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L&D

What is Custom Instructor-Led Training?

Workplace training hasn’t changed. Yet, the way we train people has. 

The purpose of training is to transform behavior and attitude by increasing learners’ skills, knowledge, and confidence. 

Instructor-led training (ILT) has seen numerous changes over the last decade. Face-to-face courses took a back seat as online training took precedence during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, businesses were forced to rethink how to adapt learning and development (L&D) opportunities to a mixed workforce of digital, hybrid, and office employees. 

Custom ILT is one style that has stuck around. And with good reason: it’s engaging, offering flexibility to businesses and employees—without neglecting real-time discussion around learning topics. 

Unsure whether custom ILT is a fit for your business? Discover the benefits of ILT training, what makes a good instructor, and how you can put it into practice with your team. 

What is custom instructor-led training?

Instructor-led training happens when an instructor facilitates a training session for a group of learners or an individual. Then, an instructor delivers the content in real time, either in person or virtually. 

“I host instructor-led training for new hires, teammates who must fulfill compliance requirements, and teammates who are upskilling or further developing their professional skills and knowledge. I also facilitate sessions to help other trainers strengthen their curriculum building and facilitation skills.”

 

Whitney Omosefe, Learning & Development Consultant

The most important feature of instructor-led training is that employees have direct access to the instructor in real-time for questions, feedback, and open discussion. 

For example, employees can ask questions about anything they’re unclear about before tackling the next topic. Instructors confirm learners fully understand the content by asking open questions, such as “how do you think you can apply that in the workplace?” or “can you give me an example?”

What makes a good instructor?

Have you ever attended a training course and didn’t learn anything new? Even worse, hated the whole session? Employees who are bored or disengaged during training aren’t enjoying the course and learning new skills.

  A good instructor can make or break your business learning objectives. They set expectations for participants, motivate them to engage in learning, and build confidence.

An effective instructor must: 

  • Have good communication skills. Poor communication affects confidence. Unclear feedback, for example, can confuse learners. They might not understand their current tasks and continue to underperform compared to the instructors’ expectations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead a group of people. A good instructor can confidently manage a class. Being visible and modeling behaviors, such as keeping to time or staying on track with a topic, are essential instructor skills. 
  • Be open to feedback. Participant feedback encourages growth. Without feedback, we’d all continue doing the same thing over and over. But, for some, hearing and accepting feedback can feel uncomfortable. A good instructor is open to constructive criticism and uses it to improve their craft.
  • Feel comfortable with public speaking. Standing in front of adults can feel daunting. Good instructors present information to a group of people clearly and concisely. 
  • Be well-respected or have authority. Instructors aren’t always experts in the topic they’re teaching. However, they must be well respected and have some authority to earn participants’ trust and confidence. 

Most importantly, good instructors never forget what it feels like to be a learner. Enthusiasm for lifelong learning is essential to making sure the team they’re teaching stays up to date with research and industry developments. 

Benefits of instructor-led training 

Research shows that 44 percent of small companies prefer to deliver training with the help of an instructor in a classroom setting. Additionally, in-person training programs increased by 86 percent year over year, making instructor-led training a popular option for businesses. 

Additional benefits of ILT include:

  • Engaging and interactive learning experience. Instructors can offer a variety of teaching methods, such as group work exercises and practice sessions. ILT allows employees to test their skills in a classroom with other students and give each other feedback.
  • Networking opportunities. A classroom environment allows employees to meet new people inside and outside their organization. This can increase employees’ knowledge and confidence. 
  • Distraction-free environment. Have you ever tried an eLearning module and got distracted by social media, colleagues chatting in the office, or family members at home? ILT offers learners an environment free from everyday distractions so they can fully concentrate on the course content and get the most out of their training.
  • Ability to have open dialogue. Ninety percent of all communication is non-verbal. ILT enables the instructor and participants to pick up on body language and other non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions. Instructor-led training is perfect for open dialogue between peers–users can ask questions and get feedback in real-time.
  • Learners perceive higher value. When businesses invest in training, employees feel valued and motivated. Moreover, highly-engaged teams see an 81 percent reduction in absenteeism and a 23 percent increase in profitability. 
  • Higher training hours for more learners per hour of instructor time. Employee learning hours have increased globally. ILT can provide more bang for your buck by training more employees simultaneously, using the same instructor.
  • Fixed costs and agreed-upon investment of time. The cost of ILT is fixed and agreed upon beforehand. This allows L&D managers to clearly understand, budget, and track the return on investment.
  • Adaptability. An instructor can adapt the training materials to suit individual learning styles. They can quickly adjust the pace if they feel the session is going well and learners grasp the content easily, for example. 
  • Complete the feedback loop. Feedback loops are essential in ILT as they serve as a way to increase engagement, knowledge, and learner satisfaction. You’ll be able to offer additional training, cover skills gaps, or reschedule sessions based on learner data.

“With synchronous or live ILT, I get to observe learners as they progress and support them with immediate feedback. This makes the learning process more efficient because learners do waste time calcifying their misunderstandings.” 

