Instructor-Led Training (ILT) Considerations for Instructional Designers

If you have ever wondered how to blend captivating content, engaging activities, and the power of human connection, look no further than Instructor-Led Training (ILT).

 

In this article, I will provide a comprehensive overview of ILT, including its definition and the numerous benefits it offers. Additionally, I will discuss important design considerations that instructional designers should keep in mind. Then, I’ll dive into the various deliverables for which they will be accountable. By optimizing word choice, structure, readability, and eloquence, the content will be enhanced while preserving its original meaning.

 

What is ILT?

Instructor-led training, commonly known as ILT, is a conventional approach to learning. It entails a knowledgeable instructor or facilitator who guides a training session in either a physical or virtual classroom environment. You may have encountered ILT in the form of attending college lectures or engaging in professional training at your workplace. These sessions might have been in person or virtual.

How does ILT differ from other types of training?

Instructor-led training places a strong emphasis on a direct interaction between the instructor and the learners. This dynamic fosters an exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences. And, possibly more important, it allows for human connectivity between the learner and the facilitator and learner to learner. 

Unlike self-paced eLearning or computer-based training, ILT offers a synchronous learning experience. That means that everyone is learning together, in real time. So, participants can engage in real-time discussions, ask questions, and receive immediate feedback.

Benefits of ILT

 

Benefits of ILT

As an instructional designer, you play a crucial role in determining the best approach for designing a learning experience. This may involve options such as live instruction, virtual instruction, eLearning, and more. Once the decision is made, you take on the responsibility of designing and developing that learning experience. Here are some key benefits to consider:

  • ILT offers a personal connection between the instructor and the learners that is often missing in online learning courses.
  • It can help to humanize the learning process, enabling learners to build relationships with their trainers.
  • Learners are able to ask questions and receive immediate feedback from an experienced professional.
  • The shared environment of ILT encourages collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the learners.
  • ILT can help to build a sense of group ownership and involvement in the learning process.
  • It provides an opportunity for learners to practice their skills, receive feedback, and become more self-reliant.
  • By participating in live training sessions, learners gain confidence and a better understanding of the material

Let’s explore a few of these benefits in more depth.

Personalization

When you’re designing for instructor-led training, you understand the invaluable role of a facilitator in establishing personal connections with the audience. This unique advantage allows you to strategically plan for the facilitator to leverage those connections during the training session, enhancing the overall learning experience. An ILT facilitator possesses the ability to address specific questions, offer real-time clarification, and customize the content to suit the needs and preferences of their audience. By tapping into their expertise and adapting on the fly, they create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that fosters effective knowledge transfer and retention.

Hands-on Experience

In-person and virtual Instructor-Led Training (ILT) offer instructional designers the ability to incorporate problem-solving, scenarios, and open-ended discussion questions into their lessons. In-person training sessions provide unique opportunities to utilize tools and engage in hands-on activities that are not easily replicated in a virtual setting. On the other hand, virtual synchronous training sessions allow participants to interact with software and receive real-time support. Both modalities offer distinct benefits, allowing for a comprehensive and interactive learning experience tailored to the specific needs of the participants.

Networking & Peer Connections

As instructional designers, we can also take advantage of the networking opportunities that arise during ILT (Instructor-Led Training) sessions. These synchronous sessions not only provide a platform for your audience to connect and learn from one another, but they also offer a unique opportunity to build meaningful relationships. By incorporating group work activities, whether in-person or through virtual breakout sessions, you can create a collaborative environment that fosters connection and collaboration. In these collaborative environments, participants have the chance to engage with their peers, share best practices, and gain insights from different perspectives. These interactions go beyond the scope of the training session itself, expanding the impact of the learning experience. By encouraging networking and relationship-building during ILT sessions, instructional designers can enhance the overall effectiveness of the training program and create a supportive and dynamic learning community.

