Instructor-Led Training vs Self-Paced Learning: Pros & Cons

Instructor-Led v Self-Paced Learning: Pros & Cons

One of the first decisions an organization has to make about training is the format: instructor-led, or self-paced? Obviously, cost is a major determining factor, but what else needs to be considered?

Typically, self-paced learning experiences can be rolled out quickly to large groups of people all over the world. Instructor-led training, on the other hand, is necessarily limited in both group size and roll-out speed.

An employee who is out sick the day of an instructor-led training misses the program and must be re-taught – often at great additional expense, and not without its share of logistical headaches. But self-paced learning affords employees opportunities to take the training when they can – and to go back and review parts of it as necessary.

Another disadvantage of instructor-led training: the skills taught may not be put into practice for weeks – or even months. When it comes time to actually use what they’ve learned, employees may not remember everything the instructor said. And the class may be different every time it’s presented – meaning employees may not have a consistent training experience.

A great facilitator, however, can share material in such a way that users actually go through the experience of using what they’re learning – essentially creating an experiential training that sticks with users. Follow-up with the instructor, too, can be – if not priceless, then at least extremely valuable – for employees and companies.

But of course, that great facilitator comes at a price. A top-tier instructor can command few tens of thousands of dollars for a day training, when you figure in preparation, travel, and other expenses. You can spend a lot on online course development, too – but it’s not a necessity.

An instructor-led training can be quickly and easily revised. The instructor can quickly check that everyone in the room understands what’s being taught – but you can only train the people you have in the room.

If you hire a custom course developer, changing your course may be difficult – or prohibitively expensive. But a modular solution may offer the level of customization you need at the right price point – with built-in, on-the-fly flexibility.

What’s the most effective training you’ve attended? Which solutions give your organization the most value?

Image by Sarah Stewart.

About Abbi Perets
Freelance writer. Mom of five kids. Usually tired. Always craving coffee.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: