Instructor-led training (ILT) happens in a classroom and is often regarded as the more traditional, formal version of training, while eLearning is technology-based and the learner can take it at any time. With the popularity and convenience of eLearning, it’s easy to disregard ILT as a “thing of the past” or an “old way of doing things.”
But not so fast! ILT is still a vital component in learning when used appropriately. And, for many employees and content areas, this can be the most effective method of training. ILT doesn’t need to be the boring lecture most students associate with the classroom. Using technology in the classroom and flipping the classroom—so that the instructor acts as a facilitator of learning, rather than a lecturer—are two examples of the modern ILT.
All of this, however, depends on what your specific learning needs are. Some content will benefit from ILT; some will be better suited for eLearning.
Here’s a list to help you decide when to use ILT for your next learning project.
You Have Highly Complex Information
If you have complex information that employees are unfamiliar with, then having an instructor guide them through the material and answer questions is the better option. An instructor can explain complex topics, use a whiteboard to draw or write out examples, and gauge the comprehension of the participants to pace the class accordingly. Also, when employees attend a classroom training session, they are less likely to be interrupted and can focus on mastering the content.
You Value Collaboration
If your content would be best learned by people collaborating, then the classroom is often the best place to make that happen. In ILT classes, employees can brainstorm or role-play in groups where they get a chance to learn from each other. Employees in a classroom situation have the opportunity to exchange ideas and information.
You Want to Increase Student Confidence
ILT can make learners feel more valued, since they have face-to-face time with an expert and time to share their questions or concerns. For employees who work remotely, ILT also provides an opportunity for bonding with colleagues and feeling part of a team. Some employees feel more valued when their employers spend the money to send them to this type of class. The perception that the company values learning enough to remove them from their daily work for training encourages employees to concentrate and focus on the content.
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You Have Skilled Instructors
eLearning can sometimes leave employees behind or bored, since it’s developed for the mass audience. With ILT, the instructor can adapt the content to the audience. If the students want to spend more time on a subject, the facilitator can pause and focus on mastery of that particular content. Good instructors adapt their training delivery to include revisions and updates.
Bottom line, it depends on the situation and the goals, but ILT is certainly not dead. ILT can incorporate many different styles of learning, and face-to-face training tends to be more personal and to help build relationships.