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.

9 thoughts on “Why didn’t elearning ever kill the Instructor-led training star?

  1. This blog is akin to “why didn’t Pandora kill radio DJ’s.” As a Clinical Application Trainer (and former DJ), I was made well aware of the threats to my job many, many moons ago. But I quickly realized the pro’s and con’s of ILT and eLearning–and I think your chart sums it up quite nicely. I think one more area is missing: flexibility. If you are sitting in front of a computer and can’t quite grasp the concept of the training, then you have no other recourse. A good instructor could see the perplexed look on your face and say, “think of it this way…”

    There is definitely room for both in this world and marrying eLearning and ILT’s is definitely the way to go… until VR training happens. If I could train my Singapore clients from my home in Minnesota, I’d be a very happy trainer. 🙂

    • Great point! We don’t need to live in a world where there is just one of these things and having both gives us more flexibility instead of less.

  2. Some topics are better suited for instructor-led training. Also many companies are having more of the blended approach to training which is a good idea.

  3. You’ve sparked quite a conversation around ILT. It was great to have you on #IDIODC. And I was thinking the same thing that Nancy mentioned. The ILT is also now the Virtual ILT. And many are creating blended experiences that include ILT, vILT, and self-paced (elearning) portions all wrapped into the ONE experience. The work of the typical “trainer” has expanded significantly since the days of just creating ILT. And since our toolbox has expanded so must our skillsets.

    Which is why I started http://TheLearnTrain.Community for all of us to gather and take time as a community of practice to support each other’s growth and learning as the industry continues to expect more from us.

    • Yes! It’s a good/important conversation. And Nancy’s comment has inspired next Monday’s post as well (adding vILT to the comparison!). Thank you again Brent for inviting me to talk about this on IDIODC last week!

  4. This is a great graphic Brian! I’d also like to see a blended learning approach…combining both ILT & VILT. In many cases, we’ve found that we receive even more benefits by blending the 2 modalities rather than taking an either/or approach.

    • Whoa! Now you’re getting a little crazy with *blending*! In all seriousness, yes, that’s spot on – leveraging technology to turn an event into more of an ongoing experience (ILT + vILT) would be extremely effective.

  5. I’d love to see a third-column – ILT real-time virtual training. I keep my virtual ILT sessions small (15 or fewer), so we can accomplish the kind of relationship-building that many onsite ILT sessions strive for.

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