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How To Transform Your Training From ILT To eLearning

This was originally posted on eLearning Industry October 25, 2019

The Case For A Content Revolution

There is still some debate between the use of Instructor-Led Training (ILT) or eLearning. Most companies use some combination of both, occasionally adding in a few other training modalities or learning experiences. However, as more companies transition their ILT learning to eLearning, training strategy and implementation will become even more important for the success of your training program. Either modality is only as effective as its underlying design.

Although converting training can be complex, the potential payoff is worth more than the time and effort.

So, what’s the best way to go about making this transition?

How To Know When To Make The Switch

First, you have to consider the current state of your employee training and development program. Although every situation is unique, a detailed analysis of your training can guide your employee development team to know when to make the switch from traditional Instructor-Led Training to eLearning. Chances are, you fit at least one of these conditions:

  • Inconsistent performance across learner groups
  • An inability to training effectively in one location
  • Training can’t scale to larger audiences

Making a transition to eLearning or a blended learning solution can certainly solve these problems, but you might want to consider what all you can accomplish by keeping innovation, scale, and impact in mind as you design your learning experience.

Benefits Of ILT And eLearning

Although the benefits of eLearning have vaulted the modality toward something like an industry standard, ILT is still not without its benefits [1]. The social aspect is often helpful for learners (and also difficult to replicate with eLearning). Here are a few of the common benefits around social learning:

  • Social engagement
    Learners can connect and influence one another through modeling.
  • Crowd-sourcing ideas
    The novel ideas offered by other learners promotes critical thinking and participation.
  • Practice with peers
    Learners can help each other if any of them are struggling and can help practice the material immediately.
  • Immediate feedback
    As a Subject Matter Expert, the instructor can offer immediate clarification and personalize the training to the audience.

Using eLearning also offers its own unique benefits:

  • Just-In-Time/on-the-job training
    Many organizations do not wish to invest a great deal of money for a training that will take their employees away from their work for several days. Arguably, the strongest benefit of eLearning is that its flexibility allows for learners to supplement their day with the training without having to abandon their work for significant amounts of time.
  • Self-paced
    Learners can work at their own pace, which leads to higher knowledge retention.
  • Consistency
    Consistent training content will help level-set your different learner groups.
  • Decreased seat time
    eLearning takes up to 60% less time to complete than a more traditional, classroom-based training session [2].

Tech Requirements

Before making any decisions about proceeding with an ILT content conversion, you will want to take stock of your current training technology and tech requirements. Effective eLearning design may have numerous different digital components and systems involved. If you lack the digital infrastructure, then you’re going to face challenges getting your program off the ground.

Other than the obvious requirements (i.e. LMS/portal, employee devices, etc.), here are a few suggestions for training technologies you can use to augment your learners’ experiences as you change types of training methods.

Supporting Training Technology

  • Offline resources
    Enable offline folders of training assets or make certain content downloadable.
  • Personalization
    Push content based on role-specific learner paths.
  • Performance analytics
    Push additional training content based on individual performance within a course.
  • Social channelsFacilitate social communication between members of a learning cohort to promote engagement with training material.
  • Badging platform
    Integrate a badging platform to encourage engagement (and competition between teams) within a training course.


Although converting training can be complex, the potential payoff is worth more than the time and effort. With ever-advancing technologies and the ability to blend the benefits of digital training and ILT modalities, the consequent flexibility can make the overall learner experience much more effective, as well as positively impact employee performance.

[1] Corporate eLearning Increase

[2] eLearning Seat Time