Guide to Choosing the Best Training Delivery Method

By: MicroTek

Hybrid learning, eLearning, virtual training, blended learning…we throw these terms around like they are interchangeable, but the truth is they’re not. When it comes down to when, where and how you deliver training, each method provides a very different learning experience. So which method do you choose?

Over the last 10 years in the training industry, we have seen these terms evolve and new ones emerge. Technology has expanded the array of learning solutions—even beyond the training industry—and defining them has become trickier than ever.

This Guide to Choosing the Best Training Delivery Method will help you deliver the most successful learning experience for your employees.

Instructor-led Training (ILT)

What it is: Training that is facilitated by an instructor in a face-to-face traditional classroom environment. Instructors and attendees participate from one common location.

How it’s delivered: Synchronous (in real time), led by an in-person instructor in a traditional classroom or learning environment where the instructor presents material and there is an opportunity for interaction and hands-on learning.

Most effective when…

  • An appropriate dedicated learning environment is available
  • Participants are developing interpersonal skills
  • Interactive learning is vital to the experience
  • Participants and instructors can easily gather in the same location

Virtual Instructor-led Training (vILT)

What it is: Computer-based training that is delivered in a virtual or simulated environment, when the instructor and each learner are in separate locations.

How it’s delivered: Synchronous event delivered electronically. Training pace is set by the instructor and can be viewed via computers, tablets & mobile devices.

Most effective when…

  • Need to train a large group and participants/instructors are geographically disperse
  • Technical support staff is available
  • Two-way interaction is not critical to learners’ success
  • Need to train a large group but there is no available space

Hybrid Learning

What it is: Hybrid learning is a live learning event that integrates both a traditional classroom setting and a virtual instructor-led environment. Can incorporate the use of various blended learning modalities, but it is a live event that is directed by a facilitator. The learning is interactive, all attendees participate—virtual and on-site.

How it’s delivered: Synchronous, face-to-face learning event delivered onsite and to remote participants. Learning is interactive with two-way audio/video and takes place with other learners and a live instructor.

Most effective when…

  • Interactive learning is vital to the experience
  • Need to extend the reach of effective trainers, limited instructors and many students
  • Attendees are geographically dispersed
  • Content is complex and it is anticipated that participants will have questions
  • Looking to enhance the experience for virtual participants

Learn more about how hybrid learning can benefit your training program.  Download our Complete Guide to Hybrid Learning


What it is: Asynchronous (separated by time) computer-based or web-based training utilizing an extensive array of digital technological approaches and delivery methods.

How it’s delivered: Instruction is delivered electronically through an assortment of media. Training pace is learner directed and can be viewed on computers, tablets & mobile devices.

Most effective when…

  • Participants skill levels and learning pace dramatically varies, effecting others’ learning
  • Participants are self-motivated, course completion is not deadline driven
  • Material is at a beginner’s level and narrowly focused, anticipating that participants will not have questions
  • Used for refresher training or policy/procedure updates
  • Participants are expected to fulfill training requirements during non-office hours

Blended Learning

What it is: A mixture of traditional face-to-face, instructor-led training and elearning, which involves the use of technology to deliver or access training or education-oriented content and courseware.

How it’s delivered: A combination of asynchronous and synchronous, traditional classroom, face-to-face and online learning—video-recorded lectures, online lessons, and other digitally enabled learning activities with an element of student control over the time, place or pace.

Most effective when…

  • Training provider needs the ability to pick and choose appropriate training modalities
  • In-house elearning, virtual training and traditional classroom training expertise is available to design the course

The challenge for businesses and training professionals is not discovering the latest, hottest training delivery trend. The challenge is answering the question: Now that training delivery technologies have matured, how do I deliver effective learning programs that achieve my business goals? When deciding which training delivery method to use, consider your audience and content. Take a closer look at what training technologies have to offer and how they will be used to supplement your training program or used when developing new ones.

Training Modality Usage Statistics

Once you've decided on a training modality, do you have the rest of your training program planned? Check out our Complete Training Program Planning Guide.

Training Program Planning Guide

Want to learn more about delivery methods? Check out our complete guide to Hybrid Learning!