Instructor-led training or ILT is the oldest method of teaching, which has stood the test of time. It continues to be in vogue even now. Organizations do not shy away from having ILT initiatives because of the advantages it offers. These include the ability to:
- Instruct a large group at once
- Promote collaborative learning, as individuals learn better when they are together
- Gain the attention of learners because they are in a fixed place for a fixed time, without competing demands on their attention
- Provide options for instructors to modify the course based on the learners’ needs at that point of time
With such advantages, it is but natural that organizations continue with ILT. So, what are the points you must keep in mind when setting up an ILT session for training your employees and how can you maximize its impact? This blog will give you some answers.
How to Set up Your ILT Initiative
Create a list of learning objectives
When starting your ILT initiative, you need to be clear about the learning objectives. What are the skills you want your employees to learn at the end of the training program? What are they supposed to know at the end of each session?The learning objectives have to be specific in nature. They have to be based on the performance to be improved or the business objective to be achieved.
For instance, if the training is on a new communication process, merelystatingthis in your learning objectives will not suffice. You will have to provide details such as, “My team needs to know the aspects they can communicate with their direct supervisors, the process of communicating with higher authorities, the protocol that has to be followed when they need to communicate- either directly on the phone or through e-mail.”
This will help you clearly define what your learners need to know and provides you with specific metrics on which you can assess them.
Ensure The Training is Relevant to The Audience
Learning objectives provide a basic outline of what you need to cover in the training sessions and how this information will be relevant to your audience. This will also help you select content and will ensure that the training is relevant to learners. Trainees have to understand why they need to learn and what they will gain from it. This will impact the success of the training program.
Create a Plan
After deciding on the learning objectives, you need to have a plan for each training session. Have a plan for the information you will cover, its presentation, and the sequence of your presentation. The materials and resources required such as handouts and visual aids have to be ready.
The evaluation of trainees and feedback for improvement should also be considered.
Planning is crucial to ensure the success of your ILT program. This becomes easy if you are organized and invest the required time and effort. The next steps are designing and developing the program.
Designing And Developing The Learning Experience
While designing and developing the training,these are the aspects you should consider:
- The important skills your team needs to learn and the methods to assess them
- Venue and timing of the training session
- Presentation of information- the media and visual aids that will be used
- Techniques that will add variety to the session, such as learning activities or role-plays
These are some key steps in setting up an ILT program. Let us look at ways you can maximize its impact.
Select Facilitators With Care
The choice of the facilitator has a huge impact on the success of the ILT program. The facilitator should be an expert on the subject and have good public speaking and communication skills.
A good facilitator has the ability to think on his feet. He can change the course mid-stream to maintain the audience’s attention or implement ideas from the group. He knows the tricks to get learners back on track when attention depletes.
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A good facilitator will ‘actively’ listen to participants. He also has a good sense of humor to liven things up. He will try not to dominate the session, especially during discussions, because he is aware of the benefits of collaborative learning.
Customize The Presentation
While it is impossible to customize the learning experience for individuals in ILT, it can certainly be tweaked, based on the needs of the audience group. For instance, during product training, on the features of a product, if learners are confused about a particular feature, then the instructor can spend more time explaining about that feature.Customization requires planning in advance to best connect with the group.
When trying to maximize the impact of ILT, you can also consider blending e-learning with ILT. Theoretical knowledge can be shared through microlearning modules whereas ILT can be used for practical purposes such as demonstrations and tutorials. After an ILT session, assessments can be delivered online while small nuggets of information can be placed on the LMS which learners can access whenever required, much after the classroom session. A blended learning solution can reduce the costs associated with ILT and allows it to be used for appropriate content, while providing flexibility to the learner.
To design an effective ILT program, start by defining the objectives, ensure that the content is relevant to the learner, and plan on how you will deliver each session. To increase the impact, use skilled facilitators, consider blended learning, and customize the training based on the target group.
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