Best practices in virtual instructor-led training (VILT)
By Jason Kinsella – 17 April 2018
In our experience working with training organizations and software companies, we’ve seen a broad range of methods used to deploy virtual instructor-led training (VILT). If you are considering a move to VILT, or are looking to enhance your existing virtual training program, please read this post! Incorporate these best practices for instructor-led virtual training and ensure your training program’s continued success.
1. Look at the learning objectives
If you’re looking to move from physical to virtual instructor-led training, first re-visit your training objectives. Can they be met via virtual delivery? And if not, in what other way can they be met? Is some of the content better suited to a different delivery format? When moving to VILT, some organizations convert a portion of their ILT content into self-paced eLearning. The benefits of this are twofold: firstly, it creates scalable eLearning that is easy to deliver remotely; and secondly, it focuses the VILT component of the training program on more complex learning objectives and scenarios with the presence of a virtual instructor.
2. Keep virtual training interactive
Interpersonal interaction is one of the key benefits of ILT in a physical classroom. If training is made virtual, what role does this now play? How do you personalize the experience without being face-to-face with learners? How to encourage learners to continue to pay attention, and not get distracted?
Good instructors regularly ask questions and prompt for feedback from their learners. Instructors experienced in VILT typically achieve this via group chats, polls and mini assessments to keep virtual learners engaged.
We recently spoke to a VILT veteran who also emphasised the need for increased interactivity in VILT. Read more of their expert tips here.
3. Include hands-on practice
Another benefit of traditional ILT is that it can include hands-on practice. With VILT, you can dedicate a significant amount of the session to practice, via virtual hands-on labs. If using a specialized virtual labs platform to deliver this, instructors can view all learner screens at the same time, and easily identify when someone requires additional assistance or support. In addition, an instructor can take control of the learner’s environment and guide them on certain steps if needs be. This type of personalized instruction simply cannot be achieved in a physical classroom, as the instructor can’t monitor multiple students at the same time.
4. Assess the virtual training ROI
If you are looking to champion VILT in your organization, there’s a chance you may experience some resistance. You will need to demonstrate how virtual classrooms not only deliver ROI, but in fact exceed returns when compared with physical instructor-led training.
In order to do this, you’ll need to use tools that can report on learner progress and engagement, as well as analyse the resources consumed, and therefore costs. Understanding these insights will help you promote the benefits of VILT.
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