Instructor Led-Training (ILT) and Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)

VILT, meaning virtual instructor-led training, is quickly becoming a “new normal” for many organizations post-COVID. With many industries transitioning to completely remote workforces, businesses had to learn how they would complete new employee, customer and partner training without a geographical space. Although the phenomenon of “VILT learning” is not a new one, it has experienced significant growth during the pandemic as many organizations had to adapt to a remote working environment. 

While employees worked from home, many leaders were left wondering how they could continue to implement learning solutions and invest in the training of their current and future employees. After all, the ILT and VILT learning experiences can be very different from one another, and it’s not always easy to replicate an ILT exercise or training in a virtual learning environment. This is where Skytap Virtual IT Labs come in. With Skytap Virtual IT Labs, you can get the best out of ILT and VILT experiences in one simple-to-use software.

You should never have to sacrifice efficiency, flexibility, or personalization when it comes to VILT initiatives. Skytap Virtual IT Labs allows instructors to craft customized training courses that are intuitive to create and use. VILT labs can have multiple training sessions within a single course so that complex information can still be communicated and taught thoroughly. Virtual Labs also allows instructors to upload Course Manuals, which are resources that students can use to learn more about the subject matter, use as study guides, or any other purpose that the instructor finds appropriate.

Virtual Labs training courses can be synchronous or asynchronous. The software also allows instructors to create “events” that work as synchronous video or audio calls. This level of collaboration helps replicate traditional ILT. Virtual Labs also allows for the use of third-party integrations so that instructors can utilize external tools. 

ILT Meaning

ILT, meaning instructor-led training, was the norm for many years in nearly every industry. Before the pandemic, one study found that only 17% of employees worked from home. Most training initiatives were completed in the office with workplace leaders at the head of the training. When COVID-19 arrived it became difficult, if not impossible to implement ILT, meaning office workers were left wondering how they could fulfill technical compliance requirements, develop their skills, and advance the development and careers of their employees with meaningful training initiatives.

In addition, the office isn’t the only place that utilizes ILT. Most people are probably more familiar with ILT, meaning school where teachers such as preschool, elementary, middle, and high school instructors. Although you may never hear a kindergarten parent saying, “My little one is beginning instructor-led training this year!” it is an accurate statement. 

Instructor-led training takes place in nearly every workplace and classroom in the world, even after COVID. Many remote workplaces still gather for conferences, all-company events, and other in-person events where instruction takes place.

ILT is a powerful tool that isn’t going away anytime soon. However, certain conditions can prevent delivering ILT, meaning leadership must evolve so that they can continue to offer scalable, effective, and customizable training initiatives. Some of the most powerful advantages of ILT can be its possibility for personalized learning and the real-time and face-to-face interaction between instructors and students. 

Virtual Instructor Led Training Examples

Although ILT and VILT deliver training experiences in very different ways, the ultimate goal of both is to ensure that participants, whether that be employees, customers or partners receive quality training that results in a permanent learning outcome. Virtual instructor-led training best practices are not altogether different from the best practices of instructor-led training. Both types of training should be personalized to the student, include hands-on or active exercises, be relevant to the topic, and include instructor feedback. 

How else can VILT be utilized except through providing live virtual training? One of the most popular virtual instructor-led training examples is a virtual instructor-led training certification course. Certifications are necessary for many industries, including manufacturing, education, and healthcare. Not only that, but there are many virtual certification programs out there for things like digital marketing, coding, or even first-aid. 

Many organizations still need to deliver certification opportunities to their employees, especially in industries with heavy compliance requirements. Even in workplaces where ILT is common, virtual certification courses are becoming more popular. This is because they can often be completed at any time and it provides an opportunity to train more employees at once than would be possible with ILT.

ILT Course

Instructor-led training is the most common form of training for many industries, especially in traditional K-12 education. There are some experiences that are nearly impossible to replicate online, especially if you don’t have the correct VILT training tools. ILT courses and ILT certifications continue to be offered all over the world and will likely never be replaced by purely online courses. However, VILT offers a lot of flexibility that can be difficult to deliver with ILT.

ILT courses can be very labor-intensive on behalf of the instructor. Depending on the number of students, it can involve a lot of physical preparation. Spaces must be cleaned and organized. Paperwork must be developed, arranged, and made available to the students. Physical resources can also take time to compile and organize. This is true of ILT in both a school environment and in a workplace environment. Occasionally, ILT must be performed by leaders that are outside of the organization. For example, a CPR certification can only be obtained through instruction from an instructor who is already certified. In that case, HR personnel must find and arrange for a certified instructor to perform the ILT. ILT can require a lot of resources, both monetary and physical. Although ILT can be difficult to utilize, there are many benefits that some may find outweigh the disadvantages. 

ILT Course Meaning

Some common examples of instructor-led training might include one-on-ones, small group training, lecture-style which is usually to a larger group, a hands-on workshop, or even a conference-style presentation. There are lots of different methods used to give ILT meaning. Office ILT can be utilized in lots of different ways depending on the ultimate goal of the training program. If the goal of the training is to promote workplace development and encourage networking, a more “fun” style of ILT may lend itself to that goal. Using games in ILT can be a way to engage learners and promote friendly interactions between the students. This can make workplaces a more welcoming place to be. 

ILT certifications can offer the opportunity for immediate feedback and a sense of camaraderie amongst the participants. Certification courses can be very stressful, as they are usually required for either compliance reasons or necessary to advance one’s career. Additionally, some students may not find themselves able to use a remote learning tool to its full potential due to their personal learning style. ILT and VILT training is rarely a one-size fits all solution, even though both have their benefits. 

Instructor-led training benefits can include the ability to customize a lesson on the spot and participate in community-building activities directly with the instructor and with other students. While these benefits are also available in VILT training, another significant advantage of ILT is the possibility of immediate feedback from instructors and students. In a digital solution, it can be difficult to separate learners individually and there’s also the possibility of technical difficulties. That is not often the case when utilizing ILT.

Instructor-led online courses are usually called VILT or e-learning. It can be confusing to separate the two, especially as webinars are sometimes referred to as ILT. However, as a general rule, ILT occurs in-person, and VILT occurs online. 

ILT vs. Elearning

The most noticeable difference of ILT vs. elearning is that ILT is a face-to-face solutions whereas e-learning occurs online. Examples of instructor-led training include K-12 classroom training, in-person workplace training such as compliance certifications, first-aid certifications, and others. Many types of training are versatile and can be completed through facilitated e learning. When it comes to ILT/VILT, organizations should consider the benefits and challenges of both. If their workforce is mostly remote, VILT may make more sense. However, if they’re looking to foster workplace networking and community-building, they may want to bring all of their employees together for an ILT. If a training solution can be completed asynchronously or if there are so many employees that ILT would be cumbersome, a VILT solution like Virtual IT Labs could be the answer. 

And at the end of the day, many organizations don’t have to choose between ILT and VILT. There will usually be instances where one or the other makes more sense given the goal of the training altogether. The important thing is to make sure that any VILT tool used can give nearly every capability of ILT, such as breakout groups, hand-raising, and the availability of class resources. In a world that is moving increasingly digital, having a VILT tool can be a great asset. 

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