Instructor-led training is a more traditional, top-down, teacher-oriented approach to learning that occurs in online or offline classroom environments. The approach connects instructors with students to encourage discussion and interaction in a group or individual context, with many enjoying ILT over other methods as they can seek direct clarification on a topic from the source. Instructor-led training (ILT), therefore, encompasses any form of training provided by an instructor in an online or offline classroom setting.
Understanding instructor-led training
For companies, instructor-led training is also used to train employees on complex topics that require interactive, hands-on experience. Most favor instructor-led training because of its effectiveness in increasing knowledge retention among employees.
Relatively recent data on ILT shows that the method comprises 66% of all corporate training and development. This figure rises to 80% in high-stakes industries such as healthcare, finance, and utilities.
Three types of instructor-led training
There are three general types of instructor-led training available today. These include:
- Location-dependent – or any form of training provided in a physical environment such as an office, workplace, training center, workshop, classroom, or in the field.
- Virtual – this describes instructor-led training that is provided in a real-time, virtual environment. Virtual training occurs on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and has increased in popularity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Blended – a hybrid approach of location-dependent and virtual training that caters to a broader mix of learning styles and facilitates more collaboration and discussion. Education may occur via live webinars, podcasts, videos, quizzes, and in-field or practical exercises that supplement theory-based content.
Advantages and disadvantages of instructor-led training
- Open dialogue – as hinted at earlier, two-way communication between the instructor and student is a hallmark of instructor-led training. This allows the instructor to leverage student queries and ensure they understand the information presented. There is also value in face-to-face interaction and the ability for both parties to read the facial expressions and body language of the other.
- Less distraction – while remote learning is now extremely popular, it cannot compete with instructor-led training in terms of a distraction-free environment. In a classroom setting where the student is under direct supervision and has often paid to be there, there is a reduced likelihood they’ll be distracted by social media or other temptations.
- Cost – for companies who sell or utilise instructor-led training, the costs can be significant. Expenses include instructor fees, venue rental, travel expenses, training materials, and instructor-specific refresher courses.
- Reduced productivity – unlike some forms of virtual training that employees can do in their own time, instructor-led training is normally conducted in business hours and can take several days to complete. For the business, this means reduced productivity as employees undertake the training.
- Instructor-led training (ILT) encompasses any form of training provided by an instructor in an online or offline classroom setting.
- There are three types of instructor-led training: location-dependent, virtual, and blended, which caters to a more diverse range of learning styles and situations.
- Instructor-led training increases knowledge retention as instructors can adapt their teaching style based on student queries and body language. There are also fewer distractions in a formal classroom setting. However, ILT tends to be costlier for companies, and productivity is reduced when employees are requisitioned for learning.
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