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Self-Paced eLearning vs. Instructor-Led Training

Self-Paced eLearning vs. Instructor-Led Training
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Table of Contents
What is Self-Paced Learning?
1. Benefits of self-paced learning
2. Issues with self-paced learning
3. Use Cases for Self-Paced Training
What is Instructor-Led Training?
1. Benefits of Instructor-Led Training
2. Issues with Instructor-Led instruction
3. Use Cases for Instructor-Led Training
Self-paced learning versus instructor-led instruction. Which one is more appropriate for you?
Blended e-learning: what is it?
Is Blended eLearning the Ideal Option for Me?

In order to progress in your job, there are countless opportunities to broaden your knowledge and skill set. To demonstrate your competence, you can obtain degrees, certificates, or certifications. Alternatively, you can only finish pertinent courses, seminars, or conference sessions to acquire the information you need. Whichever route you decide on, you get to pick how you find out about it. Professional development can now be achieved through self-paced eLearning, self-taught learning modules, or instructor-led training (live online or in person). To assist you in selecting the best course of action, we will weigh the benefits and drawbacks of instructor-led training against self-paced eLearning in this post.

Self-Paced eLearning vs. Instructor-Led Training.

What is Self-Paced Learning?

This next kind of virtual training is ideal if you’re drawn to the ease of Integrated Learning via Technology (ILT) but would like to design a course that requires less guidance from your teacher. Self-paced learning refers to any kind of instruction where students complete a course at their leisure. Taking an online course that tests students’ knowledge through videos, quizzes, and other interactive activities is one example. The course contents, often referred to as training materials, are prepared ahead of time and are available to students around the clock.

Self-Paced eLearning vs. Instructor-Led Training.

The self-service model for online training is called self-paced learning. If your courses consist of interactive assignments, then even though it could seem that students are on their own during training, there is still interaction between students and instructors.

Benefits of self-paced learning 

  • The flexibility of the learning environment and the reduced cost are the main advantages of self-paced eLearning. 
  • Although the course materials are comparable to those in an ILT course, self-paced courses are substantially less expensive, typically costing between $300 and $500 per year.
  • Self-paced courses can be scheduled around your other commitments, but they usually require the same time commitment as an ILT course. 
  • Therefore, you have the option to learn through the self-paced course on Saturdays for five weeks, even though you may need to take a week off work to enroll in a 40-hour ILT course. 
  • If spreading out your study over a few months is more effective for your learning style, then by all means, do so.

Issues with self-paced learning

  • The largest drawback of self-paced online courses is their high course attrition rates. 
  • Due to the high time commitment and minimal financial investment involved in this approach, which primarily depends on the students holding themselves accountable for finishing the course, it is simple for students to drop out and never finish the training.
  • The absence of customized instruction is the other drawback of self-paced online learning. 
  • There isn’t much support available to you if you are having trouble with a topic aside from the resources that have already been made available. 
  • Through your eLearning provider, you might be able to collaborate with other students or get in touch with a subject matter expert, but you’ll have to wait for a response, which could cause your training to go behind schedule.

Use Cases for Self-Paced Training

Typical use cases for self-paced training include the following:

  1. Customer Education

You must offer your customers training that will boost their adoption of your product and enable them to derive maximum benefits from it. Self-paced training not only helps users learn how to use your product completely, but it also lowers the volume of support requests that come in. 

  1. Online Team Instruction

There is rarely a time that works for everyone when you are training learners who are spread out across different places and time zones. Time zones are irrelevant with self-paced training because users can learn whenever it’s convenient for them. 

  1. Incredibly intricate product training

Complex product training may be inappropriate for self-paced learning. There is no way that this is not the case. An increasing number of businesses are providing complex product training through self-paced courses thanks to advancements in course interactivity and virtual training labs. Virtual training labs, which are playgrounds where students can practice what they’ve learned in a hands-on learning environment, are the key to this technology. Numerous businesses, including Redis Labs, Chef Software, and Dremio, have found great success in providing self-paced courses for their product training.

