There are a number of different common formats for instruction.
Instructor-led training, or ILT, is instruction via an instructor, or facilitator, to a learner or a group of learners. This learning usually happens in person, but more and more, participants take courses virtually, via teleconferencing tools such as WebEx and Skype.
For example, a company may provide ILT to employees on how to use a new software program. The employees would be in a classroom-like environment, being presented the learning by a facilitator.
Advantages of ILT include:
Disadvantages of ILT include:
Self-paced learning usually consists of online courseware sometimes including video tutorials that learners access by themselves at their own pace. Learning happens via computer.
Advantages of self-paced learning include:
Disadvantages of self-paced learning include:
Virtual classroom learning is ILT that takes place via computer, in what is known as a "virtual classroom." Students are able to interact with instructors and other students via web chats and even with voice in certain situations, via a phone or computer (with Voice over IP).
Virtual classroom training can take place over the course of a few hours, a day, or many days. It requires students and the instructor to have web-conferencing software, such as WebEx or GoToMeeting.
Advantages of virtual classroom learning include:
Disadvantages of virtual classroom learning include:
Blended learning combines instructor-led training and online training. Face-to-face, instructor training is combined with computer
Advantages of blended learning include:
Disadvantages of blended learning include:
Webinars can be either live or recorded online events where participants usually participate via web-conferencing software and sometimes a phone connection. Training is delivered to large numbers of people, sometimes in the thousands.
Some training organizations use webinars to allow participants to hear from experts. Often a chat feature is enabled, allowing participants to submit questions and comments.
Advantages of webinars include:
Disadvantages of webinars include:
The following table, based on Cindy Huggett's book Virtual Classroom, illustrates the differences in the formats.