Organizations around the globe are starting to embrace online learning solutions like vILT and eLearning like never before. However, there are still questions about which modalities businesses and institutions should use to train their workforce and their benefits.
To help navigate these choices, we’ve detailed the differences between vILT and eLearning. We’ve also outlined the most important benefits of utilizing vILT as part of an organizational training strategy.
What is Virtual Instructor-Led Training (vILT)?
Before we continue, it’s important to define vILT. As the name suggests, it’s a type of training that is conducted completely online through computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. The instructor (also known as a facilitator) is in one location and course participants are in other, separate locations. Everyone involved is able to communicate with each other in real time using a web conference tool (like Zoom).
Imagine an in-person course that is taught by an industry expert. Now picture the same course, conducted online. This is vILT. It bridges traditional classroom training and online learning in order to offer the positive aspects of both.
What is the Difference between vILT and eLearning?
Although eLearning and vILT are both powerful tools for corporate training, there are distinct differences.
eLearning is a structured course that is delivered electronically; this type of learning solution can include an array of elements such as pre-recorded lecture content, video, quizzes, simulations, games, activities and other interactive elements. It’s commonly accessible through a Learning Management System, and participants consume the material on their own.
While eLearning can be extremely effective, it doesn’t include the two-dimensional experience of interacting with a facilitator in real time. Additionally, eLearning is most effective when it’s used to focus on one specific topic.
Unlike eLearning, vILT is a simulation of a live classroom. If a live classroom setting is not possible, vILT is commonly seen as the second-best option for in-depth training.
Below are the six primary benefits of vILT.
1. Maximizes Scalability
Instructor-Led Training (ILT) is extremely effective. But it isn’t always the right learning solution. Because of the very nature of in-person training, there is limited seating capacity. Talent leaders are forced to be extremely selective in who they enroll in ILTs, often leaving out learners who would greatly benefit from the experience. This limits the organizational effectiveness of the training.
vILT is significantly more scalable than ILT. The number of learners who can attend a vILT session is not limited by physical space. Talent leaders can enroll as many participants as they think is appropriate.
The ability to enroll more learners has positive organizational impact. It rapidly eliminates skill gaps, ensuring learners have the knowledge they need to be effective. It also helps attract and retain talent. According to The National Business Research Institute, 23% of employees voluntarily leave their jobs because of a lack of development and training.
2. Fosters Diversity and Inclusion
The increase in scalability has a number of additional benefits, including improved diversity. Because vILT provides greater reach, learners and facilitators from a diversity variety of cultural and geographic backgrounds can participate. This can lead to a more inclusive, innovative and positive work environment.
3. Reduces Costs and Increases Effectiveness
In-person training initiatives are substantial investments. Travel accommodations, lost time and materials are some of the expenditures associated with ILT.
vILT reduces these costs. Learners don’t need to travel, which saves on lodging expenses. It also reduces the amount of time learners are away from their jobs, as they can participate in the learning engagement from anywhere, including their home or office.
In terms of training material, vILT eliminates the need for hard copy assets like workbooks, handouts and wall visuals. Instead, these valuable resources are delivered electronically.
But what is the actual savings?
4. Builds Professional Relationships
Unlike eLearning, vILT enables real-time conversation with facilitators and peers. This increases the effectiveness of the learning. A meta-analysis of 99 studies proved that having effective relationships with instructors leads to a significant increase in learner engagement.
5. Enhances Learning Outcomes
The discussion component of vILT is a crucial element to its success. Human beings are social learners. Discussion improves engagement, which in turn increases long-term knowledge retention. This is because discussion is a form of active learning that utilizes participants’ senses.
6. Provides More Convenience for Learners
The average person’s life is getting busier by the day, and working from home is slowly becoming the new norm for many businesses. The concrete border that once separated work and home responsibilities is becoming inconspicuous, and employees have the 24/7 responsibility of balancing their personal and professional lives. This makes it important to embrace diverse lifestyles in the workforce. To that end, using vILT enables learners to have an effective, flexible learning experience, without having to sacrifice their personal obligations.
The scalability, cost savings and effectiveness of vILT have made it a popular trend in the learning and development industry over the past few years. It’s likely to expand as more organizations recognize its benefits.
Interested in learning more about how vILT can benefit your organization? Contact us today!