Of course, there is always room for innovation and improvement. If you Google “corporate classroom training courses,” you'll get hundreds of millions of returns. Go ahead and click the link—you’ll see. Obviously, there’s no shortage of options to engage in excellent content with world-class trainers for a day, a few days, or a week. And that can be great, as long as most (if not all) of the content is relevant to you. However, what if you look at a course outline and just need the first quarter of day one—you know, just the first 2 hours or so? Will you go to a longer program, get what you want, and then text through the rest? Should you be away from your job responsibilities that long? Should the company pay for non-essential skills development?
Learning content that isn't targeted to a particular skill and outcome can be negatively impacting your organization. This happens a lot, and it costs corporations millions in employee downtime and the resulting lost productivity, as well as overspending on programs. If a senior manager, director, or other high-level resource attends a program on emotional intelligence, but only needs some exercises and inputs around conflict management and dealing with difficult situations, why should they be in training for a whole day or week? Why not attend 90 minutes of virtual instructor-led training (VILT) that concentrates on this singular topic with focused training, an application case-study scenario, and take away to apply on the job immediately? You know, challenge people to change behavior immediately after the training?
VILT is a sweet spot in Learning and Development that minimizes downtime, improves competency gains, gets skills into the workplace immediately, and moves the performance needle. If we look at a full 1-day or 5-day course, there is an opportunity to break this content down into shorter, more impactful and relevant MicroLearning sessions (see a recent article on MicroLearning). Doesn't it make more sense for that senior manager to gain critical knowledge in the area they need quickly, and with some takeaways to apply on the job immediately? For innovative companies, the answer is a resounding "yes."
Technologies like Adobe Connect, WebEx, and GoToMeeting, provide tools to connect us quickly over broadband. It's possible to have several employees from multiple states and countries in one event, saving on the airfare, hotel, and other T&E expenditures that the physical classroom demands. VILT is a strong answer to a telecommuting workforce that can't attend classes conducted onsite within the corporate brick and mortar location. Using technology like this has radically changed the way people can interact and share knowledge, data, files, and other information assets.
To make VILT successful for your team, below are some of our best practices through experience in the field. If you find this information helpful, feel free to share our writing on your social networks.
VILT requires that our approach to curriculum changes. From an instructional design standpoint, VILT requires short learning nuggets, more interaction, stronger visuals, and more consensus around keeping people involved. After all, we can't see the student in the classroom and have to strategize around engagement.
What's In It for Me / WII-FM
Yes, adult learners need to know what the training is, what it delivers, and the takeaway value of the time investment. MicroLearning VILT programs need to have firm, concise, and desirable marketing details. If I sign up, will I leave with what I need? When MicroLearning is built with the learner in mind, the experience and learning bites create better workers.
With virtual offices, contingent and contract workforces, and mobility being central to today's learning audiences, short training modules are easier to consume on the go or away from the office. On-demand learning is a big thing today. Learning Nuggets, MicroLearning, “just in time”—the list goes on with regards to naming, but the outcome is the same: short, succinct, focused, and targeted skills that can be brought back to work and applied on the job quickly.
Video-Based Learning (eLearning):
Smart companies are recording VILT sessions with high-definition video equipment, editing them into eLearning opportunities, and posting them to their LMS or portal system and serving content to employees. You can make training an ongoing, swiftly consumed element and not a one-time event. When we look at a more technical level, utilizing metadata allows for content to become a searchable element much like we use Google or YouTube.
When courses are shorter, feedback may be more focused as users are grading micro-assets vs. a day or week long experience. But even with a granular review that is more detailed, this makes continual improvement much easier to manage. After all, if courseware is short and focused, the ability to update these MicroLearning sessions is also improved. Focus on making the learning as customized as possible over time.
VILT is an excellent way to leverage webinar technology to engage a diverse, global, and disparate workforce. It also respects each user's time, current skills, and the corporate training budget at a much higher level.
If you are serving a large student population, need to distribute skills that translate to on-the-job performance, and want to help people learn on demand, when and where they want to, then you may want to consider VILT learning in your enterprise.
Virtual Instructor Led Training Solutions
327 Solutions leadership has been in Training and Development for over two decades working with Fortune 500 clients helping our customers reach their goals. We are The Agency for People and Talent Development Leadership™ supporting the Fortune 500 through placement, consulting, and training.
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