develop content and keep everyone in the loop. There may even be an asset repository to save you the time and expense of curating third-party content. The secret to find an all-in-one system in your price range is to evaluate reviews, search online directories, and submit RFPs to your top choices. Just make sure that your lean, mean VILT machine is scalable so that you can add new users and expand features based on evolving needs.

Are any of these platforms missing from your VILT toolbox? Exclusive online directories can help you choose the ideal software for your Virtual Instructor-Led Training program. There are even translators, content providers, and voiceover artists to help you enrich your next synchronous session. You’ll find ratings, reviews, and company bios that simplify vendor vetting so that you can outsource with ease. Or give your L&D team top-notch tools for in-house VILT implementation.

You can discover even more tips on how to choose the right VILT content provider for your business in our eBook VILT Success For SMBs: How To Find Your Ideal VILT Content Provider At The Right Price. Benefit from top VILT vendors’ experience and know-how and reach your online training objectives even if you are on a tight budget.