Transforming Instructor-Led Training to E-Learning – An Overview
Instructor-led training, or ILT, is the traditional method of delivering training. E-learning provides an alternative that delivers substantial benefits, including in relation to costs and the quality of training you deliver to your team.
Making the transition from ILT to e-learning can be a daunting prospect. When should you start? Where do you start? What approach should you take?
The Benefits of E-Learning Can’t Be Ignored
Let’s start at the beginning – why should you consider transforming ILT to e-learning? There are many benefits, so we’ve focused on five of the most important.
E-Learning Reduces Training Costs
ILT can be considerably costly to deliver. It can involve travel by the trainer, the learners, or both. That travel can even include accommodation in some situations, as well as meals and other expenses.
Then there is the time taken out of the working week and the lost productivity this causes. As you can see, the costs can mount up.
With e-learning, many of these costs are either reduced or eliminated.
E-Learning Increases Return on Investment
Training isn’t just a cost to your business, though. It is an investment. That investment should make a return, and, in general, you will get a better return from e-learning than from ILT.
Return on investment is better with e-learning because of the cost savings mentioned in the previous point. Good e-learning courses also deliver better results, which also helps to improve returns.
E-Learning Delivers a Better Learner Experience
There are many reasons why learners become frustrated with training, including when they think it is not relevant or where they believe the training is taking up time they don’t have to spare.
You can mitigate many of these concerns and frustrations by using e-learning as the content delivery method. Also, by using various types of media as well as gamification and social elements, you can make e-learning more fun and interactive than ILT.
Using E-Learning Makes it Possible to Implement Various Training Strategies
Effective training isn’t just about presenting learners with information in the hope they retain it. Instead, you need to collate and present the information in a way that facilitates learning. You can do this using various strategies that fit perfectly with e-learning, including microlearning, just-in-time learning, and blended learning.
E-Learning Will Provide You with Better Training Data
As e-learning is delivered through software, you can run reports that will give you objective information on the progress of learners, the performance of your training strategy, and areas for improvement.
It’s Not an All or Nothing Situation
Organisations generally don’t attempt to completely transform all ILT into e-learning in one go. The more common approach is to transform various elements of your training into e-learning courses or modules. Typically, this is considerably more than half, but some ILT training elements still remain.
In other words, transforming to an e-learning-based training model doesn’t mean abandoning ILT altogether. Where it makes sense, keep ILT. Where the content and training can be improved, shift it to e-learning.
Signs You Should Begin Transforming ILT to E-Learning
You can transform ILT to e-learning at any time, although there are some critical points in the development and implementation of your training strategy where you can take full advantage of the opportunities.
- When you are about to develop fresh training – instead of creating the training to be delivered in-person by an instructor, move to e-learning.
- When you identify performance inconsistencies – examples include staff in one department or location responding better to training than in others.
- Where there are geographical challenges to training – the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020/21 brought this point into sharp focus, but it can apply at any time. If you are developing training in the UAE or Saudi Arabia, but you need to deliver the training more widely, e-learning will make the process much easier and more efficient.
- Where training at scale presents challenges – delivering training at scale can be a challenge, particularly when the increasing requirement for training must be delivered in a short space of time. E-learning solves this problem.
- When you want to improve ROI – if you think your organisation could be getting a better return for its training investment, it is time to start moving to e-learning.
Key Considerations When Transforming ILT to E-Learning
- Think about technology – while technology is becoming less of a barrier to online training because of the increasing use of smartphones, it is still something you should consider in relation to your organisation and team.
- Assess your team and current learning materials – completing an assessment of your current training strategy will help you plan and decide on priorities. Your assessment should include the materials you have, the skills gaps that exist in your organisation, and your short- and medium-term training requirements.
- Define your goals and objectives – this will also help you prioritise, and it will improve the quality of e-learning that you develop.
- Don’t do too much too soon – starting small is usually the best approach if you have never developed e-learning material before. You can then learn from the experience before ramping up your strategy.
- Use a professional e-learning developer – many organisations attempt to develop e-learning content in-house to save money, but they end up spending more. Even where they don’t spend more, the quality of training produced is not up to a good enough standard. So, it makes sense to hire a professional e-learning developer.
- Re-work the content specifically for e-learning – don’t just translate PowerPoint slides and printed sheets used in ILT training into an e-learning module. Instead, create the content specifically for e-learning.
An Evolving Process
The exact make-up of your training strategy between ILT, e-learning, and other methods of delivery will change over time. Beginning the process of transforming ILT to e-learning will improve your business.