Determining the most effective training solution for your team can be challenging.
Should you find an instructor for classroom-based or virtual training? Or, should you look into online, self-paced training?
Before we discuss the factors that affect your training solutions, let’s take a look at the primary differences between instructor-led and self-paced training.
Instructor-Led Training (ILT)
ILT involves an instructor leading the course, either from a traditional classroom setting or a virtual classroom. He or she is available to answer questions, provide examples, and explain complicated material. The instructor can also gauge how well the participants understand the material through discussions, group activities, and observations.
Self-paced training is conducted online from any location, so employees can complete the training during their regular work day. Learners move through the material at their own pace, and knowledge checks are typically included to assess how well they understand the material.
Now, how do you decide which type of training is best for you?
Consider the participants’ base knowledge, locations, and available time for the training to determine which solution will work best for your team.
Base Knowledge of Participants
The amount of knowledge that employees will come to the training with influences the type of training that will suit them best. Both types of training can be customized to fit the needs of the participants, but there are qualities of each type that make them more applicable for certain audiences.
- ILT: If you have complex information that employees are unfamiliar with, then having an instructor guide them through the material and answer questions is the better option. An instructor can explain complex topics, use a whiteboard to draw or write out examples, and gauge the comprehension of the participants to pace the class accordingly.
- Self-Paced: If employees need training to be updated on a procedure they currently practice, then self-paced training should be sufficient. Or, if they need training on a topic that can be broken down into steps and manageable chunks, self-paced training is a good option.
Location of Participants
Geographic considerations are important in determining which type of learning experience will work best for your team. Are all of the employees who need training in one place? Or, are they in multiple locations?
- ILT: If employees are located in the same office or state, then instructor-led training is a more viable option. It’s easier and more practical to gather everybody for a day or more of training if they all work close together. You can also consider another form of ILT—virtual instructor-led training. This allows participants to be online with an instructor at the same time from anywhere with internet access. The instructor can still field questions, and participants can collaborate through discussion forums.
- Self-Paced: With a globally expanding workforce, the practicality of instructor-led training becomes tricky. It can be costly to fly employees to a central location for training, and it can be difficult to coordinate schedules across time zones for a live virtual session. So, if you have employees located across the country or internationally, self-paced training is the most convenient option.
Time Allotted for Training
Another crucial consideration is the amount of time allotted for the training. With the busy schedules of participants, it can be hard to get everybody focused on the training without getting distracted by daily tasks and workloads.
- ILT: Instructor-led training typically takes at least one day to complete. If participants are not centrally located, take travel time into consideration when planning for training. Also, this type of training is better suited for learners who might find the responsibility of scheduling time to complete online modules challenging.
- Self-Paced: Elearning generally reduces the amount of time a participant has to take away from work, but sometimes it’s at the cost of question-and-answer time, group activities, and feedback. Elearning courses should be broken up into modules that are no more than one hour each, so participants can go through them at their convenience and not get overwhelmed.
ProEdit offers instructional design training courses as well as professional training development for a variety of industries. For more information about our training services, contact us today!