Instructor-led training is training conducted with the help of an instructor or facilitator either in person in a physical setting such as a classroom or through a webinar. ILT allows the instructors and the learners to interact and discuss issues regarding the training material individually or in groups.
Learning in this mode of training happens through lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and presentations. Mostly, the instructor teaches a group of learners and this saves a lot of trainee hours compared to training one learner at a time. Individual training is time-consuming and expensive.
ILT can be delivered to a large group of learners or smaller groups if enhanced interaction is required. Training usually combines a variety of combinations and formats depending on what the instructor/facilitator deems fit. For instance, if a practical demonstration is required, the instructor may opt for a workshop mode of learning as opposed to a lecture.
ILT is one of the most common elearning topics. For information on other popular elearning topics, visit this page.
Types of ILT
The most common types include:
Classroom: This involves interaction between the instructor and the learners in a physical setting; the classroom.
One-on-one training: It happens when an instructor and a learner conduct a training session in person.
Workshop: A meeting in which an instructor and his/her learners engage in intensive discussions and conduct practical activities regarding a particular subject or project.
Webinar: This is an online presentation where learners log in at the same time to discuss their learning content.
Seminar: It is a conference or meeting held for training or discussion purposes.
ILT Usage and Effectiveness
ILT is quite common in many areas of training. In educational institutions, classroom lectures are still the number one choice of training. Also, for schools that have LMS platforms, a good number of their courses are facilitated by instructors.
In the corporate scene, ILT represents 66% of training and development initiatives. In fact, it is the most common type of training in use for extended enterprise. Currently, most companies in the US are focussing on training their workforce. Indeed, they are doing so while relying on the premise that an equipped labor force complements an organization’s marketing efforts.
ILT is effective in terms of knowledge retention. It is the reason human resource departments in many companies choose this mode of training. A survey carried out on training and development formats places ILT at position three while elearning modules are placed in position seven. It is simple to see the reason why it is so effective.
ILT allows question and answer sessions, provides real-time feedback and can be changed and manipulated to fit the needs of the learners. The instructor can also create a learning environment that suits their style.
This is a concept that describes the combination of ILT and elearning. Hence it is the ‘blending’ of online and offline training methods. However, ILT can also be incorporated in elearning through training modes such as webinars.
Blended learning provides an enhanced and adequate learning experience by combining the benefits of ILT and elearning. In the case a learner is unable to attend a physical classroom lecture, they have the option of logging in to their LMS and conduct the relevant training online.
Benefits of ILT
ILT provides a personalized and hands-on approach to training. Here are a few other benefits associated with this mode of learning.
ILT has a human-connectivity approach: Learners can grasp more content when the training sessions are personalized. It helps to give that human appeal that users connect with.
It provides a hands-on approach: There is direct practical experience in matters relating to various courses. For instance, a workshop helps learners to learn practically how to conduct some learning activities.
It allows real-time feedback: ILT is usually live meaning that any questions, comments, or complaints are addressed in real-time.
Expert training: By having an instructor or facilitator conduct the training, learners are sure to get expert information and guidance.
Social learning: ILT presents a social learning experience where learners can observe and imitate the actions of others.
Instructor’s style can be adapted: If the class is not digesting learning content as intended, the facilitator can change the style or approach to address such shortcomings. For instance, they can repeat previous points or emphasize certain elements if they sense confusion.
Collaboration: Learning teams can learn better through instructor-led training. They can share ideas, debate in groups, and contribute to learning content. Collaboration also leads to bonding, problem-solving, and team-building.
Use of a variety of learning techniques: Since the instructor is handling a large group at once, a number of learning techniques such as role-playing, games, and exercises can be employed to enhance the learning experience.
Cost-effective: For small and middle-sized groups, ILT is cheaper than other forms of training.
Learners perceive higher value: Since your learners will know you invested ILT for them, they will take the approach seriously. As a result, there will be better training outcomes and increased loyalty.
Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)
Online training comes with many benefits such as flexibility and cost-friendliness. On the other hand, ILT has its advantages of providing hands-on training and human connectivity. The result of combining these two strategies is a myriad of opportunities that neither of them can deliver on their own.
Virtual Instructor-Led Training, also known as Virtual Classroom Training (VCT), offers training in a simulated environment meant to mimic the traditional classroom experience. The training can be conducted synchronously or asynchronously.
vILT introduces video conferencing and simulation tools that create an engaging learning experience in a virtual environment. vILT connects facilitators and learners in separate locations resulting in a dynamic and cost-effective mode of training.
If strategically designed and developed, vILT can deliver learning experiences similar to one-on-one training. It must also be learner-centric with two-way channels incorporated into each lesson. To add, vILT requires a facilitator who simultaneously interacts with the platform, engages the learners, and effectively delivers learning content.
As a result of the changing business environment, we are seeing a shift towards vILT. Some of these changes include an increase in remote workforce and the adoption of online services by businesses.
