Virtual instructor led training, also known as VILT, has been around for a while. But in recent years, digital transformations have revolutionized workplaces around the world.
And, as a result, VILT has skyrocketed in popularity. For good reason, too! As a digital learning strategy, VILT is unmatched.
Virtual instructor led training combines the best of traditional classroom learning and online training.
You get the interaction and social element of instructor led training (ILT), plus the flexibility and efficiency of remote training. It doesn’t get better than that.
If you’re wondering what exactly VILT is, what the hype is all about, and how you can create it, this is the article for you!
Today, our training experts at RTG Solutions Group are answering your top questions about VILT:
- What is virtual instructor led training?
- What are the benefits of virtual instructor led training?
- How to create engaging virtual instructor led training
To become a pro on all-things VILT, keep scrolling!
WHAT IS VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR LED TRAINING?
So, what is virtual instructor led training, exactly? With so many different online training formats around, it’s important to know what makes VILT stand out.
VILT is a form of remote training that is delivered in real-time by an instructor through a video platform, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
You may have heard of the term “synchronous learning.” Synchronous learning means that everyone is accessing the training at the same time, which is how VILT works. Learners log on to a class that is delivered live by an instructor.
So, unlike self-paced online learning, virtual instructor led training occurs on a schedule.
Another defining factor of virtual instructor led training is that it’s a two-way street. Consider, for example, a webinar. In webinars, information only comes from the instructor or instructors – the audience gets little to no input.
If you’re lucky, they might take a handful of questions at the end, but that’s about it!
Meanwhile, virtual instructor led training has a constant, back-and-forth flow of information and questions between learners and instructor.
For example, an eLearning course could be broken up into modules with a variety of self-paced learning materials, with VILT lectures spaced throughout.
The VILT component adds the interactive classroom experience while maintaining the accessibility of remote learning.
FEATURES OF VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR LED TRAINING
- Led by an instructor
- Delivered live (synchronous)
- Hosted on a video conferencing platform
- Two-way flow of information between learners and instructor
- Can be part of a larger eLearning program
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR LED TRAINING?
Compared to in-person training models, VILT tends to cut down costs significantly.
Whether you’re hosting VILT or attending as a trainee, costs are streamlined. There are no travel and lodging costs. No need to rent out a facility or provide catering. And learners can use their own smart devices to access training.
In-person training has limitations when it comes to how many people can be hosted, particularly during a global pandemic.
While VILT should still have a maximum classroom capacity to ensure sufficient interaction opportunities, it is easier to implement VILT at a larger scale than in-person training because there is less logistical planning and fewer overhead costs.
If you need to train large volumes of people, VILT has a major advantage over in-person training.
VILT offers a level of flexibility that traditional, in-person training simply can’t match. People from all around the world can tune into your training.
You can also have instructors from all over the globe provide your training. It can be accessed on multiple devices – laptops, smartphones, etc.
Virtual instructor led training shatters boundaries for what was previously possible for training.
The magic of VILT lies in the fact that it combines the flexibility of remote learning while still offering a dynamic, interactive classroom experience.
As we’ve highlighted, VILT should not be like a webinar, in that information should not just be “dumped” on learners.
There should be regular interaction between learners and instructors. Instructors should make use of questions, discussions, break-out groups, and other activities.
These interactive exercises boost engagement. This means learners are more likely to remember and apply the skills they learn.
HOW TO CREATE ENGAGING VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR LED TRAINING
Incorporate lots of interaction opportunities
As we mentioned before, a best practice for VILT is to make it interactive. Remember: this isn’t a webinar.
If your audience could have a similar training experience by watching a YouTube video, you’re doing it wrong!
To create training that has long-term impact, you must interact with learners frequently. This is the best way to compete with any distractions in your audience’s environment and keep them engaged.
Focus on quality over quantity
As with anything, when you design your virtual instructor led training, focusing on quality over quantity is key.
Your learners will most likely have multiple devices capable of connecting them to engaging, distracting content with the click of a button.
This means the learning experience should be jam-packed with important information. This matters whether you’re creating virtual instructor led training for your own workplace or for a general online audience.
If the training is for your own business, relevancy ensures the time your employees spend in training is just as valuable as the time they could be spending doing their everyday work.
If the training is for a general audience, substantive lectures will make them feel their money has been well spent and their time hasn’t been wasted.
If you can say it in 30 minutes, don’t spend an hour on it!
Work into an LMS platform
For a more holistic and effective training program, use virtual instructor led training as part of a larger eLearning program on an LMS.
In other words, your lectures shouldn’t be the sole training material.
With LMS training, you can offer a variety of live and self-paced learning materials to reinforce classroom learning: discussion boards, quizzes, micro-learning, gamified activities.
Collect data for evidence-based training
Anything is better when it’s evidence-based, and training is no exception.
How do you collect data on your training? Well, this is yet another major advantage of using an LMS.
Many systems come equipped with data-collection capabilities that measure your learners’ progress and deliver insights on your training efficacy.
This way, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your training, and adjust your techniques and content based on the data.
Complement with gamification and microlearning
If you do combine virtual instructor led training with an LMS, this is a great opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge training tactics that are proven to boost learning.
Gamification and microlearning are some of the most popular L&D practices to increase engagement and retention.
Gamification adds “game-like” elements to your training in order to motivate employees to learn.
This includes things like badges, leaderboards, competition, progress bars, and even actual “games” that are optimized for learning.
We wrote about all-things gamification in this article – check it out!
Microlearning, on the other hand, involves sharing bite-sized pieces of information on a very specific topic.
People are more likely to remember new information when it is reinforced multiple times, and when it’s presented in small chunks. Micro-learning is a quick-win strategy to accomplish that.
Want some examples and tips to implement microlearning? Click here!
We’d say that virtual instructor led training is the future, but, really, it’s the here and now.
With all of its advantages – engagement, scalability, cost savings, flexibility – demand for VILT is quickly making in-person training a thing of the past.
When you create virtual instructor led training, a focus on best practices will boost the efficacy of your training program and create long-term impact.
These are our top tips for winning VILT program: make your training interactive, focus on quality over quantity, combine it with an LMS, collect training data, and incorporate strategies like gamification and microlearning.