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Impact Group Training

19Nov

Pros and Cons of In-Person, Instructor-Led Training

Did you know that in-person, instructor-led training (ILT) is still the leading method of learning for 94% of organizations? So, while the focus now is on innovative ways to enhance and implement digital learning, statistics show that ILT is still alive and well. But like other training methods, in-person training has its pros and cons.

What is Instructor-Led Training?

Instructor-led training, or ILT, is the kind of training we’re most familiar with. It occurs in a classroom setting, and a facilitator presents the material. The most important feature is that learners have real-time access to the instructor for discussion and feedback.

Successful facilitators lead sessions and engage learners through discussion. They ask open-ended questions and encourage the sharing of ideas. Facilitators are responsible for meeting the training’s learning objectives, and these are best met when learners are engaged and actively involved in their learning.

5 Pros of In-Person, Instructor-Led Training

1. Engaging and Interactive

Since there are learning activities that participants work together to complete, ILT is engaging and interactive. Learners are more likely to retain information and form deeper connections with colleagues when they actively participate in the training. Here are some ways facilitators can build this kind of interactive environment:

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Redirect questions back to the group to encourage the sharing of knowledge and ideas
  • Create activities where learners collaborate and work together
  • Vary the delivery style and ensure activities are used for both groups and individual learners

Tip: Create active participants by mixing up presentation methods. For example, start the session with a presentation, show a video, and then assign a small group activity.

Read More: How to Create an Effective Training Program

2. Encourages Open Discussion

During in-person training, learners collaborate through activities and open discussion. When they feel comfortable in their group, they’re more willing to openly communicate and participate in the training.

Facilitators can also read the body language of the group and respond to learners’ needs. For example, if learners look confused and don’t understand a particular part of the training, an experienced facilitator will notice this and clarify or review the content.

Tip: Facilitators can create space for open dialogue by asking open-ended questions and digging deeper. When a learner is already experienced in a particular topic, the facilitator can encourage them to share their knowledge and ideas with the group.

3. Connects People

When learners are in a classroom setting, whether for two days or two hours, they begin to develop organic relationships. These relationships enable participants to build a learning network – and interacting and learning from each other is a significant benefit of in-person training.

Within these networks, learners can:

  • Share resources, ideas, and tools that encourage a deeper knowledge
  • Gain a broader perspective on various topics by collaborating with and listening to others
  • Cultivate personal relationships and connect on other networks

Tip: Facilitators can encourage participants to build networks by assigning learners with various experience levels to different groups so they can complete activities together and learn from each other.

4. More Flexible

In-person, instructor-led training allows facilitators to adapt quickly and clarify information if they see learners struggling to understand a concept. Facilitators can also shift to a higher level when learners grasp ideas and information quickly.

Tip: Create a friendly environment and ask open-ended questions, so learners feel comfortable asking questions when they don’t understand something. Facilitators need to use feedback and reflection to improve their instruction.

5. Fewer Distractions

Digital technologies are irreplaceable, but they distract 49% of learners – and for reasons unrelated to learning. But when facilitators create an engaging environment, learners are less distracted and can retain more information.

Tip: It’s helpful for facilitators to lay ground rules or guidelines for the training session. For example, they could tell learners that phone use is limited to break times only.

3 Cons of In-Person, Instructor-Led Training

1. Expensive

One disadvantage of in-person ILT is that it’s expensive - especially if you have to rent out a venue or equipment. Traveling costs for out-of-town employees also add up quickly – flights, gas, lodging, food, etc. And these costs are recurring for every training session.

Solution: Utilize your own office space to avoid rental fees and keep costs down.

2. Trains Fewer People at a Time

Ideally, in-person ILT sessions have fewer learners, so the training is more engaging and interactive. Unfortunately, that means facilitators may need to hold multiple sessions to accommodate all the participants. And even when the same facilitator presents the same information and uses the same materials, sessions will vary depending on the learners in attendance. This can affect the consistency of the training.

Solution: When facilitators learn from their participants, training programs can evolve into something even better.

3. Requires Time Away from Work

In-person training also takes time away from work – whether employees stay local or travel out of town. Depending on the program, training sessions can be a few hours to a few days.

Solution: Plan ahead for being out of the office and ensure responsibilities are met in advance.

Read More: How to Transition In-Person Training to e-Learning

Final Thoughts

In-person, instructor-led training tends to be more personal and helps build relationships – and it can easily incorporate many different styles of learning. But it’s important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons to determine what works best for you and your employees.

With over 10 years of experience, Impact Group Training has the knowledge and experience to help you develop and produce the training your workforce needs to increase your impact and results. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help custom-design and deliver the training materials you need.

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