Most organizations are finding themselves making decisions on how to approach L&D (Learning and Development). Those heavily involved with ILT are facing the challenge of developing training. Hence, determining how to offer training in a virtual environment becomes a priority for them.
In the end, those organizations that work with experienced vILT developers record faster vILT delivery and lesser downtimes. Consequently, their learners become more active and productive, similar to those learning via conventional ILT.
LMS and ILT
Without a doubt, ILT dominates the training market because of its effectiveness. However, it is costlier than other course delivery methods. Expenses such as instructor fees, rent, facilities maintenance, food, travel and boarding all add up to L&D costs.
Therefore, streamlining the scheduling, administration, logistics, budget, and management of resources are vital in the management of ILT. This is where a Training Management System (TMS) comes in. The TMS streamlines the planning, logistics, financials, and reporting of ILT programs.
A learning management system (LMS) is usually part of the TMS and handles the delivery and assessment of training. Other elements of the TMS handle the planning, logistics, and reporting of ILT programs. Additionally, there are some benefits of using an LMS to run ILT programs:
- Faster and easy scheduling of courses and sessions.
- Allows sending of emails to learners and attendees.
- Automatic reminders for upcoming sessions and events.
- Records attendance whether in person or online.
- Creates waitlists when capacities are exceeded.
Setting Up Instructor-Led Training
Every organization has its own business environment, brand, goals, culture, and challenges. If you are looking for value both for your organization and its teams, you need to consider each of these aspects when developing an effective ILT program.
When developing instructor-led training programs, you need to follow some carefully laid-down steps:
- Define Your Objectives
This is the first part of your planning process. To clearly define your objectives you need to answer these two questions: What skills do you want to equip your learners with at the end of the training? What do you want them to be able to do at the end of the program?
Your objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). If you follow the SMART criteria, you will have concrete objectives that make sense.
Take an example of an instructor designing a digital marketing ILT program. One of his objectives can be, ‘my learners need to create 5 social media campaigns daily by the end of the program. Such an objective is clear and also provides metrics that can be tested during training.
Next, you need to assess your learners’ knowledge gaps. For instance, some learners may have more knowledge than others in which case you will need to divide them into groups.
Lastly, you should come up with a budget and establish what impact your program will have on everyday activities. This will assist you in determining how many sessions or how much time your team can devote to the program. It will also make it clear for you the assistive technologies, such as visual aids, that you may require.
- Establish Relevance
Once you define your objectives, you need to establish why your ILT program is relevant to your learners. If they don’t understand why the training is important for them, your program will be doomed to fail. You should clearly explain the benefits of the program so that you can engage your team from the onset.
- Design and Development
Next, you need to decide how to present your information. When designing and developing a learning experience, it is important to consider a few things:
- Do you have enough expertise to conduct the training alone or do you need a helping hand?
- Date and time of the training.
- What are the skills you want to equip your learners with? How will you test if they have learned these skills successfully?
- How to present your content. Will you need assistive technologies?
- Is your venue set up for learning in groups?
- How will your learners put their skills into use?
- Will you need devices such as sound aids, or is your team small enough to hear you as you present?
You also need to incorporate variety into your training. This will help to keep your audience engaged and eliminate boredom. For instance, you can include role-playing, tournaments, and jigsaw designs to keep your learners active.
Importantly, you need to keep a balance between conducting lectures/presentations and workshops/seminars. You should be able to identify when it is time for theory sessions and when it is time for practicals.
- Create a Plan
This should be the easiest step since you already have an idea of what to cover in your training and how to best deliver it. All you need is to come up with a detailed plan for each of your training sessions.
You, the instructor, will decide what to include in your plan. However, the following should not be omitted:
- The purpose and objectives of the program.
- Material and resources required such as books, handouts, and visual aids.
- Assistive equipment.
- Session preparation.
- The information to cover, how to present it, and the order you want to present it.
- How to test learner skills.
- How to capture feedback for purposes of improving future training programs.
Skills Required for ILT
Good planning is key for ILT programs. Besides, you need some skills to help you deliver the training programs successfully. Below are some skills and tips:
- Research skills.
- Presentation skills.
- Public speaking skills.
- You should conduct rehearsals.
- Train on how to use all technologies that you will need.
- Take breaks every 50 to 90 minutes to help everyone stay focused.
- If you get nervous, take deep breaths and remain optimistic. Take breaks if necessary.
- Allow your trainees to absorb information before allowing participation. This way, they will be engaged in discussion once they are grounded in knowledge.
An instructor-led training program, whether on its own or part of a blended learning approach, is an effective strategy that delivers value to both an organization and its learners. Partnering with experienced ILT developers is important in creating successful training programs.
Similarly, investing in an LMS platform that supports instructor-led learning will reap great benefits. With such a system you will easily manage your classroom sessions, webinars, workshops, and seminars.