Comparing ILT, vILT and elearning

Last week I wrote about the strengths of elearning vs. instructor-led training (ILT). In the comment section, someone suggested that it would be interesting to see a third column in the comparison: virtual instructor-led training (vILT). I’m nothing if not a man of the people, so I’m giving them what they want.

Something I found interesting when I added the vILT column is that I couldn’t really come up with anything unique to vILT. Every item checked off for vILT is shared by either ILT or elearning. As I studied this more, I had to pause. While vILT by its nature is instructor-led and thus will obviously share some traits with ILT, it also has some things in common only with elearning.

There’s nothing in this chart to suggest that any one of these formal training methods is superior to either of the other two. It really comes down to the problem you’re looking to solve.

Need to deploy something rapidly across multiple countries and continents in multiple languages? Elearning may be your best bet.

Have an audience of learners that doesn’t have access to reliable Internet? More traditional classroom-based learning (ILT) may need to be your solution.

What’s missing from this chart when it comes to advantages of these three delivery methods? Is there anything unique to vILT that neither ILT nor elearning have? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Why didn’t elearning ever kill the Instructor-led training star?

Last Wednesday I was a guest on dominKnow’s Instructional Designers In Offices Drinking Coffee (IDIODC) show and we spoke about Instructor-led training (ILT) and the value it still has in today’s world of learning. During the show, we reminisced about predictions during the early 2000s that ILT would eventually be replaced by elearning and other technologies.

As we talked, there was consensus that both elearning and ILT belong in every instructional designer’s tool bag. My company has certainly had conversations with clients in which we entered the meeting assuming the best solution would be elearning, but after asking some probing questions it turned out that ILT was the best solution (and vice versa).

If your needs assessment determines that a formal training intervention is the best solution and you’re trying to decide whether you should go the elearning route or the ILT route, perhaps you’ll find the following comparison helpful:

Do you agree with the comparison? Do you see it differently? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section.

How can trainers show thanks to their learners?

With Thanksgiving (in the United States) coming up this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we show gratitude to others. I definitely think there are very powerful ways that we, as trainers, can show our gratitude to our learners.

Put some effort into room set up

What the learners find when they walk into your room goes a long way to setting the tone for the session and says a lot for how you’ve prepared for them.

Make your session mean something (even if they don’t want to be there)

Sometimes people come to our sessions when they don’t want to, and sometimes they come with expectations that don’t align with what you’re planning to cover. One thing I like to do is begin sessions by simply asking people to introduce themselves and share one expectation they have for the day. If their expectation aligns with the scope of the session, great. If not, I take their out-of-scope expectation and put it into the Parking Lot so that I can talk with them in more depth during a break. Sometimes fate intervenes and allows me to cover parking lot items in the flow of conversations that emerge organically in a session as well.

Keep them engaged

One of the foundational philosophies underlying the training that my colleagues and I design is Dialogue Education. Based on Jane Vella’s work, we adhere to her 12 principles which are basically a “thank you note” for training attendees. Concepts such as ensuring a safe environment for learners to participate, working in partnership with learners, ensuring relevance of content and ensuring practice with reflection (praxis) are all key components.

Delight them with something new

Sometimes “new” is the content you’re delivering. Sometimes “new” is a model you’re sharing, a process or procedure or a new way to solve a problem. Sometimes “new” is a way for them to engage – tools like PollEverywhere and Kahoot often excite my participants so much that they want to bring it in to their own future presentations.

Celebrate their accomplishments

Celebrating a recent train-the-trainer session by awarding each graduate their very own pack of Mr. Sketch markers

Assuming you’ve engaged your learners and allowed them to get involved in your session, offering opportunities to celebrate what they’ve learned and demonstrated they can do in your session is appreciation/celebration-worthy.

What’s missing? How do you appreciate and offer thanks to your learners?

Should Training Be Fun?

There was a discussion on social media this week around the necessity of fun in training. I stared at the post for a long time and trying to decide if, in fact, fun is something that should be included in all training. I spent a lot of time thinking about this over the last 24 hours, and think this is an interesting conversation we should be having in L&D. Continue reading

Conference Take-Aways

Following the 2019 Dev Learn conference, Bianca Woods put together a list of questions to put your conference learning into practice. This week, our own Brian Washburn attended the ATD Core 4 Conference in Miami as a presenter and a participant. We decided to put Bianca’s recommendations into practice and see what they look like from the eyes of a participant. I virtually sat down with Brian and asked him a few questions inspired by Bianca’s recommendations. Here is what I learned. Continue reading

Great Presentations Start Here

A great presentation involves planning, evidence-based instructional design, engaging delivery, compelling visuals and some way for people to do something new or differently or better as a result. Easy, right?

Maybe not so much. I’ve never met a single person who could do every one of those things well. So how can someone cobble together a great presentation with all of those elements? Continue reading