  1. Not every size fits all.

An increasing number of employees are anticipating the same level of on-demand service as they do from other consumer applications (like Netflix). It entails doing away with the planned, “one-size-fits-all” classroom schedule and substituting it with easily accessible online instruction that they can access from any location. Additionally, workers will expect to have the freedom to work through courses at their own pace or concentrate only on the specific courses they need to get the knowledge gaps filled, as consumer behavior increasingly translates to professional expectations. 

What is Instructor-Led Training?

A large number of us will have participated in instructor-led training prior to 2020. These classes, which may run for a few hours or several days, would involve an instructor showing a group of students how to use a product in a real-world setting. Prior to the pandemic, instructor-led training was already seeing larger losses, but with offices closed and travel restrictions in place, even more training has shifted online.

virtual Instructor-Led Training.

To offer the instruction, instructors usually employ PowerPoint slides, product demos, and lectures. Instead of an interactive learning approach where users gain a more direct and hands-on experience, this is frequently a passive learning style where users are taught the material.

Benefits of Instructor-Led Training:

  • Employees can ask questions during instructor-led training, which is one of its biggest benefits. 
  • Professional instructors and corporate trainers with advanced training can also modify their presentations to fit the personality and ability level of the class they are teaching.
  • Traditional, instructor-led classrooms can also be divided into groups for role-playing or brainstorming. 
  • Workers have the opportunity to learn from one another. 
  • Most importantly, instructor-led training gives staff members the hands-on, immersive experience they need to understand the topic, especially in complicated or highly collaborative areas.
  • It has further unintended benefits. Employees are more likely to be paying attention to the subject because they are in a classroom atmosphere. 
  • Additionally, in-person training has a perceived value and added benefit, particularly for personnel in the healthcare and customer service industries, according to PhoenixTS.

Issues with Instructor-Led instruction: 

There are issues with instructor-led instruction.  eLearning provides answers for numerous of these problems, such as:

  • High implementation costs, both monetary and time-wise
  • Instructors’ inconsistent messaging and teaching methods
  • Time off from work Interruptions to the regular tasks of the employee

Use Cases for Instructor-Led Training

While not appropriate for every company or product, there are some circumstances in which you may choose to use instructor-led training. 

  1. Training for Students Who Are Not Tech-Savvy

Companies frequently think about instructor-led training if learners require a lot of direct guidance and don’t possess a high level of technical skills. When a teacher is present in the same classroom as the students, they can assist with machine setup, software downloads, and hands-on problem-solving.

  1. Incredibly intricate product training

If your organization uses incredibly intricate software, you may conduct instructor-led training. Instructor-led training allows teachers to train highly complex products by providing instant feedback on whether a learner has understood a concept correctly, offering over-the-shoulder guidance, and even having the ability to reset the learner’s system if necessary.

  1. Sensitive Material Training

In certain instances, businesses operating in sensitive information-handling sectors like banking, healthcare, or government may require instructor-led training to meet industry-specific privacy or secrecy regulations. In this situation, trainers have more control over what is discussed during the lesson or can make sure that students don’t leave with copies of private information or images.

  1. Consultative Education

Lastly, there are situations in which the instructor must function as a cross between a trainer and a consultant. For instance, some people require more than just training; they may also require consulting. To help the class understand or come to a consensus on internal business processes, the instructor may need to lead a group discussion. After that, the class will receive product training that aligns with the business process. This kind of situation calls for a live, in-person consultant/instructor because of the back-and-forth and more complex desired learning outcome.

Self-paced learning versus instructor-led instruction. Which one is more appropriate for you?

We have seen that there are numerous distinctions between self-paced learning and instructor-led training, each with its advantages and methods. They will also accommodate particular training formats that have a direct impact on how users learn.

Self-Paced eLearning vs. Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-led training operates by having a permanently guided training program that is taught, observed, and analyzed in real-time by the instructor. It enables him to respond to any doubts in real time and to quickly alter the learning approach if needed, as indicated by the advanced reports feature. For instance, it functions better in compliance training or other learning programs that are more precisely science-focused. 

