iLT, vILT, or eLearning: What Corporate Training Method Should You Use?
Investing in a corporate training program has several benefits. It increases employee satisfaction and job performance to support business growth. It also reduces turnover—which is crucial in today’s competitive hiring market.
But which training approach is best?
The answer depends on your organization’s learning requirements and goals. For most businesses, a training program should give employees the skills they need to preform.
Lets examine three differnt modalities of learning: instructor-led training (iLT), virtual instructor led training (vILT), and eLearning. What’s the difference and which one is the best fit for your organization?
Instructor-led training (iLT)
iLT is the most traditional form of training in which an instructor guides an in-person training session. This approach can support training for small groups, large groups, or one-on-one sessions.
This delivery method might be a good fit for your organization if you are looking to develop skills that require human interaction with an instructor.
Pros of iLT:
Instructors can adapt to the needs of the employees more easily in an in-person setting. For example, switching between discussions, lectures, or hands-on learning can engage learners depending on their learning style, experience, or energy level.
Team building. iLT can establish more collaborative working relationships than virtual learning sessions.
Resource accessibility. iLT offers the broadest potential for learning tools. Beyond human-based learning scenarios like role-playing, employees may also have access to hands-on exercises and immersive technologies like virtual reality.
Real time assessment and feedback. Instructors can evaluate learner engagement and success in real-time.
High engagement. Employees are less likely to be distracted by their email or household when they’re in a dedicated in-person learning environment.
Cons of iLT:
Instructor-dependent. An in-person session is only as engaging as the instructor. An instructor that isn’t compatible with the learning group or lacks an engaging teaching style can impact knowledge retention.
Location-dependent. In-person training may not be accessible to all learners, especially for distributed and global teams.
iLT expenses are higher than other training methods, requiring costs for venue rentals, travel, accommodation, food, and instructor fees.
While iLT can facilitate lectures, group size is still limited for larger organizations. Larger groups also make it less practical for instructors to offer learning opportunities like role-playing and hands-on exercises.
Virtual instructor-led training (vILT)
This approach is like iLT, but instruction is provided online. These training sessions are typically shorter than in-person learning and use virtual tools like video conferencing software.
vILT is a good option if your team is large or globally distributed and in-person training is cost-prohibitive.
Real-time instruction. Even though sessions are online, instruction is still offered in real-time, allowing employees to ask questions and get immediate feedback.
Flexibility and scalability. vILT enables organizations to provide training for large and distributed workforces.
Cost and time savings. Because the learning environment isn’t location-dependent and can reach a larger audience in one session, organizations can save a significant amount of time and resources.
Cons of vILT:
Inability to monitor employee engagement. It’s nearly impossible for instructors to assess non-verbal cues and student engagement through a video conferencing application like Zoom. Providing personalized feedback and support is also harder for large groups.
Technology-dependent. Learners and instructors rely on the performance of virtual tools to deliver an engaging session with minimal downtime.
While learners can still talk to each other in real-time, this environment is less likely to facilitate relationship building and teamwork than in-person training.
eLearning is training provided through virtual tools rather than an instructor. eLearning is delivered through a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Unlike iLT or vILT, eLearning is not real-time—it can be practiced at any time or location.
eLearning is ideal for global companies that need to provide training at a large scale. It is a great method to deliver a consistant training message. Your organization may also benefit from combining eLearning with iLT or vILT regardless of your workforce’s size.
Pros of eLearning
- Flexibility and scalability. Like vILT, eLearning can support large and distributed workforces easily. It’s also accessible at any time and can be completed at the employee’s pace.
Ability to track employee performance. eLearning allows organizations to evaluate employee learning through online tests and student feedback forms.
Cons of eLearning
Delayed feedback and minimal interaction. Learners are subject to the virtual material provided and don’t have access to immediate instructor feedback. This environment also doesn’t provide as many opportunities for learner interactions and team development.
Practical learning gaps. iLT, and to a lesser extent, vILT, provide opportunities for practical, hands-on skills. This is harder in eLearning environments with no instructor to provide real-time guidance.
The ability to access a training program independently at any time or location is very convenient—but it also means that students are more susceptible to distractions and may not be as engaged as they would be in instructor-led environments.
- To create highler level engagement, the design and development costs can be expensive.
Organizations have many options when it comes to corporate training. While instructor led training has the benefit of providing real-time feedback and engagement, eLearning environments are convenient for large-scale companies and globally distributed workforces.
While either iLT, vILT, or eLearning might stick out as a better fit for you, a combination of all three—also called a blended learning environment—can address your companies learning needs.
Ready to get started with your next training program, but not sure where to begin?
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