Is Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) an Appropriate Training Option?

In today’s global work environment and with an increasing number of people working remotely, the need for live virtual training solutions is growing. For those new to this training format, it may be difficult to determine when it’s appropriate. Below are some initial questions to ask when considering the use of virtual instructor led training (vILT).

Is the organization used to this learning format?

If vILT is new to the organization, it is important to educate management and employees on the benefits and challenges of this format. Provide demonstrations to acquaint individuals with the technology allow them to practice using the features and functionality that could be used during a training session.

Does management support this as a viable learning format?

Managers of the target audience must believe, or at least be open-minded, to this as a learning solution. If they agree to try the format, offer demonstrations as you design the training along with explanations of how different learning objectives will be met through the design of the program.

Does the content require guidance from a trainer/expert or interaction with others?

Live virtual training is an alternative when input or guidance from a trainer or expert is required or important. When the opportunity to practice and receive live feedback or ask questions is important, vILT may be an appropriate option.

Can the content be taught in multiple sessions or in short timeframes?

Ideally, a vILT session is between 30 and 90 minutes in length. With proper design longer sessions are possible though not ideal for the learner. If the content can be covered in a short timeframe, broken out into multiple sessions, or covered in a blended format reducing the length of time needed in the vILT session, vILT may be an appropriate format.

Can the content be delivered to smaller groups (12-20)?

It is important to remember the difference between communicating and training in a live virtual setting. Communication is passive and includes presentations with question and answer sessions, webinars, etc. Training is interactive and engaging. It should make the learner think, participate, practice, etc. For effective interaction and engagement audience sizes should be restricted. The larger the group, the harder it is to effectively transfer learning and practice skills.

Are designers experienced at desiging for this format?
There are differences in designing for live classroom training and live virtual classroom training. Designers should know how to design for the format and understand the features and tools specific to the platform being used by your organization. If your designers are not familiar with how to design effective vILT programs, it may not be your most appropriate option.

Are the facilitators familiar with the platform being used for the training?

It is important that your facilitators be familiar with the technology and the different features available for interaction. While the design will include interaction and activities, the facilitator should be able to adapt based on learner needs and level of participation. Similar to a classroom where a facilitator may decide they need to use chart paper to illustrate a point or capture a discussion, they should know the tools and features available in the virtual training environment and be able to adapt to the needs of the learners.

Is the audience geographically dispersed?

Virtual training options are ideal for learners that are dispersed across the region or globe, particularly if there are budget restrictions and travel is not feasible.

Are learners in an environment where they can participate in this type of format?

Learners need to be in an environment where they are free to actively participate in the virtual training. An environment where customers can approach and distract from learning is not an environment that supports live virtual training. Learners should be able to close a door or somehow identify themselves as in a training session to avoid or minimize disruption to learning.

Are learners familiar with the platform being used for the training?

If learners are unfamiliar with the virtual training environment, it is important to either offer an orientation to the environment as a prerequisite to attending a vILT session or include instruction at the beginning of the training on how to use the features that they will be used to interact during the session. Provide an opportunity for learners to practice with the features and tools and ask questions. As learners become familiar with the technology and features, the training sessions will become even more engaging and interactive.

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