The exponential growth of eLearning in recent decades is unquestionable. Numerous online reports and studies indicate that many Fortune 1000 companies have increased their eLearning training content upwards of 40%. While eLearning can be an inexpensive alternative to classroom training, does it provide the same results with respect to knowledge transfer, retention and skill building? Well, the answer is “yes” and “no”.
While new training technologies, especially eLearning, have provided good alternatives to Instructor-Led Training (ILT), these modalities will never replace the benefits of traditional ILT.
Here are five benefits of Instructor-Led Training that mean it is here to stay.
1. ILT is Sticky
When it comes to knowledge retention, nothing beats ILT. One of the reasons ILT is so sticky is because the classroom provides a focused environment for learning that encourages participation and meaningful discussion. This reinforcement of knowledge allows for the expansion of learning that on-demand training can never rival.
2. ILT Provides Context to Complexity
When it comes to technology-based skill building, eLearning is superior, especially in terms of availability, flexibility and cost. But what about those skills that require interaction, engagement, and/or deep analysis? Leadership and professional development training, highly complex technical training and other business-skills training is best conducted in the classroom. The classroom provides a context to these learning scenarios that eLearning cannot. So, if participation, deep examination and role playing are key to your learning program, ILT is king.
3. ILT is a Perk
In a competitive business environment where companies are seeking the brightest and best talent, many are offering professional development education and other skills-based training as perks to attract and retain employees. Although eLearning may provide an excellent, cost-effective method to deliver this type of training, offering these courses offsite and in-person is seen as a privelge and helps strengthen corporate culture. The relationship building, collaboration, learning and memorable experiences that are gained in the classroom are second to none.
4. ILT Allows for Personalized Delivery
ILT flexes with the learner, allowing instructors to customize content to the knowledge level of each participant. Instructors can adapt their presentations to the skill level of the class, go into more (or less) detail of a concept, or explore related material as the personality and interest of the class dictates. This allows for a more rewarding, customized learning experience.
5. ILT Opens to Door to Innovation
Espousing ILT as a preferred learning method does not negate or underestimate the power or role of technology in the classroom. In fact, eLearning content can blend well with classroom learning to reinforce learning long after the classroom training ends. Innovations in hybrid technology have emerged, where learners can attend live classroom events virtually, while experiencing the same collaboration, interaction and knowledge sharing as those who are physically in the classroom.
Instructor-Led Training is here to stay—it is still the most effective, most widely-accepted and a continually-innovative method of training available.