Moving past Instructors: 3 Ways to Eliminate ILT, Effectively

Whether physical or online, Instructor-led Training (ILT) is the kind of education format that most of us are familiar with. ILT can be imparted via the typical classroom setting with a professor, teacher or trainer leading a group of learners, or in an e-learning setup with a live online lecture and multiple students logging on concurrently.

ILT has obvious advantages. The instructor, who is assumed to be a subject matter expert, is available to answer queries immediately, and to keep a close eye on the progress of each learner.

On the other hand, ILT brings with it several major constraints. The number of learners who can be trained concurrently is restricted as there is a limit to how many students the instructor can handle in parallel. All learners and instructors need to be physically present at their systems or at the class venue, at the same time, often for multiple sessions over a long period. There are issues of infrastructure and logistics to be addressed.

The alternative, intelligent use of e-learning, can effectively eliminate these problems while replicating or improving upon the advantages. That’s why one of our recent clients worked with us to take their banking and financial markets training courses online.

As part of their business model, the client’s skilled instructors delivered in-person training to learners aspiring to be financial practitioners. Infrastructure constraints and sourcing issues resulted in major problems when it came to maximizing ROI and scaling the business. By moving from an ILT model to a self-paced learning model, they saw a significant reduction in costs related to training and infrastructure.

1. Self-paced learning

Animated videos and online learning activities that the learner can undertake on their own, at their own pace and in their own space, form the core of self-paced learning. In the absence of an instructor, learners undertake self-paced learning with a flexible learning schedule.

We worked with the client to convert their existing training content into a set of animated training videos and engaging application-oriented activities that apply the Bloom’s 3rd Level of Learning framework. Learners take the course at their own convenience and go through the various exercises to apply their newly acquired knowledge to solve problems under new situations.

2. Online tutors

Subject matter experts are integral to ILT. Each instructor needs to be an expert in the field — and also well-equipped as a teacher! Self-paced learning, on the other hand, can replace instructors with AI-based online tutors. AI chatbots can be set up to answer doubts by drawing responses from a fixed list of queries shared by the course creators. AI can also be programmed to guide students down the right learning path based on correct and wrong answers in special screening tests.

Dependency on instructors with a high degree of skill was a major problem that the client faced. As their subject matter is very technical, the utilization of AI and a focus on practical application of each concept resulted in minimized participation of subject matter experts in the training process. This also maximized the reach of the course. E-learning delivered enhanced tooling knowledge and on the job performance, as compared to ILT.

3. Adaptive learning

While ILT does allow for a personal touch to an extent, there is a limit to how much personal attention the instructor can give each learner. Using adaptive learning, e-learning can tailor course delivery to suit the pace, interests and needs of each individual learner.

In the case of this client, the jargon-heavy technical content used by instructors did not follow Adult Learning Principles. We therefore did away with this dry, hard-to-understand material and replaced it with interactive, real-life scenarios that followed these principles, to develop a problem-based learning framework. Since the e-learning content was engaging and involved active problem solving, we saw much greater participation and better learning outcomes. Equally importantly, it was easy to guide learners through the course material, avoiding redundancy and repetition, to accommodate diverse learners with different learning styles each on a path that suited their own needs.

There will always be a place in learning for good instructors. However, they are a rare breed! With e-learning, it is possible to move beyond the constraints of ILT to scale up course delivery without compromising on learning quality. Self-paced learning with application-oriented content, supported by the latest technology, can deliver far greater learning outcomes than traditional methods.

Is instructor-led training causing difficulties in terms of scaling, recruitment, infrastructure or logistics? Move forward with e-learning. Get in touch with our experts at Hornbill FX to discuss how we can get started today.

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