VILT or Virtual Instructor Led Training is a type of instructor-led training (as is obvious by its name) which either takes place in a virtual or simulated environment, or instructor-led training where the instructor and learners are in separate locations, communicating through technology. Make no mistake, VILT is very much instructor-led training, the only difference being that it uses technology to make things easier for learners. Also known as virtual classroom training (VCT), VILT is particularly useful in modern times in larger organizations where learners/employees are widely dispersed and it is difficult to get them all in one location. VILT is being increasingly used by organizations that still want the benefits of traditional classroom training in modern times, without its disadvantages. It is for this reason VILT is usually used in organizations as a part of a blended learning program, alongside digital learning courses. VILT provides the two-dimensional experience of interacting with an instructor in real-time, which digital learning cannot. Similarly, digital learning is more effective for straightforward, specific information and skills training. However, I digress. Let us have a look at how VILT can help in better L&D.
- Reduces Costs Of L&D
VILT can be implemented at a much lesser cost as compared to traditional ILT, as it eliminates the costs of travel and lodging of the instructor, as well as the cost of booking a seminar hall or auditorium. It also reduces the cost of having to transport employees/learners to such a location for their training.
- It Is Much More Convenient For Learners
VILT is much more convenient for learners than traditional ILT as they can participate in training from wherever they like, be it their home, office or someplace else, as long as they have a portable or mobile device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone with them. This offers them the flexibility which most modern learners look for, and even prefer. This also saves time if and when the training is scheduled in non-office hours.
- It Is Interactive
Another benefit of VILT is that it allows learners/employees to ask questions, express their views, participate in discussions, both with their peers as well as with the instructor, all the while learning in a social environment. Social learning is known to increase the rates of absorption, retention and application of learning. The human-human interactivity aspect of VILT is what makes it relevant and effective even in the age of digital learning courses.
- It Offers Study Aids
VILT, much like traditional ILT offers a number of study aids such as PDFs, Word docs, online links, videos, white-papers, and PowerPoint presentations (PPTs) to learners for their perusal in order to help them fully understand the topics being taught to them and leave no ambiguities or questions in their minds. When VILT is used alongside digital learning in a blended learning format, these aids and resources increase, and include even digital formats such as videos, podcasts, infographics and the like.
- It Has A Modular Design
VILT and digital learning are similar in the account that both of them have a modular design. Offering training content in short, progressive modules allows learners time to digest the information present in one module, before they move on to the next one. Modular design also allows each module to be consumed independently. Another benefit of VILT’s modular design is that it can be used in combination with digital learning courses. The best way would be to create one VILT module and one digital learning module each for one topic, subject, task or skill.
- Offers Maximum Scalability
One of the greatest benefits of VILT is that it can be scaled to accommodate as large a number of employees/learners as required. This is possible because there is no material or space required as it is in traditional ILT.
- It Encourages Diversity In The Organization
VILT encourages and increases diversity in an organization as learners/employees as well as instructors from various cultures, races, creeds and geographic backgrounds participate in it at the same time.
VILT is a great learning methodology in itself with tremendous benefits, as mentioned above. When used in conjunction with digital learning in the form of a blended learning program, it is a modern learning methodology like no other.