The world is rapidly moving online. From shopping online to paying bills online, and now even working remotely. A recent study by UNCTAD shows that people are now using online mediums more frequently to make purchases, read news, and learn. Besides individuals, corporations have also made their move online. More and more organizations are now using virtual instructor-led training to prep their employees.
However the strategy has been around since the early 1990s, it has only recently become famous. Let's learn what's all this hype about.
What is instructor-led training?
Virtual instructor-led training, also known as VILT, is a special kind of training that is delivered virtually and falls under remote learning. It allows learners and trainers to easily come together in an online space to learn, making it a convenient strategy. Moreover, the convenience also cuts down any traveling expense and hence making it cost-effective.
VILT uses blended learning i.e. it integrates some elements of traditional in-class learning along with online individual learning. This way you get the best of both worlds. With the ongoing COVID situation, VILT is perhaps the most ideal form of learning that lives up to the standards of classroom learning. Moreover, for instructors struggling to find their way around online teaching, this provides a comfort zone, enabling them to transition easily.
Although much like classroom training, this form of training is much shorter in duration and lasts between 1 to 2 hours. Whereas, classroom learning can take up an entire day and be tiring for people. Organizations tend to use VILT as part of their larger aims for professional development like skills training and employee onboarding. This makes it a flexible tool that companies can use to achieve their professional development goals more efficiently.
Benefits of Virtual Instructor-led Training
As mentioned above, one of the best things about VILT is that it is economical. Bu cutting down on travel to logistical expenses of organizing a training seminar, save companies considerable capital which they can invest somewhere else. Besides, investing in such company-wide accessible programs allows all the employees to participate and learn at once (or even later via recordings of the sessions).
Such programs help fill in knowledge gaps in the organizations. They are also engaging for the employees. When a company invests in the professional development of their employees, they feel motivated to perform better. Hence, making them stick to their jobs for longer. This, in turn, helps to reduce any costs of new hiring.
What makes VILT stand out and over the traditional training techniques is how diverse it is. Since it is virtual, people from all over can join in. It builds bridges and brings people together of all kinds of ethnic, linguistic, and geographical backgrounds. Hence, making the experience global and its impacts far-reaching.
Being online means no borders and no visas. And so as many people from as many locations can tune in, learn and contribute to the training sessions. Making VILT and accessible tool.
VILT is a flexible tool that adapts and molds according to the needs of both the organization and the individuals. People can pause, rewatch, and record the sessions for their convenience. Often, hosts can include subtitles and translations too. The software is also simple to navigate so no one is left behind. Moreover, this also makes VILT scalable. Organizers can scale the course to accommodate as many people as necessary.
Greater memory retention
Studies show that when people learn in collaborative environments, they learn better and retain the information for longer periods. This is because people engage all their senses. Moreover, rather than passively consuming the information, learners actively participate and at times take up the role of instructors teaching others (jigsaw learning).
Tips for Virtual Instructor-led Training
Create an engaging environment
Having a secure and motivating environment is critical for learning. This is why make sure to use a robust and trustworthy video-conferencing tool along with a smooth internet connection. Moreover, keep the background minimal and make sure to make the content stand out. This will help limit any inconveniences and distractions for trainers and learners alike.
Use the right software
As mentioned above, having the right tool to host your sessions is what can make or break your training programs. Make sure to do ample research before investing in the tools. There is a wide selection of VILT hosting platforms these days. It can be almost daunting to make the decision. When making the choice keep some of these pointers in mind: price, value-for-money, integrations, and user-friendliness.
Align with larger goals
Successful training fulfills all the company goals; employee and management. Therefore, when developing the training programs, make sure they align with the organization's goals and are not isolated from them. It will give the sessions some direction to pursue and cater to the specific needs of the employees as well.
Take the help of SMEs
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are professionals who have experience and knowledge regarding specialized fields. An ideal program will have an SME overlooking the process. They know the details and the techniques that will make your sessions work best and yield the most results.
How do you know if the training programs are working? Well, you ask. Make sure to seek feedbacks right after each session so that you can get the unfiltered response. Take timely surveys on how you can improve. Keeping participants in the loop makes the programs efficient and specific to the needs. Also, it keeps participants interested in learning more.
Use collaborative learning techniques
By incorporating collaborative techniques into the learning process, one can make the process fun and in a way incentivize it for learners to engage. These techniques are the perfect solution to the lack of participation in online programs. People learn better, retain the information longer, and enjoy it.
Here is our selection of some of the best collaborative techniques that you can use: Top 10 Collaborative Learning Strategies.
Invest in quality and need-specific training programs
It goes without saying that if you wish to make your training programs successful then they have to be relevant to the needs of the learners. Conduct a field analysis and deduce the key issues and areas that require immediate attention. Along with people, come up with such a program that attends to the organizations' and employees' needs.
Establish a learning centric company culture
Having the correct environment, one that fosters collaboration, community, and growth, is integral to learning. People can only learn when they have the will, motivations, resources, and also an encouraging surrounding to do so. For the companies that wish to implement instructor-led training, they should also invest in building such an office environment that seeks it.
In conclusion, an effective virtual instructor-led training will embody all tips outlined above. However, there are some key elements too that are of equal importance, namely: Having the right LMS, a video conferencing tool, and whiteboard tools, etc to name a few. By using such tools, instructors can make delivering content organized and much easier for them. Consequently, the learners will learn clearly.