Instructor-Led Training & the Benefits of ILT vs. eLearning

In a world where learning is absolutely key to progression, and therefore wealth, we are often overwhelmed by the options of learning that we have available to us. Should we stay with a more traditional classroom-style learning experience where we have an instructor, whether this is in a physical classroom or a virtual classroom? Or should be spending more time in the eLearning world, where we can watch and consume content on-demand?

For both learners and learning managers, this is often a tough question to answer, so we’ve put together a guide on the two to help you make the decision.

What is Instructor-Led Training?

Instructor-led training (ILT) is a traditional form of training where an instructor facilitates learning in a physical or virtual classroom setting. ILT sessions involve real-time interaction between the instructor and the learners, allowing for immediate feedback and personalised guidance.

The instructor plays a crucial role in delivering training content, engaging the learners, and adapting the teaching methods to suit the group’s learning needs. ILT sessions offer the advantage of in-person interaction, enabling learners to benefit from the instructors’ expertise and engage with peers in group activities.

This form of training allows for observing learners’ body language and immediate clarification of doubts. The interactive nature of ILT helps in building a collaborative learning environment and fostering teamwork among participants.

Instructor-led training

Advantages of Instructor-Led Training

One of the key benefits of ILT is the personalised learning experience it provides. Instructors can tailor the training program to meet the specific needs of the learners, ensuring maximum retention of information.

ILT also promotes active participation and engagement through discussions, hands-on activities, and role-play exercises, enhancing the overall learning outcome.

Moreover, ILT fosters immediate feedback mechanisms, allowing learners to clarify doubts on the spot and receive real-time guidance from the instructor.

This interaction contributes to a deeper understanding of the training content and enables learners to apply their knowledge in practical scenarios. Additionally, ILT sessions promote social learning by encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing among participants.

Disadvantages of Instructor-Led Training

Despite its numerous advantages, ILT also comes with some disadvantages. One of the main challenges of ILT is the time away from work it requires for learners to attend training sessions. This can impact productivity and may pose logistical challenges for organisations.

Moreover, coordinating schedules for a group of learners to participate in ILT sessions can be a logistical challenge, especially in multinational companies with diverse teams. Furthermore, the cost associated with conducting ILT, including venue rental, instructor fees, and training materials, can be significant.

In addition, the effectiveness of ILT heavily relies on the instructor’s capabilities and teaching methodologies, which may vary in quality. The limited scalability of ILT compared to eLearning is also a potential drawback, as it may not be feasible for large-scale training initiatives.

Computer Based Training

What is eLearning?

eLearning, or electronic learning, is a form of training that is delivered online through digital platforms and resources. Unlike ILT, eLearning does not require learners to be physically present in a classroom setting but allows them to access training courses remotely via the internet.

eLearning offers flexibility in terms of time and location, enabling learners to engage with the training content at their own pace and convenience. One of the key features of eLearning is its self-directed nature, where learners have control over their learning journey and can progress through the training modules independently.

This mode of training utilises multimedia elements such as videos, interactive quizzes, and online forums to enhance the learning experience and cater to different learning styles. eLearning also enables the tracking of learners’ progress and performance through learning management systems.

Advantages of eLearning

eLearning offers numerous advantages, including flexibility and convenience for learners. With eLearning, participants can access training content anytime, anywhere, eliminating the need to travel to a physical location for training sessions.

This flexibility is particularly beneficial for organisations with remote or geographically dispersed teams, as it allows for standardised training delivery across locations. Additionally, eLearning reduces the time away from work for learners, as they can engage with the training modules during downtime or outside regular working hours.

This not only enhances productivity but also minimises disruptions to daily operations. Another advantage of eLearning is its scalability, as organisations can reach a larger audience and deploy training programs to a wide range of learners efficiently and cost-effectively.

Disadvantages of eLearning

Despite its benefits, eLearning also presents challenges. One of the drawbacks of eLearning is the lack of immediate feedback and interaction with instructors. Learners may face difficulties in clarifying doubts or seeking guidance in real-time, which can impact the learning process.

This absence of in-person interaction and hands-on activities may also limit the depth of understanding and practical application of the training content. Moreover, some learners may struggle with self-discipline and motivation in an eLearning environment, as it requires a high level of autonomy and self-regulation.

Without the structure and accountability of traditional classroom settings, participants may find it challenging to stay engaged and complete the training successfully. Additionally, technical issues such as poor internet connectivity or platform usability can hinder the eLearning experience for some learners.

Key Differences Between ILT and eLearning

Learning Experience in ILT vs. eLearning

In ILT, the learning experience is characterised by real-time interaction and immediate feedback from the instructor, fostering a dynamic and engaging environment. Learners benefit from face-to-face communication, group activities, and personalised guidance, enhancing their comprehension and retention of information.

On the other hand, eLearning offers a more self-paced and independent learning experience, where individuals have the freedom to navigate through the training content at their own speed and convenience. Despite the lack of in-person interaction, eLearning provides flexibility and accessibility, allowing learners to engage with the material at any time and from any location.

Multimedia elements and interactive features in eLearning courses enhance the learning experience by catering to different learning styles and preferences. The shift from ILT to eLearning represents a transition from a more traditional, classroom-based approach to a technology-driven, digital learning format.

