Benefits to VILT and Self-paced Training for Employees, Partners & Customers
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact and has changed our lifestyles in many ways. A common topic of discussion within institutions and companies has been what the return to normal will look like – will there be a full physical return of all students and employees? Are hybrid structures the “new normal”? One of the undeniable changes is that the use of technology in education and business is here to stay.
- The Rise of Virtual and Online Learning
- What is Virtual Instructor-Led Training?
- What is Self-paced Training?
- Benefits of VILT
- Benefits of Self-paced Learning
- Optimizing VILT and Self-paced Training
- Implementing VILT
- Final Thoughts
The Rise of Virtual and Online Learning
In the dynamic and ever-changing era of digitization, you can no longer expect your employees and channel partners to be onboard with traditional one-dimensional training. With a good internet connection, Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VLIT) and self-paced online learning methods have offered the modern workforce and customers numerous opportunities to learn new skills whenever and however they want.
Forbes took a close look at virtual learning and found that it can improve learning by 600% when done right, compared to in-person training. Forbes also revealed that most companies are not leveraging their potential when using VILT. Did you know many companies do not adapt their in-person or ILT courses and simply put them online? This makes an already boring and uninteresting training even worse!
The good news is that after two years of interminable videoconferencing calls, self-paced learning can be a welcome respite from live webinars. The best thing about a cohesive self-paced course is that it is purposefully structured and organized to take employees and partners through an engaging journey of learning about a particular topic.
What is Virtual Instructor-Led Training?
Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) provides live instructor training using a variety of tools virtually. Virtual instructor-led training is not new but has become more popular in the last two years. Companies tend to incorporate VILT as part of larger blended company-wide training for professional development and onboarding sessions for employees and customers.
VILT connects instructors and facilitators with learners, such as employees and customers, in disparate geographic locations in a virtual learning environment. VILT aims to replicate a traditional classroom, online, for an engaging, dynamic, fun, and cost-effective session. To ensure a successful VILT session, you should also invest in collaborative tools like virtual labs, discussion boards and video classrooms to ensure high engagement.
What is Self-paced Training?
Self-paced learning means that employees and partners can learn on their own time and schedule. Attendees can benefit from improved learning outcomes from technology-enabled and evidence-based teaching methods. With an LMS such as Alemira, it’s simple to make remote learning social and personal.
Benefits of VILT
Recreating the collaborative and social environment of a physical classroom in a virtual environment presents several challenges. However, virtual training easily makes up for this shortcoming with its accessibility, cost-effectiveness, structure, flexibility, and opportunities for experiential learning and extended communication.
Agile and Flexible
You can deliver VILT in almost any configuration over any duration, which is convenient. For instance, an 8-hour virtual training may be delivered in 8 one-hour or 4 two-hour sessions. This agility and flexibility are fantastic benefits of online classes. Rather than having to get all your customers or employees in one classroom, you can easily carry out virtual training regardless of where you or your attendees are.
To appeal to busy professionals and partners, many VILT programs now offer training content and material in short, incremental modules, which they can complete independently or with other courses. Remember an excellent learning management system (LMS) often makes all the difference.
LMSs are crucial as they allow employees or channel partners to easily interact with your training assessments and content in their own time, without having to travel or take too much time out of their workdays.
Low Risk and Rapid Iteration
Experimenting and piloting VILT initiatives reduce costs and risk of failure. Virtual training rapidly deploys and can be continuously improved without your organization being exposed to significant risk. With the change control features in virtual labs, you can also iterate your labs quickly for software training.
Increased Scalability and Capacity
The best thing about VILT is that it can accommodate large numbers of employees and customers without having to worry about space or the number of materials needed in conventional training settings.
VILT offers more options for measuring progress as well as results. This includes tracking tools to measure and assess user engagement, offering you feedback and analytics in real-time.
VILT provides a pre-determined structure. Instructors and facilitators can customize learning methods and courses based on industry trends, how participants react during the training session, or your company’s needs and preferences.
Sourcing experienced trainers, booking space or rooms for on-site classes, and paying travel expenses can quickly add up. On the other hand, delivering a training session online considerably reduces these costs.
Benefits of Self-paced Learning
Self-paced learning can improve memory performance. This is particularly true when your learners can allocate more time to the more challenging subject matter. Did you know this was scientifically validated in a study on self-paced learning by Aaron Benjamin and Jonathan Tullis? In addition, as each learner may have a different learning style, self-paced learning empowers them to learn as they see fit.
Improved Employee Experience
Employee experience is a key influence on employee retention. According to McKinsey, out of the many aspects that play an integral role in constructing an excellent employee experience, one of them is a modern, engaging, and supportive work environment.
As technology impacts our day-to-day life, companies should provide access to training to their partners and employees using means that they are familiar with. A better employee experience will give you an edge, but it’s fast becoming an expectation from your employees.
Lowers Training and Onboarding Costs
Through interactive platforms and tools, instructors can reduce the amount of time spent on in-person training and onboarding sessions. The time could be used to focus on interactions and discussions with learners and to continuously improve course design to ensure it encourages active learning and engagement. For example, a series of four training sessions could be replaced by two self-paced instructor-led training sessions, which would lower logistics and travel costs. Overall, this results in training more customers or partners within the same budget.
Through self-paced learning, learners, instructors, and organizations can track their progress and performance. Learners are able to review materials where they feel they need to improve, and instructors are able to identify gaps in the course and make changes. More advanced platforms adapt the learning pathway for each individual, helping learners to gain a deeper understanding.
Optimizing VILT and Self-paced Training
VILT and self-paced training are principally driven by the need to train an increasing and more dispersed population efficiently and effectively at a lower cost. Successful VILT and self-paced training require the seamless and efficient interplay of three vital factors: content, technology, and delivery.
The design of self-paced and VILT programs requires a unique and different approach compared to classroom programs. The instructional designer must provide the students and instructor with mechanisms to communicate frequently. Different types of content including videos, case studies, assessments, should be used to keep the content interesting, collaborative and engaging. Using real case studies will help your learners to dive deeper into the concepts taught.
Advancements in technology have spurred the popularity of VILT and self-paced training. New features are introduced constantly to replicate in-person experiences. Therefore, investing in good integrated platforms and tools will enhance collaboration and allow you to scale quickly and efficiently. Alemira Learning Platform encourages active learning, intelligently adapts to your learning journey, and enables collaboration with your instructor and peers.
Facilitators, whether subject matter experts or trained instructors, must be skilled communicators. This is important to deliver compelling VILT.
Some of the main limitations to successful and effective VILT implementation are the failure of facilitators to effectively interact with participants and manage their classrooms.
Basic actions and steps your organization can take when implementing a VILT or self-paced training platform are:
- Invest in a quality and secure training platform.
- Make sure that the platform offers the features required to present its content.
- Ensure that the platform fits the organization’s needs and goals.
Developing a virtual instructor-led training program or self-paced course is one of the most effective projects that today’s learning and development teams can undertake to deliver value across their organization. Self-paced training is an excellent format that all businesses should consider adding to their onboarding programs. Your customers will benefit from faster and more efficient learning leading to greater product adoption.
Alemira Learning Platform caters to both VILT and self-paced training. Our extensive portfolio of products has proven to improve training and productivity leading to increase in revenue and decrease in support cost. Contact us today to discuss how our platforms and tools can support your VILT and self-paced training needs.