According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report, organizations are increasingly seeking the help of learning and development (L&D) to complement business strategy by attracting, developing and retaining top talent. A critical aspect to consider, besides the type of training to deliver, is the method of training delivery itself.
Choosing a training delivery method can be a daunting task, given the number of considerations, including budget, size and type of the workforce, location, time frame, and goals. Adding to this complexity are the multiple training delivery options available today that make decision-making easier said than done.
L&D professionals often evaluate delivery methods based on the organization’s overall learning objectives. Most use multiple delivery methods, because a single modality can’t do everything well. So, how can you choose training delivery methods that suit your needs? Let’s consider some of the top options available today.
1. Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Instructor-led training, or classroom training, is the most traditional form of training, best leveraged for creating an overall understanding of the training topic. According to Training Industry, Inc. research, ILT is the training modality most preferred by learners, with 55% of learners reporting a preference for this method.
ILT is most effective when you need to provide a large group of learners with a relatively small amount of information, in a short period, with the only value-add being the credibility of the instructor and his training skills. Another key advantage of ILT is the obvious interactivity, as learners can ask questions and receive instant responses. ILT is a good option for organizations with a dedicated training venue and when employee interactivity is important to the learning experience.
2. Virtual Classrooms
While ILT continues to be popular, advancements in technology have propelled the use of virtual classrooms, or virtual instructor-led training (VILT). Virtual classrooms enable organizations to deliver training in the form of text, video and documents in real time. They can deliver training from anywhere, and learners can attend the session from wherever they are located, saving organizations valuable time and money on logistics and venues. Good virtual trainers can still offer a human touch.
VILT is most effective when organizations have to train a larger group, but there is no dedicated venue, or the learners (and instructor) are geographically dispersed. It is also only effective when the organization has good tech support available to the trainer and the learners.
E-learning is one of the most popular forms of training delivery available today. Research suggests the global e-learning market is set to reach over $300 billion in value by 2025, and 77% of U.S.-based organizations use e-learning. These online learning programs use a mix of text audio and video; discussion forums; and/or interactive assessment.
E-learning is a good option for organizations that want to offer flexible learning opportunities in a short time frame to a global audience by delivering interactive and engaging training programs in the form of games, videos, HTML, quizzes and other content. E-learning is also suitable for organizations that need to provide a simulated environment for learners performing high-risk tasks.
4. Mobile Learning
According to Towards Maturity, 64% of learners say that using a mobile device to access training content is “essential/very useful,” and 89% of smartphone users download apps for learning or productivity.
Mobile learning, although a relatively new training delivery method, is increasingly offered by leading organizations due to the host of benefits it offers, including the ability to deliver training anytime, anywhere and on any device and in the form of microlearning, short how-to videos, social learning and other engaging formats. While best suited to the needs of the on-the-go or field workforce, mobile learning is also popular in offices. In some cases, the nature of the industry (e.g., oil and mining) involves work at locations with no internet connection too, making an offline mobile learning app or platform the go-to solution.
5. Blended Learning
With blended learning, organizations can leverage a combination of approaches, ensuring that every learner retains information. A blended learning approach is perfect for organizations with diverse training requirements and complex learning objectives.
Over the past decade, training delivery methods have evolved with advancements in technology. As the corporate training market explodes with training delivery modalities, the best approach for L&D professionals is not the latest training delivery method but the right training delivery method for their needs. Use these tips, and make the right choice!