Benefits of Instructor-Led Training Over eLearning

ILT offers unique advantages over eLearning in terms of immediate feedback, social interaction, and personalised guidance. The instructor’s presence in ILT sessions allows for on-the-spot clarification of doubts, live demonstrations, and interactive discussions, enhancing the overall learning experience. Learners in ILT programs benefit from real-time feedback on their performance and can engage in group activities that promote collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Additionally, the social learning aspect of ILT fosters a sense of community among participants, leading to increased engagement and motivation. In contrast, eLearning may lack the human touch and interpersonal connections that are integral to the learning process. By leveraging the advantages of ILT, organisations can create more engaging and impactful training programs that address the diverse needs of learners and promote active participation.

Challenges Faced in Transitioning from ILT to eLearning

Transitioning from ILT to eLearning poses several challenges, including adapting to a virtual learning environment, maintaining learner engagement, and ensuring effective knowledge transfer. Learners accustomed to the interactive nature of ILT sessions may find it challenging to adjust to a more independent and self-directed learning approach in eLearning.

Organisations must provide adequate support, resources, and training to help learners navigate the transition successfully. Moreover, the design and delivery of eLearning modules require careful planning to ensure that the training content is engaging, interactive, and aligned with the learning objectives. Incorporating multimedia elements, interactive quizzes, and gamification strategies can enhance the eLearning experience and promote active participation.

Effective communication and regular feedback mechanisms are essential to address any barriers or concerns that learners may face during the transition from ILT to eLearning.

Blended Learning: Combining ILT and eLearning

Blended learning combines the best of both ILT and eLearning approaches, offering a flexible and adaptive training solution that caters to diverse learning preferences. By integrating face-to-face interactions in ILT sessions with online resources and virtual training modules, blended learning provides a comprehensive and engaging learning experience.

Learners can benefit from the immediate feedback and social interaction of ILT sessions while enjoying the flexibility and accessibility of eLearning platforms. Moreover, blended learning allows organisations to optimise their training programs by leveraging the strengths of both ILT and eLearning formats. This hybrid approach enables organisations to deliver training content in a variety of formats, including videos, webinars, simulations, and interactive modules, to accommodate different learning styles and preferences.

By combining traditional teaching methods with digital technologies, blended learning enhances the overall learning outcome and promotes knowledge retention and application in real-world scenarios.

Optimising Training Programs with Blended Learning

To optimise training programs with blended learning, organisations should strategically design and deliver a mix of ILT and eLearning modules that align with the learning objectives and desired outcomes. Assessing learners’ needs, preferences, and skill gaps can help organisations tailor the training content to address specific learning goals and ensure maximum engagement and participation.

Providing a variety of learning resources, such as online tutorials, workbooks, and virtual labs, can enhance the learning experience and cater to diverse learning styles. Additionally, organisations should leverage learning management systems (LMS) to track learners’ progress, monitor performance metrics, and evaluate the effectiveness of the training programs.

By analysing data insights and feedback from participants, organisations can continuously improve and refine their blended learning initiatives to meet evolving training needs and business objectives. Creating a seamless and integrated learning experience that combines the strengths of ILT and eLearning enhances the overall training impact and empowers learners to develop the skills and competencies required for success in the digital age.

Increasing Engagement Through Blended Learning

Blended learning offers organisations a unique opportunity to increase learner engagement and motivation by diversifying the training delivery methods and formats. By incorporating gamification elements, interactive simulations, and collaborative projects into the training content, organisations can create an immersive and interactive learning experience that captures learners’ interest and promotes active participation.

Encouraging peer-to-peer learning, group discussions, and knowledge sharing in both ILT and eLearning settings fosters a collaborative and supportive learning environment. Moreover, providing learners with access to multimedia resources, mobile learning apps, and online communities enhances the accessibility and interactivity of the training programs.

By offering flexibility in how and when learners engage with the training content, blended learning empowers individuals to take ownership of their learning journey and progress at their own pace. This self-directed approach to learning encourages autonomy, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, preparing learners to tackle real-world challenges and excel in their professional roles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an instructor-led training (ILT) course and how does it differ from eLearning?

Instructor-led training (ILT) involves live training sessions conducted by a trainer, either in person or online, whereas eLearning is self-paced and accessed virtually without a live instructor present.

What are the benefits of choosing instructor-led training over eLearning?

Instructor-led training provides learners with personalised attention, interactive exercises, immediate feedback, and the ability to ask questions in real-time, enhancing the overall learning experience.

How does virtual instructor-led training differ from traditional in-person ILT?

Virtual instructor-led training is conducted online with participants joining remotely, whereas traditional ILT is typically held in a physical classroom setting with all participants present in person.

What qualities make a good instructor for instructor-led training?

A good instructor for ILT should be knowledgeable, engaging, approachable, patient, and adept at facilitating a training session that is both informative and interactive for the participants.

What are the advantages of instructor-led training compared to other types of training?

Instructor-led training allows for real-time interaction, open communication, immediate clarification of doubts, personalised guidance, and the ability to tailor the training to meet the specific needs of the participants.

What are the key differences between online training and instructor-led training?

Online training is self-paced and lacks direct interaction with a live instructor, whereas instructor-led training offers real-time guidance, feedback, and engagement through live sessions conducted by a qualified trainer.

How can companies benefit from implementing instructor-led training for their employees?

Companies can benefit from instructor-led training by ensuring consistent, high-quality training experiences, fostering a culture of continuous learning, enhancing employee skills and knowledge, and ultimately improving overall performance and productivity.

Does Vantage 365 Training offer instructor-led training or eLearning?

At the moment, all of our courses are instructor led training courses and are delivered in either a physical classroom environment, or through Microsoft Teams. We are looking to add eLearning to our offering in the future.

For the eLearning version of our courses, please visit Microsoft Learn.

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