While there are numerous training methods, Instructor Led Training (ILT) has been at the forefront of the most popular and, therefore, most widely used ones for years. They undoubtedly have many advantages, but are also burdened with disadvantages. Fortunately, there are several ways to effectively eliminate the imperfections of ILT. How to organize effective training sessions led by an instructor? What to remember when transforming them into e-learning courses?
In this article you will learn the following:
1) What is ILT (Instructor Led Training)?
2) How to organize training courses led by an instructor?
3) What are the benefits of ILT training?
What is ILT (Instructor Led Training)?
The abbreviation ILT means classroom instructor led training. They take various forms – on-on-one courses, seminars, lectures, workshops, small group classes, etc. Although it cannot be denied that, in recent years, classroom training has been increasingly and successfully replaced by e-learning, their presence in the training strategies of many companies remains unchanged.
Why? Training courses with a trainer are extremely effective and engaging (especially those conducted in small groups), but their costs are relatively high. Economic issues and the lack of scalability are the main reasons why they are being increasingly replaced by remote or semi-remote training. However, there are still areas where their implementation is justified from a business point of view, therefore many companies still base their training strategies on ILT or organize them as a supplement to comprehensive training and on-boarding processes.
The high efficiency of instructor led training and the simultaneous need to minimize costs quickly led to the evolution of traditional classroom training and the emergence of some alternatives:
- VILT (Virtual Instructor Led Training) – unlike ILT, these are virtual training sessions. They are conducted in a virtual environment where the students and the instructor are in different locations. Anyone can join such classes, regardless of where they are. The number of participants may be very large, and the training itself will still remain interactive – attendees can, using the technology used by the organization, ask the instructor questions and share their insights with the group.
- Hybrid ILT – a type of stationary training session which, due to the use of modern telecommunication tools, allows students to remotely join the training session. This solution is perfect for organizations operating in many locations (it allows to significantly reduce the costs of travel and training trips) or working in a mixed mode – i.e. stationary and remote.
The benefits of ILT training
Why are stationary training courses with a trainer very popular? There are at least several reasons, and the most important ones are the following:
- the presence of an experienced trainer – an expert in a specific field;
- virtually unlimited possibilities for interaction with the group / instructor;
- the possibility to better understand the topic due to questions asked by the training participants and the discussions initiated by them;
- the high level of participant focus resulting from the absence of distractions such as e-mails, calls, etc.;
- the possibility to freely shape each training session, adapting it to the needs, knowledge and expectations of the group.
How to organize training with an instructor?
The organization of a classroom training with an instructor requires good planning and is, without a doubt, a demanding and time-consuming process, especially for companies operating in several locations. In their case, training sessions very often require arranging employee trips and incur considerable associated costs.
Taking that into account, conducting remote or semi-remote (hybrid) training courses is worth considering. A remote learning platform is a place to organize and plan such training session. A good LMS can not only allow all employees to participate in the course, but also relieve the organizers of many tedious and time-consuming administrative tasks, such as the following:
- planning training sessions;
- sending training invitations to a specific group of employees or to the entire company;
- sending reminders about the upcoming training date;
- keeping and managing an enrollment list with a limited number of participants;
- reporting the attendance of participants and their progress.
The use of an LMS platform also entails the possibility of sharing recordings, notes, presentations and other materials after the end of the training session. Participants will be able to return to the files at any time and get answers to their questions. Moreover, trainees can be assigned other courses or comprehensive training paths related to the topic, and thus have the possibility to continue their education.
How to transform ILT into e-learning?
It goes without saying that instructor led training has many advantages and, in many cases, replacing it with remote training may seem impossible. However, very often such a conversion is desirable and advantageous from an economic point of view.
How to plan such an process? The first step is, obviously, to identify the need to transform classroom training into e-learning. It may result from the already mentioned economic reasons, but not only. Other reasons may include time savings, i.e. shortening the duration of the course or gaining the possibility to provide it just-in-time.
After identifying training courses which require conversion to e-learning courses, it is a good idea to analyze their content, create a list of materials used by the instructor (audio and video files, presentations, worksheets, etc.) and evaluate the conversion options based on these criteria. If, as a result of this analysis, it is decided that the training course can be converted into e-learning, it should be verified whether the educational materials need to be updated or extended with additional topics, for example surveys conducted among classroom training participants. Knowing the final scope of the training course allows its organizers to divide the content into parts, which will be converted into e-learning modules in the next step.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin –
Mapping out the course material and converting it into an e-learning course doe not constitute the end of the process. It is crucial for the training not only to be complete and up-to-date – it should also be engaging. How can this be done? There are many different ways to present the training content and numerous methods to make courses interactive. Experimenting with the courses, modifying them and monitoring their effectiveness is definitely worth the effort. This is the only way to achieve business goals – to equip employees with the necessary knowledge.