Instructor-led training (ILT), the gold standard for employee training, has long held an advantage over elearning. Asynchronous message boards, forums, and instructional videos, while useful teaching tools, never quite match up to the personal instructor/student relationship that is the hallmark of instructor-led training.
The widespread adoption of virtual instructor-led training, or VILT, has changed how people view elearning. It’s now possible for an instructor to teach online in real-time, with all the advantages of face-to-face interaction. As for whether VILT or ILT is the better choice for your employee training outcomes, that depends on multiple factors, including your personal preferences.
In-Person Instructor-Led Training: Pros and Cons
In-person instructor-led training is the most traditional form of teaching. The learning environment is similar to the classrooms you attended when you went to school, with a group of students and an instructor interacting in a face-to-face setting. A well-run in-person instructor-led training session encourages mentoring opportunities, the development of personal connections with instructors and fellow students, and the opportunity for employees to network.
In-person instructor-led training often occurs at an off-site location but can also occur on-site at your company location. On-site training can allow your employees to learn with the specific equipment and processes they’ll use at work, and an experienced on-site instructor can customize training to focus on your site’s unique needs.
This type of training is not without its drawbacks. Off-site instruction, for instance, requires a loss of productivity while employees take the course. In addition to the cost of the course itself, you have to pay for your employees’ travel, food, and accommodation costs.
In-person private group training (previously known as on-site training) relieves you of travel expenses and increases productivity lost during travel. In-person private group courses can be challenging to schedule so all employees who need the training can attend, especially if employees' are involved in mission-critical tasks.
As of 2020, instructor-led training can be complicated by the need to social distance. A classroom, especially a crowded classroom, can make social distancing difficult, potentially endangering the health of both your employees and the instructor.
Because of that concern, TPC is offering virtual private group training in which employees at different company locations can log into the same private training session. Doing this helps ensure social distancing and successfully instills a group training experience.
Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)
Virtual instructor-led training offers many of the advantages of in-person instructor-led training. Instead of a classroom, VILT takes place online, usually through video conferencing software. As with ILT, VILT allows for real-time interaction between the instructor and students, just in a virtual setting. Instructors can provide personal attention to employees while taking advantage of interactive online educational tools such as pop quizzes, short surveys, and instant messaging.
As VILT dispenses with the need for a physical classroom, companies don’t have to concern themselves with the expense associated with off-site training. Scheduling training is also more manageable: classes can be taken from anywhere with an internet connection, at times convenient to your employees. You lose less productivity while your employees benefit from face-to-face instruction. And as the training is virtual, safe social distancing is built right into the course.
Virtual ILT vs. In-Person ILT
For years, in-person ILT has been the most popular way of taking courses with a live instructor. Employees can take courses in locations near their workplace. Getting away from their workplace allows the staff to focus 100% on learning without worrying about their facility.
In-person ILT may be more appropriate for training where hands-on practice is required. However thanks to video conferencing technology and simulation training methods it’s possible to include hands-on work in a virtual setting.
When it comes to cost, virtual instructor-led training is a definite winner, if only because travel costs are not an issue. VILT also tends to be more convenient for your schedule, reducing productivity losses. Finally, VILT provides a safer environment for employees — an essential consideration in situations where social distancing is required.
When it comes to the quality of instruction, there’s little difference between VILT and ILT. Both allow employees the opportunity to learn under the guidance of industry experts with years of teaching experience. At TPC Training, we insist on the same level of excellence from our virtual and classroom instructors.
Still not sure whether virtual instructor-led training or classroom instructor-led training is right for you? Contact TPC Training or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you choose the training seminars that fit your employee needs and your schedule.