There is no doubt that instructor-led training or ILT has certain advantages that supports its existence as a training option in organizations even now. However given the cost, time and logistics involved in organizing ILT session especially for huge number of employees who are geographically dispersed, the option of using virtual instructor led training or VILT seems more feasible. VILT sessions can be as effective as ILT sessions sans the logistics and efforts involved. We will explore the advantages VILT can bring to your training initiative in this blog.
What is VILT?
Virtual instructor-led training sessions or VILT refers to training delivered in a virtual or simulated environment where the trainer and learner are at two different locations. The use of videoconferencing and other web conference tools make this possible. The growth in technology has made this internet-based delivery of training feasible. VILT sessions are created to simulate the classroom training experience. The advantage is they can be in either synchronous or asynchronous format.
The growing popularity of this Internet Based Training Delivery can be attributed to the steady increase of bandwidth and development of software technologies. This has made it an ideal solution to reach location dispersed learners in a quick and cost-effective way. Organizations are using VILT for product, sales and new hire training.
Apart from avoiding the costs involved in arranging an off-site training session, VILT is accessible to employees in multiple locations. These teams can attend the training at the same time to receive the same training. A trainer can deliver virtual training to learners at multiple locations using an online tool that allows two-way communication. Information can be shared in the form of videos, documents, presentations, and written notes with the learners during the session. Learners can also participate in forums and discussions and take notes.
Advantages of using VILT
Training irrespective of learner’s location: The VILT mode of training gives learners the convenience of joining the course from where they are without actually having to travel to the training location. Permits interactivity: The presence of an instructor allows for interactivity- learners can ask questions, express their views and participate in discussions.
Customized content: Once learners learn something from the instructor in the VILT sessions, they can be given online modules for further learning. For organizations, VILT provides the convenience of delivering necessary training for a job in a short span of time. Information can be delivered quickly. Changes in the industry, market trends, product updates can be communicated to employees by using VILT for sharing information or addressing any issues.
Track learners’ performance: Finding how much learners have learned is possible through real-time assessments in the form of polls or questions. Tracking learners’ performance also helps to provide instant feedback. This can be done using an LMS or using the built in analytics that comes with the tools used for VILT.
Drawbacks of VILT
VILT is not exempt from drawbacks. One of them is the inability of the instructor to address the concerns of every user personally. Though the session can be live, the instructor cannot move around the room and address the doubts of individual participants.
Another drawback is since the training is online; the trainer has no option of gauging whether the learners are engaged. He cannot assess if the learners are paying attention or engaged in the session, this becomes pertinent especially when learners might face numerous distractions at their desk or computer. The facilitator has to find ways to keep the learners engaged.
The timing of the VILT sessions may be inconvenient to some learners who might be in time zones that require them to log in at late or early hours of the day.
Another disadvantage is the tight timeframes in which these sessions are held. They are expected to be completed in a fixed amount of time and rarely provide the luxury of being carried forward to the next session. The facilitator has to time his delivery based on the timeframe while taking care of the pace of delivery as rushing will undermine the learners’ attention while a slow delivery will affect engagement.
Despite these drawbacks, VILT can be an exciting alternative to an ILT session. They work well when you immediately want to train a large group of people at short notice or want to save the cost of organizing an offsite training session. Some situations may require an ILT solution for training your employees. But if you think using your instructors to hold a VILT session while providing them with required facilities may work effectively, why not choose the option? Do you agree? Share your views with us.