Successful organizations have well-planned Instructor Led Training (ILT) solutions in place. Many of these organizations, are now increasingly becoming aware of the value of eLearning, and have shifted part of their training solutions online. Can they afford to shift all their training solutions online? Before attempting to answer this question, it would be best to take a quick look at some of the limitations of one delivery format and how other options can be used to overcome them.
|Instructor-Led Training Limitations||Blended Solution|
|1||ILTs are typically, not available on-demand, or closer to the moment of need. Think of the many times you needed immediate training, but had to wait till the training schedule allowed you to register for a classroom session.||The concepts and key takeaways from classroom training can be made into short eLearning modules, which can be accessed in time of need. For example, troubleshooting tips for service engineers, or Product assembling guidelines for sales and service personnel. Employees can access them any time, particularly when they need the information the most. After all, it is not possible to retain all that is taught in classroom session forever!|
|2||Schedules for ILT programs are typically rigid and fixed in advance. If your workforce works in shifts, this type of training can be very inconvenient for night shift workers. For some reason, if learners are unable to attend a session, rescheduling classes is not possible most times, with inflexible schedules or classes filled beyond capacity.||When employees need to be trained in a classroom environment, the content can be converted into eLearning so that those who are unable to attend the classroom session, are benefited from the online resource. It also serves as reinforcement learning, to those who wish to brush up the knowledge gained in classroom training.|
|3||ILTs can have inconsistency in the message and delivery, and learners can sometimes be at the mercy of poor instructors.||Converting the course into eLearning ensures that the same content is accessed by employees, across the organization, irrespective of their location. This ensures quality and consistency of knowledge transfer, ensuring no one is at a disadvantage.|
However, not all courses may be suitable for eLearning format. Let’s look at some of the limitations of eLearning format and how ILT and complement it.
|E-learning Limitations||Blended Solution|
|1||E-learning may not be an effective medium, when you need to train employees on soft skills, such as leadership skills. A standard training is delivered through eLearning and cannot be altered impromptu, depending on the responses or interests of the learners. It may not appeal to all types of learners, particularly to learners who have limited computer skills.||In cases such as soft skills, training can be held in classrooms, but reference materials or job aids, videos and case studies can be made available online, as supporting learning documents. Alternatively, these reference materials, especially case studies can be given as a pre-classroom exercise, which can be an excellent interactive discussion point during classroom interactions. E-learning can be used for pre-classroom activities, in case of training delivered through ILT method.|
|2||Trainings such as product training may require hands-on training, which may not be possible through eLearning.||In cases where the participants need to have hands-on training, ILT is the best option. It can be followed up with online assessments. Videos or product demonstrations can be uploaded as a part of short bite-sized learning modules, which can be accessed for just-in-time purposes.|
As you can see, no single format is suitable to address all your training requirements. Therefore, coming back to the earlier question, it may not be recommended that organizations to move all their training solutions online. Adding variety in the delivery format, through blended training solutions, can make your training programs less monotonous.
Blending classroom training and eLearning, engages learners and brings variety to the training program. It also caters to individuals, who have different learning styles and preferences. Moreover, learning becomes a process and not an event, which I think best summarizes why organizations should opt for a blended solution.