Maher has worked with a mix of clients to move lengthy in-person classroom training (what we refer to as instructor-led training, or ILT) to a blended virtual instructor-led delivery format, or VILT. This allows clients to expand course offerings to a wider audience and eliminates the cost of meeting rooms and other logistics, such as travel, for both facilitators and participants. While controlling costs is an important consideration, this approach also presents significant learning benefits for participants:
People learn better by sharing, collaborating, and accessing available online resources when it is most convenient for them. Such an approach also leverages time, which allows learners to apply learning on the job and report back to their peer group and facilitator on their progress. Here’s an example of how it works.
We have used this approach with several clients ranging from sales to senior leadership. We recently mapped out a blended virtual transition strategy for one of our Financial Services clients moving from a multi-day in-person training to a fully immersive online blended peer cohort style experience.
In order to achieve the most successful outcome for this endeavor, we first observed the “current state” of the training by attending an in-person session. This allowed us to observe the experience firsthand, be clear on the content delivery in an ILT format, hear from participants, and capture, in our mind, options for transitioning the ILT to an online virtual delivery.
The ILT was primarily informational with some activities, and it was followed by a project where learning was applied. For the virtual delivery or “future state,” we shifted to a project-centered approach to be implemented over several months. Participants will learn and progress through a project as a cohort while concurrently learning from subject matter experts (SMEs), collaborating with peers and getting input from managers. Virtual instructor-led sessions will be conducted biweekly over four months. Online learning content will include video presentations by SMEs, comprising examples and sharing that leverages storytelling, interactive online discussions, project-based application activities with facilitator and peer reviews, and a final assessment.
The course will be piloted with a small group in Fall, 2019 to capture feedback and identify any refinements before we open it up to a broader population. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in Neptune, NJ and in Washington, D.C. The Firm’s Private Sector Practice specializes in customized learning design and delivery for the Deathcare, Financial Services, Life Sciences, and Media & Communications industries, and partners with our peers to do the same for government clientele. For more information about our services, visit our website or call us at 1-888-90-MAHER.