Virtual instructor-led training, or VILT, is one of the fastest-growing approaches to online learning. Organizations often incorporate VILT as a part of their training strategy for professional development, skills training, and employee onboarding. In this blog, we will speak about virtual instructor-led training that is transforming learning and training programs.

What is virtual instructor-led training (VILT)?

Instructor-led training (ILT) is a mode of training that is facilitated by an instructor. ILT is either face-to-face or virtual. Virtual instructor-led training, or VILT, provides training virtually by an instructor using online learning platforms, like a learning management system (LMS). In this type of learning, the instructor and learner are in separate locations while connected over the net. A virtual learning environment aims to simulate a traditional classroom to make the online training experience effective and adaptable to learners.

How to convert ILT to VILT?

To convert ILT sessions into VILT, one needs to conduct the session over the net. Using conferencing facilities like Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Webinars, Adobe Connect, Zoom, Google Meet, and the like. These online platforms provide learners an environment like a traditional classroom, but over the net. Learners can attend these sessions from anywhere but not anytime. It is synchronous in nature, which means it requires the instructor and the learners to be present at the same time.

Benefits of virtual instructor-led training

Virtual instructor-led training has the following benefits.

  1. Connects distant learners: The use of virtual instructor-led training makes it feasible to communicate with learners who are located all over the world. Any learner around the globe can participate in the same training environment.
  2. Provides instant feedback: VILT provides learners with instant feedback that helps them evaluate their growth and motivates them. The feedbacks offered by their fellow online learners and the instructors bring greater quality to the overall training experience.
  3. Efficient in nature: Virtual instructor-led learning enables instructors to use different online resources such as online videos, PDFs, and podcasts. Instructors can use them as part of their lessons. It makes the learning process more productive. One can explore the extensive internet resources of a variety of programs and courses online, and thanks to schedule flexibility and the breaking down of classroom walls, one can use them in their career advancement by improving technical skills.
  4. Higher retention: Using digital resources, including presentations and multimedia that includes images, videos, and audio, learners get to learn more than any traditional learning method.
  5. Cost-effectiveness: The ability to train a big group of people at a lower price with a faster possible speed of delivery is one of the most beneficial aspects of VILT. Therefore, it is exceptional in transforming workforce training. It lets the employees upskill in their jobs at a faster rate and creates significant opportunities for economic mobility.
  6. Avoids commuting: Learners do not have to worry about transportation with VILT. The training is available from any place. Therefore, they save much time and money on in this type of training.
  7. Eco-friendly: Due to less printing and travel by learners, VILT has a minor environmental impact. In this type of training, everything is digital. The employees do not have to go to another institution, so transportation is also unnecessary. It shows that virtual instructor-led training follows a greener approach.

Disadvantages of virtual instructor-led training

Nevertheless, VILT can have some downsides as well.

  1. Virtual instructor-led training does not consider that not all employees can commit to a set training plan. Here comes the need for a different type of employee-friendly training environment where the employees can flourish.
  2. The synchronous nature of VILT is inflexible. It requires both the instructors and the learners to adhere to a set schedule, which occasionally proves to be impossible. As a result, the learners felt demotivated since they lacked the stamina to keep up with the course’s pace.
  3. It is strictly technology-based. Online learners may become very frustrated and discouraged due to a lack of technical knowledge, poor computer skills, and an inability to manage the many technologies used in virtual instructor-led training; hence organizations may anticipate significant dropout rates.
  4. It demands a high-speed internet connection for all learners at the same time. Online training for a remote workforce may have problems since the synchronous nature of learning consumes a lot of bandwidth. Using collaborative learning technology to synchronize various parts of the world can be difficult and lead to major issues.
  5. It could be more challenging to comply with AODA (accessibility) regulations, such as providing captioning for a live presentation.
  6. VILT eliminates barriers of distance, but not the barriers to time. Due to the requirement that both participants and instructors be online at the same time during a synchronous learning course, different time zones might make communication difficult.
  7. Due to the abovementioned issues, virtual instructor-led training necessitates a difficult preparation process. Schedule coordination is vital but occasionally impossible. One must carefully organize the online sessions to ensure complete participation in a synchronous learning course.
  8. Employees with inadequate social skills find it difficult. Some employees may not be as social, open, or communicative as others, yet synchronous learning experiences require active engagement and collaboration. But employees who find it uncomfortable to participate in online interactions or debates, and do not like to socialize, can be uncomfortable with synchronous learning.
  9. VILT is instructor-led online learning. Its focus remains on what and how the instructor delivers the lessons. Therefore, it shifts the focus from the learners’ objectives. Also, the entire learning process relies upon the instructors’ abilities and skills.

How to maximize the engagement in a VILT session?

Engagement in virtual instructor-led training needs more preparation and effort to imitate the essence of the physical classroom. There are a few activities that can maximize engagement in VILT:

  1. Reformat activities that cannot be addressed to virtual training.
  2. Provide breaks in between. Break things up with creative exercises and activities. Let the learners take screen-free breaks to reset the mind and the body.
  3. Collect learners’ opinions and feedback. It contributes to determining what needs to be improved. Because the learners are in an excellent position to identify training needs, getting their input can be helpful in gaining support for the training program from people who needs training.
  4. To get learners to participate in classes, begin with a warm-up activity. Assign group tasks that require them to collaborate. Use online breakout rooms, annotation activities, collaborative whiteboards, and embedding games to allow learners to connect.
  5. Break up the lesson into chunks and deliver short lessons to allow learners to learn independently.
  6. Provide scenario-based learning to the employees. Compared to other traditional learning experiences, scenario-based learning has a higher likelihood of producing successful outcomes. The learners always develop more extraordinary cognitive abilities than traditional learners. They exhibit better problem-solving skills, better memory, higher retention power, and excellent attention control. Employees who need to upskill at their jobs find scenario-based learning more appropriate as it also prepares them to solve real problems.

Infographics

What is virtual instructor-led training

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Conclusion

Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) thrives in today’s world due to the infinite capabilities of the internet. Although Virtual Instructor-Led Training usually mimics the format of a traditional classroom, learners often praise its ability to be customizable. This kind of digital learning experience can benefit any type of learner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a VILT?

Virtual instructor-led training, or VILT, provides training virtually by an instructor using online learning platforms.

What is VILT and ILT?

Instructor-led training (ILT) is a mode of training that is facilitated by an instructor. Virtual instructor-led training, or VILT, provides training virtually by an instructor using online learning platforms.

How do you convert ILT to VILT?

To convert ILT sessions into VILT, one needs to conduct the session over the net. Using conferencing facilities like Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Webinars, Adobe Connect, Zoom, Google Meet, and the like. Besides this, the instructor needs to realign the content and the activities for the session in such a manner that they can be conducted online.

How is VILT different from eLearning?

Virtual instructor-led training, or VILT, provides training virtually by an instructor. On the other hand, eLearning does not require an instructor for its delivery.

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