Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is when an instructor facilitates a training session for a group of learners or an individual in a virtual setting.
By taking all the elements of instructor-led training (ILT) and applying them to a remote learning environment, VILT meets the needs of remote learners through real-time, remote instruction.
Remember when zoom only meant ‘to move quickly’? Within the past few years, it’s taken on a whole different meaning as a popular virtual communication platform.
With an estimated 70% of the workforce working remotely at least 5x/month by 2025, it’s critical that organizations meet the needs of their learners by providing remote training. Virtual Instructor-Led Training does just that.
At Roundtable Learning, we develop custom training programs that meet the needs of an organization’s workforce, whether it’s resource constraints, managing a remote workforce, or tracking metrics. Through expert instructional design and innovative technology, we work with our clients to deliver training solutions that transform their existing training.
This article will define VILT, explore the benefits and disadvantages of VILT, and unravel 5 popular VILT platforms.
What Is Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)?
Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is when an instructor facilitates a training session for a group of learners or an individual in a virtual setting. By taking all the elements of instructor-led training (ILT) and applying them to a remote learning environment, VILT meets the needs of remote learners through real-time, remote instruction.
VILT has the following characteristics:
- Synchronous – Despite joining from remote locations, learners participate in their training at the same time as others with a live instructor and immediate feedback.
- Collaborative – Learners collaborate with their facilitator and peers over their remote learning platform through various interactive features (e.g. breakout rooms, the chat feature, etc.)
- Happens in real-time – VILT occurs in real-time, meaning learners participate in a live session with their peers and facilitator.
VILT can take a variety of forms from webinars and one-to-ones to small groups and lectures. Regardless of how VILT is held, it’s critical that facilitators keep their learners engaged through a variety of methods, including polls, breakout rooms, and Q&As.
As with any training program, we recommend utilizing VILT as part of a larger blended learning program that incorporates multiple learning modalities into a single program. When used as learning reinforcement for a blended program, VILT is an effective method for introducing topics, encouraging discussion, and reinforcing key learning concepts.
What Are The Benefits Of Virtual Instructor-Led Training?
- Cost-effective – Since VILT is accessed from a remote location, organizations don’t have to worry about paying for the costs associated with travel to train their employees (e.g. ticket costs, accommodations, renting a location, etc.)
- Convenient remote training option – With VILT, learners can join the session from anywhere as long as they have a compatible device and stable internet connection.
- Offers a variety of tools to engage learners – Throughout VILT, facilitators can engage learners through interactive features, including teach-backs, Q&As, and breakout rooms. By engaging learners, facilitators can avoid the potential “Zoom fatigue” that learners are susceptible to.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Virtual Instructor-Led Training?
- Learners may get distracted – As opposed to a traditional classroom environment, VILT may contain various distractions that deter learners from their training. Distractions may include anything from a learner’s mobile device to other household members interrupting the session.
- Facilitators can’t see nonverbal cues – When VILT is conducted for a large group of learners with their cameras turned off, facilitators can’t access their nonverbal cues (e.g. posture, eye contact, facial expressions, etc.) that provide insight into learners’ reactions to the instruction.
- Limited opportunities for real-time application – VILT has limited options for in-the-moment, hands-on applications of what they’ve just learned.
5 Popular Virtual Instructor-Led Training Platforms
When it comes to VILT, it’s critical that organizations provide their learners with an interactive platform that encourages high levels of engagement. After signing into their session, learners should be able to easily navigate their platform and participate in the session with minimal distractions.
The top 5 most popular VILT platforms include:
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- Adobe Connect
While these platforms vary across key features, price, user limits, and more, they provide a seamless way to connect learners across different locations with their peers and instructor. Most importantly, they provide opportunities for learners to engage with their training through breakout rooms, polling, Q&As, and other interactive features.
Read More: 3 Popular VILT Platforms And Their Features
Connect Your Remote Learners Through Virtual Instructor-Led Training
VILT is a cost-effective, scalable training option that can reach your learners regardless of their location. With the unpredictability regarding the future of learning, VILT is a great option for organizations with a hybrid or fully remote workforce.
Looking to see if you can transform existing elements of your training program into a virtual format? Our team is here to help. Feel free to contact one of our L&D experts or read more about all things L&D in our resource center.