Value

Instructor-led training (ILT) sessions are often perceived as having a higher value compared to eLearning. This means that your potential audience, especially for training that ins’t required, may be more likely to sign up for a course because of the personalized and interactive experience offered by instructor-led courses.

With the direct guidance and expertise of instructors, participants can engage in meaningful discussions, receive immediate feedback, and benefit from the knowledge and insights shared during the sessions. This added level of depth and engagement further enhances the overall learning experience and makes ILT a preferred choice for many.

Challenges of ILT

Instructor-led training (ILT) presents certain challenges that instructional designers should be aware of. When analyzing project needs, it is important to consider these challenges alongside the benefits. Expense: ILT is more costly to produce and maintain. Accessibility: In-person learning may not be feasible for all potential learners, while scheduling virtual sessions can be challenging to coordinate with their availability. Length: ILT that spans multiple sessions can require a longer time commitment, which should be taken into account. Scalability: Due to logistical complexities, scaling ILT across larger audiences can be difficult. By considering these factors, you can make informed decisions about incorporating ILT into your instructional design approach. 

ILT Design Considerations

Now that you understand the basics of instructor-led training as well as the benefits and challenges, let’s get into some of basics of designing for ILT!

Instructors can implement these ideas for both in-person and online ILT.

Know your Audience

Knowing your audience is important with any course build, but it’s especially relevant when you’re planning for content to be delivered in real time. 

You wouldn’t want your facilitator or instructor to feel bound to or restricted by the content and delivery style if it’s not working for a particular audience. For example, some audiences might not engage in lengthy group discussions, so those kinds of activities might be better cut short in favor of independent application time. Other audiences might really benefit from peer interaction.

Be sure to include instructions for the facilitator accordingly!

Chunk Content

When you organize training content for ILT, create bite-sized chunks of content so your learners don’t get overwhelmed. In self-paced learning, your audience can stop and start as needed, but that’s not the case with ILT.

Organizing your content into short sections makes it easier for your audience to retain the information and actually be able to apply it later.

Engage Learners

Once you have your content organized into easy-to-digest chunks, separate those chunks with activities so your audience can interact with that content in some way. A good rule of thumb is to have an activity every 7-10 minutes.

Activities don’t have to be long and complicated, they could be a turn-and-talk, a braining session, or a call to action for audience members to drop something in the chat.

Use Visuals

Ensure that the on-screen visuals complement the instructor’s delivery, avoiding any distractions that may hinder the audience’s learning experience. This holds even greater significance for webinars! Prior to sharing your screen, close unnecessary tabs and mute notifications.

Challenges of ILT

Deliverables in Instructor-Led Training

There are a number of different deliverables that you might be responsible for designing and developing as an instructional designer designing for ILT. Take a look at the categories below. Not only will this give you an idea of what kind of work might be expected of you, these are the kinds of assets you might consider including in your ID portfolio.

Visuals

Slide decks such as Powerpoint or Google Slides are common support materials for ILT. It is important to remember that these slides should enhance the content rather than serve as the primary teaching method.

Participant Guide

This companion serves as a takeaway for participants in the training. It may include some or all of the course content. It also provides a space for taking notes or responding to activities. You might hand out digitally or as physical copies to the audience. When deciding on the format, consider the optimal design for your course, as it may vary.

Facilitator Guide

The facilitator’s guide is an invaluable asset for ILT. It covers the entire course content, including activity instructions and, in certain instances, instructor scripting. For more information on the facilitator’s guide and additional course materials, please refer to this this article

 

Wrapping it Up

With a deeper understanding of ILT, you are now more prepared to craft a well-designed instructor-led learning solution. You can confidently propose ILT for the right audience. Or, suggest an alternative approach when ILT isn’t the best fit for a particular training need. 

If you’re an aspiring instructional designer who wants support and easy-to-use templates for designing an instructor-led training, check out The Instructional Design and Tech Accelerator Certificate Program

 

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