Instructor-led training, also known as ILT, is a classic in the realm of training. It’s a training format known for its hands-on dissemination of information to groups of learners. While learning has evolved to include eLearning for its cost-effective yet impactful solutions, ILT has remained a staple all across the world.

Instructor-led training is still largely how schools and higher-education institutions operate. Similarly, many professional fields necessitate ILT. However, due to its ubiquitous, long-standing nature, this training medium often falls short on learner engagement. In this article, you will learn about 5 essential factors for boosting the effectiveness of your ILT programs.

Here are Five Essential Factors for Maximum Effectiveness in Instructor-Led Training

No. 1: A Thorough Training Needs Analysis

The foundation of designing an effective training program, be it instructor-led or self-paced, is a thorough training needs analysis.

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Before you begin designing an instructor-led training program, it is crucial to ask the following questions:

  • Is training the best way to fix this problem?
  • Is instructor-led training the right training modality to use?
  • Can this training be delivered just as effectively using a different training method?
  • What is the learners’ preferred way of learning?
  • What are learners’ top expectations from the training program?
  • Do we have the right trainers for the program?

Only once you have collected data to accurately answer these questions should you move forward with your training program. Instructor-led training is time and resource intensive, and thus, should sufficiently address the training need for maximum ROI.

A training needs analysis will also give you a better sense of the skills gap, providing vital information about the type of curriculum to set. Furthermore, you will find out what learners are expecting out of the instructor-led training experience, ensuring the program is valuable and engaging.

No. 2: Proficient SMEs and Trainers

After determining that an instructor-led training program is the right fit for you, you need to ensure if you have proficient and experienced SMEs and trainers.

Seasoned SMEs are a cornerstone of effective learning, as they have the authority and experience to match learning needs with the right knowledge and skills. SMEs set the curriculum, collate training resources, and set the overall standard for the training program and learning outcomes.

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  • Top-notch Quality – get the most effective courses designed by us.
  • Competitive Cost – yet at the most competitive cost.
  • Superfast Delivery – that too faster than your desired delivery timelines.

In many cases, SMEs double as trainers, shouldering the responsibility of not only developing, but also delivering the content to learners. However, you can also assign separate trainers to do this job.

Make sure your trainers have excellent people skills, a dynamic personality, and the flexibility to adapt and tailor each session, as needed.

No. 3: Well-Defined Learning Objectives

Well-defined learning objectives play a critical role in determining the overall structure of an instructor-led training program. Hence, they should be written in a clear and measurable manner, explicitly detailing what learners will achieve at the end of the program.

A thorough training needs analysis opens up the pipeline for defining precise learning objectives. In turn, learning objectives can guide SMEs and instructional designers in structuring the program.

Well-defined learning objectives also improve the effectiveness of a training program by telling learners upfront about what they should be looking out for during the training. This enables them to reel in their attention during crucial stages of the program. It also mentally prepares learners for the demands of the course, making it easier to implement the knowledge and skills gained.

No. 4: An Engaging Learning Experience

Due to how common the instructor-led training format is, it is often designed with little effort, making it fall short on learner engagement. However, a course with disengaged learners is as good as no course at all. Hence, to ensure you get the maximum benefit out of ILT, you should pay special attention to the learning experience.

There are many tools you can use to improve learner engagement in an instructor-led program:

  • Give all courseware, from slide decks to guides, a striking and consistent visual identity by using a custom palette, typography, and iconography
  • Work on a template for the slide decks, ensuring consistent design
  • Develop facilitator and learner guides, structuring the content in a readable and interesting format. This means breaking away from the usual textbook or document format and playing around with blocks, shapes, divisions, sections, etc.
  • Use illustrations and diagrams in slide-decks and learner resources
  • Use videos with compelling footage to present certain topics instead of static, text-only slides
  • Provide opportunities for learners to interact with each other or with instructors using questions, discussions, case studies, group-work, etc.
  • Give learners hands-on practice opportunities
  • Design activities related to the course content to enhance learners’ understanding of and confidence with the subject matter

Developing resources to improve learner engagement for an instructor-led training program requires specialized expertise about learning and design. Hence, you can consider partnering with a seasoned training solutions provider to ensure your program doesn’t lose out on effectiveness due to disengaged learners.

No. 5: Collaborative and Individual Activities

Building on the previous point, it is crucial for instructor-led training to have activities for learners. An instructor’s job is not just to impart knowledge, but to facilitate exploration and guide how learners use information.

Hence, it is crucial for an impactful ILT program to have activities. Activities can be of many types, from collaborative to individual. Once again, when designing these activities, you will need to take your target learners and learning objectives into consideration.

Activities are a great way to build task-based knowledge and give learners opportunities to practice. Additionally, activities build soft-skills like teamwork, communication, problem-solving, convergent and divergent thinking, decision-making, etc.

Some examples of group-based activities include:

  • Group discussions
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • Competitive and collaborative games
  • Cross-training

Some examples of individual activities include:

  • Demos
  • Simulations
  • Individual presentations
  • Worksheets
  • Reflections
  • Case studies

Instructor-Led Training Use Cases

Now that we have learned the factors that make for effective ILT experiences, it is important to define the use cases where this training medium is best in. Apart from the factors mentioned above, appropriate use cases also add significantly to training effectiveness, as they ensure a training modality is being used where it’s optimal.

Here are the scenarios in which instructor-led training is best used:

An in-person workforce

Planning and executing instructor-led training for a remote or hybrid workforce is an inefficient and logistically challenging task. Other training formats like virtual ILT and eLearning are better suited to such cases. Instructor-led training is best used with an in-person workforce, whose presence in sessions is guaranteed and easy to schedule.

Small to medium groups

Instructor-led training is most effective when delivered in small to medium groups as it allows for greater personalization. Limiting group sizes bypasses the common challenge of lack of personalized learning in ILT. If your learner base is large, it is recommended to break them down into smaller groups

Complex training material

ILT is the best training option when the training material is complex. Real-time instructor-learner interaction ensures doubts can be cleared instantly, and that learners get adequate support when they run into problems with the course content.


5 Essential Factors of Effective Instructor-Led Training

5 Essential Factors of Effective Instructor-Led Training

Knowledge Check!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is instructor-led training better?

Instructor-led training is not always the better choice, but it does boast several advantages such as learner engagement, learning-instructor interaction, and distraction-free learning.

What is live instructor-led training?

All instructor-led training is live. In instructor-led training, an instructor transfers knowledge to learners.

What are instructor-led activities?

There are many instructor-led activities used in ILT, such as group discussions, case studies, games, reflections, and demos.

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