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People may think instructor-led learning is only for schoolchildren, but it offers many valuable business benefits. Here’s how and when to use it.

Instructor-led training (ILT): what it is and how to use it in elearning

Most people will recognize instructor-led training (ILT) from their classroom days where a teacher would lead a room full of students. While this is, in essence, what ILT is, it often gets overlooked in corporate training. 

Instructor-led training often gets a bad reputation for being expensive. And while it can be, it doesn’t have to be. When done correctly, instructor-led training can add great value to an organization’s training program and be quite cost-effective. 

To help you better determine when and if instructor-led training is right for your organization, here’s what it is, its top benefits, and how you can incorporate it into your training program. 

What is ILT?

Instructor-led training, or ILT, is training conducted with the help of an instructor or facilitator. It can take place in person in a physical setting such as a classroom, or it can take place virtually. ILT allows instructors and 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. Generally, the instructor teaches a group of learners instead of individuals, which can save a lot of trainee hours compared to training one learner at a time. 

ILT can be delivered to a large group of learners or smaller groups if enhanced interaction is required. Training usually combines a variety of methods and formats depending on what the instructor or facilitator deems fitting. For instance, if a practical demonstration is required, the instructor may opt for a workshop mode of learning as opposed to a lecture.

Why should you use ILT in elearning?

Instructor-led training has numerous benefits that asynchronous learning, or self-paced learning, doesn’t. While entirely self-paced learning has its own advantages, instructor-led learning has a unique set of rewards that make it a worthwhile addition to e-learning. 

Some benefits include: 

Human connection: Learners can grasp more content when training sessions are personalized because it helps to give a human appeal that users connect with.

Hands-on learning: Instructor-led training allows for hands-on learning through practical exercises and even demonstrations. Hands-on learning can increase memory retention and understanding. 

Real-time feedback: ILT usually occurs live meaning that any questions, comments, or complaints are addressed in real-time. This allows for a better feedback loop for both instructors and learners. As a result, learners can often understand concepts quicker and instructors have a greater understanding of how to improve their training program. 

Expert training: By having an instructor or facilitator conduct the training, learners are sure to get expert information and guidance.

Style or method adaption: 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: Teams often 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.

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.

Higher value perception: Since your learners will know you invested time and money into an instructor, they may take the approach more seriously than self-paced learning. When learners are invested, it often leads to better training outcomes.  

While self-paced learning has some great, specific benefits of its own, instructor-led training has many that add value to the learning experience and organizations should consider if incorporating this method is right for them. 

How you can use ILT in your elearning program

Because instructor-led training has a plethora of benefits, incorporating it into your e-learning program in at least some capacity is a smart idea, though to what capacity will depend on the individual organization. Every organization has its own goals, culture, challenges, and budgetary constraints that will determine when instructor-led training is appropriate or not. 

Since self-paced learning has its own distinctive set of benefits, (such as flexibility, scalability, and cost-savings) many businesses opt for a blended learning model, striking a balance between the two and getting the best of both worlds. Blended learning, or hybrid learning, incorporates both instructor-led sessions and self-paced learning modules. 

In elearning, organizations often incorporate instructor-led sessions through: 

Virtual classrooms: In an e-learning setting, an instructor will connect with learners through virtual classrooms such as Google Meet, Zoom, etc. These classrooms may have tools like whiteboards and breakout rooms that make instruction easier and more engaging. 

One-on-one training: This happens when an instructor conducts a training session with only one learner through an online platform. 

Workshops: An instructor may use virtual classrooms or event tools to conduct workshops where learners engage in intensive discussions and conduct practical activities regarding one specific subject or project.

Webinars: This is an online presentation conducted by an instructor where learners log in to a virtual platform at the same time. Oftentimes, the instructor will present information for a block of time and block out time for questions at the end. 

Conferences: Instructors may hold conferences or seminars over a day or a few days that incorporate a mix of speakers and activities, covering a variety of topics and projects. An instructor may use event tools or platforms to conduct these sessions.  

Again, to what capacity you incorporate instructor-led sessions will depend on the organization. To help determine if and when it’s appropriate to include instructor sessions, consider these aspects: 

  1. Training objectives and goals. As it is with creating an effective training program, you’ll want to first define your objectives before bringing in an instructor. By defining goals first, you’ll be able to align instructor needs and determine whether and where it’s worth the time and expense.

  2. Complexity of subject matter. One of the best things about instructor-led training is that it allows for real-time feedback, which is especially useful when it comes to complex material. Instructors can offer immediate feedback on questions and ensure that learners fully understand a concept before moving on. So the more complex your material, the more likely your material could benefit from an instructor. 

  3. Learner engagement. If your training program is suffering from low engagement, you may want to consider bringing in an instructor. Even if your material is not complex, an instructor can enrich learning, call on learners to ensure they are paying attention, host competitions, and more that can drastically improve engagement and memory retention. 

While instructor-led training will depend on the organization, incorporating even some elements of it can have a great impact on your training efforts. It can boost engagement, help learners understand information and improve knowledge retention, and increase ROI on your training program. Even a small investment in instructor-led training can pay off dividends. 

A learning management system helps you deliver instructor-led training without the hassle

A learning management system (LMS) streamlines and centralizes learning programs, making them manageable, trackable, and more effective. By leveraging a blended learning LMS, you can conduct instructor-led training sessions and offer self-paced learning courses that increase employee engagement and knowledge retention. 

With Tovuti’s LMS, deliver engaging courses, host live events and conferences, conduct workshops, incorporate gamified elements, leverage leaderboards and learning competitions, and use data to identify skills gaps and improve training effectiveness – all from one platform!

Conduct instructor-led training without the hassle


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