 

—Whitney Omosefe, Learning & Development Consultant

Types of instructor-led training

Training delivery methods vary according to company size. According to Statista, most organizations use a mix of blended learning, in-person instructor-led, virtual instructor-led, and other eLearning methods:

A learning management system (LMS) can help you oversee instructor-led training in various working environments. Let’s look at four ways WorkRamp’s All-in-One Learning Platform can support your business learning objectives.

Schedule and track your instructor-led training

A learning management system offers a versatile platform to schedule and track ILT sessions.

Use WorkRamp’s Events and Reporting features to schedule training sessions, whether a one-off event or occurring over several weeks, and tie event attendance data to performance. Through integration to conferencing platforms, scheduled sessions can be hosted in environments your employees already know.

Introduce new projects to employees

In LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, 94 percent of workers said they would stay at a company longer if they invested in helping them learn. 

Introduce new learning opportunities using an LMS. New hires, for example, can be invited to attend induction training. Existing employees can quickly see new instructor-led training opportunities that can support their career growth.  

Give existing employees a complete overview of all learning activities available to them. Then, as soon as a new instructor-led training event is added, they’ll receive the details through your learning platform.

Engage employees in learning

Research shows 71 percent of people think now is an excellent time to find a job. It’s why businesses are investing in L&D to increase employee engagement and retention

Instructor-led training engages and inspires employees to participate. A real-time trainer will coach employees to join activities, encourage them to ask questions when needed, and engage them to succeed in meeting their learning goals.

Other training methods—such as asynchronous learning—miss out on these real-time interactions between the instructor and learner. 

Instead, employees take a more independent approach by learning at their own pace and require some self-motivation.

Whitney Omosefe, Learning and Development Consultant, adds, “ILT also empowers collaboration amongst a cohort of peers. That includes contributing to discussions, receiving and implementing real-time feedback, encouraging one another, and holding each other accountable. 

“ILT helps employees form a learning community, which is ideal because that makes learning fun.” 

Reward employees for completing instructor-led training

WorkRamp’s Learning Platform has built-in recognition features. After completing instructor-led training events, you can award your staff digital badges as the recognition they want (and deserve). 

To top it off, the WorkRamp integration with Slack can automate broadcasting messages of employee praise and outstanding practice. Team members, managers, and company leaders can receive notices of exceptional employee performance, credit for help with projects, and completion of ILT sessions.

Benefits of blended learning

To make L&D more accessible to a remote team, include instructor-led training in your blending learning strategy. It empowers managers to control the training their staff receives while also allowing users to maintain autonomy over how they learn. 

Blended learning allows team members to complete online modules before classroom learning. It ensures core knowledge is gained beforehand and allows learners to ask questions during instructor-led sessions.

“We started with Zoom webinars but switched over to Google Meet because it had more dynamic and accessible meeting spaces and workflow for our team. After the ILT session, workshop leaders would run interactive sessions to keep the group engaged. Google Meets has a lot of tools for collaboration and social activities and it is very accessible for our group leaders.” 

 

—Erick Prospero, Learning Director at NinjaTropic

 

With blended learning, you’ll lower costs and expenses since it reduces employees’ time in the classroom. It also reduces overhead since fewer costs are associated with reserving a space, traveling, and refreshments. 

Most of all, blended learning offers greater flexibility and convenience. It allows workers to complete online training sessions in the office or at home and access ILT alongside their peers.

Measuring the success of instructor-led training

You’ve invested time and money into upskilling and reskilling employees. How do you know if your ILT program was successful?

Use a combination of feedback surveys, course completion rates, and on-the-job behavior observations to assess the impact of skill-building programs. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How did employees react or respond to the training?
  • What did employees learn from the training?
  • Did all employees take what they learned and put it into practice on-the-job?
  • Did the training meet our business expectations? 
  • What was the ROI on these expectations?

Similarly, use your LMS  to store and evaluate learning data for each team member, including assessment results, employee satisfaction data, participation and completion rates, and certification or compliance tracking.

Let’s say your in-person ILT programs have a 67 percent competition rate. However, programs that take the blended learning approach have an 86 percent competition rate. Of course, employees might not be willing to voice that data individually. But when looking at the data as a whole, it makes sense to continue the blended approach with other ILT programs.

The best part: an all-in-one learning platform stores all information securely at the touch of a button and is accessible from anywhere–making it easy for remote and hybrid L&D managers to plan instructor-led training events.

Choosing a partner

An LMS plays an essential role in employee learning and development. It allows companies to train anyone, anywhere, in real-time and ultimately improve workplace performance. 

WorkRamp has a suite of features that make it easier to train your team. From key integrations to event session features, it’s never been easier to provide instructor-led training to a team—regardless of where they are or how they prefer to learn.

Use WorkRamp to provide custom instructor-led training and improve the learning experience for employees. Contact us to request a free, personalized demo.

 

Elise Dopson

Writer

Elise Dopson is a freelance writer for B2B SaaS companies. She’s also the co-founder of Peak Freelance and mom to an adorable Spaniel pup.

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