In recent years, the rise of online learning has changed the way companies approach employee, partner and customer training and development. Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) and self-paced learning are two popular methods that offer numerous benefits over traditional classroom training. While VILT provides an engaging and dynamic virtual environment for learners, self-paced learning allows employees to learn at their own pace, resulting in better retention of information.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of VILT and self-paced learning, and how to optimize these methods for efficient and effective learning. We will also look at the critical role of content, technology, and delivery in designing successful VILT and self-paced programs.
The rise of online learning
The era of digitization is dynamic and constantly changing, making traditional one-dimensional training insufficient for modern employees and channel partners. Fortunately, Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) and self-paced online learning methods provide numerous opportunities for the modern workforce and customers to learn new skills whenever and however they want – all that’s needed is a good internet connection.
According to Forbes, virtual learning can improve learning by 600% when done right, compared to in-person training. However, most companies are not leveraging their potential when using VILT. Many will not adapt their in-person or instructor-led training (ILT) courses and simply put them online, which decreases even more the engagement aspect for learners.
The good news is that after two years of countless videoconferencing calls, the world has learned a thing or two about the importance of dynamic virtual training, such as self-paced learning, which can offer a welcome respite from live webinars. The best thing about a cohesive self-paced course is that it is purposefully structured and organized to take employees and partners on an engaging learning journey about a specific topic.
What is virtual instructor-led training?
Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is a live instructor-led training that uses a variety of virtual tools such as virtual labs, collaborative whiteboards, and other interactive technologies. Companies tend to incorporate VILT into larger blended company-wide training for professional development and onboarding sessions for employees and customers.
This type of training connects instructors and facilitators with learners, such as employees and customers, in disparate geographic locations for an engaging, dynamic, fun, and cost-effective session that replicates a traditional classroom online.
What is self-paced training?
Self-paced training refers to a learning approach where employees and partners have the flexibility to learn at their own pace and convenience. This training method allows learners to benefit from technology-enabled and evidence-based teaching methods, resulting in improved learning outcomes. A Learning Management System (LMS) makes it easy to personalize and socialize remote learning, providing a seamless experience for learners to achieve their training goals.
Benefits of VILT
Recreating the collaborative and social environment of a physical classroom in a virtual environment presents several challenges. However, virtual training easily makes up for this shortcoming with its accessibility, cost-effectiveness, structure, flexibility, and opportunities for experiential learning and extended communication.
- Agile and flexible: VILT can be delivered in various configurations, making it convenient for attendees, and can be carried out virtually regardless of the location of the attendees.
- Modular design: VILT programs offer training content in short, incremental modules that can be completed independently or with other courses, and an excellent LMS can make a difference.
- Low risk and rapid iteration: Virtual training can be rapidly deployed and continuously improved without significant risk, reducing costs and enabling quick iteration for software training.
- Increased scalability and capacity: VILT can accommodate large numbers of employees and customers without worrying about space or materials needed in conventional training settings.
- Measurable results: VILT offers tracking tools to measure and assess user engagement, providing feedback and analytics in real-time.
- Customization: VILT allows instructors to customize learning methods and courses based on industry trends, participant reactions, or company needs and preferences.
- Reduces costs: Delivering training sessions online considerably reduces costs by eliminating the need to source experienced trainers, book space or rooms, or pay for travel expenses.
Benefits of self-paced learning
- Effectiveness: Self-paced learning has been scientifically validated to improve memory performance, particularly when learners can allocate more time to challenging subject matter.
- Improved employee experience: Providing access to modern, engaging, and supportive training using means that employees are familiar with can improve their overall employee experience, which can impact employee retention.
- Lower training and onboarding costs: Interactive platforms and tools can reduce the amount of time and money spent on in-person training and onboarding sessions, allowing more customers or partners to be trained within the same budget.
- Tracking progress: Self-paced learning enables learners, instructors, and organizations to track progress and performance, review materials, identify gaps, and make changes to improve the course design.
- Customization: Self-paced learning allows for customized learning pathways based on individual learners' preferences, styles, and needs, helping them to gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Optimizing VILT and self-paced training for efficient and effective learning
VILT and self-paced training are principally driven by the need to train an increasing and more dispersed population efficiently and effectively at a lower cost. Successful VILT and self-paced training require the seamless and efficient interplay of three vital factors: content, technology, and delivery.
When designing self-paced and VILT programs, instructional designers need to take a distinct approach compared to traditional classroom programs. To ensure success, designers must provide students and instructors with effective mechanisms for frequent communication. They should also incorporate various forms of engaging content, such as videos, case studies, and assessments, to maintain interest and foster collaboration. The use of real-life case studies can be especially valuable for helping learners gain a deeper understanding of the concepts being taught.
As technology continues to advance, VILT and self-paced training are becoming increasingly popular due to the new features that are constantly being introduced to replicate in-person experiences. Investing in high-quality integrated platforms and tools is essential to enhance collaboration and ensure efficient scaling. For example, Constructor’s all-in-one platform leverages machine intelligence expertise and provides several features including virtual labs and customizable avatars which encourage active learning, intelligently adapt to the learner’s unique journey, and facilitate collaboration between instructors and peers.
Effective communication is crucial for facilitators, whether they are subject matter experts or trained instructors, to deliver a compelling VILT experience. However, one of the main challenges in successful and effective VILT implementation is the failure of facilitators to interact effectively with participants and manage their virtual classrooms.
It is important to provide facilitators with training and resources that enable them to effectively engage with participants and manage their classrooms. Additionally, regular feedback and evaluations can help identify areas for improvement and ensure that facilitators are meeting the needs of learners.
Implementing VILT and self-paced training
Implementing VILT and self-paced training programs for employees, partners, and customers can have a significant impact on the success of a business. With the increasing need to train an expanding and more geographically dispersed population efficiently and cost-effectively, VILT and self-paced training have become essential tools for companies. However, the success of these programs requires a unique approach to content design, technology, and delivery. By investing in a quality and secure training platform, and providing different types of content, including videos, case studies, and assessments, learners can be engaged, collaborative, and interested in the training. Additionally, incorporating real-life case studies can deepen their understanding of the concepts taught.
The right technology and delivery methods, as well as skilled facilitators, are also crucial to successful VILT and self-paced training programs. Companies can lower training and onboarding costs, improve employee experience, and track progress through these training methods, resulting in a more efficient and productive workforce and an overall better customer experience.
Constructor’s all-in-one platform for education and research caters to both VILT and self-paced training. Our extensive portfolio has proven to improve training and productivity leading to an increase in revenue and a decrease in support cost.
Contact us today to discuss how our platforms and tools can support your VILT and self-paced training needs.