Conversely, self-paced learning fosters a more cooperative atmosphere in which students exchange ideas, doubts, and thoughts via social learning to facilitate user-to-user learning rather than relying on a single person to retain knowledge and impart it to others.

Course Start DateFixed monthly start datesStart anytime
Duration of Access6 weeks3 months
Instructor LedYesNo
Discussion AreaPeer to Peer and Peer to Instructor discussionsPeer to Peer discussions
Content Access/Gating2 lessons released weeklyAll lessons available upon enrollment
ExtensionsBuilt in automatic 10-day extensionNo extensions
Payment OptionsOnline Pay, Offline Pay, Passcodes, OAC EnrollmentOnline Pay, Offline Pay, OAC Enrollment

Blended e-learning: what is it? 

Instructor-Led Training

The definition of blended e-learning is a program that combines in-person instruction with online learning techniques to provide more self-paced, face-to-face training that can accomplish far more than just one of the options alone. With the help of this blended learning strategy, IT can establish more collaborative settings where learners can discuss and apply the fundamental ideas and subjects covered in eLearning. Thus, the benefits and drawbacks of eLearning, as well as ILTs, should be taken into account when developing a program.

Is Blended eLearning the Ideal Option for Me?

Blended learning gives you the flexibility to select between instructor-led training and eLearning whenever the two are up for debate! You don’t need both, but a blended learning approach is a great choice if you’re looking for a convenient way to share the fundamentals as well as a collaborative, discussion-style option.

Let TeknoFlair help you determine the right training approach for your needs – self-paced, instructor-led, or blended learning. 

Contact us today!

People Also Ask

What distinguishes instructor-led training from self-paced training?

If you prefer a structured learning pace with instructor support, enroll in instructor-led courses. Bi-weekly lessons are gated and released for these courses. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with self-direction and want to learn at your own pace, you should take advantage of self-paced tutorials (SPT).

Which type of instruction—instructor-paced or self-paced—do you prefer?

While instructor-led training depends on both the availability of the students and the costs associated with it, self-paced training can be quickly and easily provided to large groups of learners, even if they are spread out across different locations. Time is a crucial component of all learning processes.

Why is training with an instructor better?

Fewer Learners at a Time: Because instructor-led training programs are typically conducted in small groups, instructors can instruct fewer students at once; eLearning and other virtual training can be used for big groups at once.

What kind of self-paced training is common?

Self-paced learning is what you’ve experienced if you’ve ever taken an online course without an instructor where you had to complete assignments, watch videos, complete quizzes, and read materials on your schedule.

What does self-paced learning look like?

Self-paced learning examples

  • A high school curriculum that combines online learning with final exams and lets students study math at their speed.
  • An adult learner hoping to upskill and find employment through an online data science course.

How much time does it take to create instructor-led training?

A summary of the results is provided below: This data indicates that it takes an average of 43 hours of development time (or roughly 5 days) for one hour of instructor-led training. These numbers suggest that you need about 30 days of resource time if your staff members require a day of training.

Key Takeaways 

There’s a lot to unpack from the comparisons between self-paced learning and instructor-led training. Here are some key takeaways:

Self-Paced Learning:

  • Flexibility & Cost-Efficiency: Offers flexibility in learning schedules, often more cost-effective compared to instructor-led training.
  • Personalized Learning: Allows learners to set their own pace and choose specific courses that suit their needs.
  • Convenience: Accessible anytime, anywhere, accommodating various schedules and time zones.
  • Attrition & Support Challenges: High attrition rates due to self-discipline requirements; limited support for learners struggling with specific topics.

Instructor-Led Training:

  • Interactive Learning: Enables direct interaction with instructors, fostering engagement and immediate query resolution.
  • Hands-On Experience: Provides immersive learning experiences, particularly beneficial for complex or collaborative subjects.
  • Structured & Controlled: Controlled learning environment suitable for certain industries with regulatory or sensitive content.
  • Higher Costs & Time Constraints: Expensive due to resource allocation, time-intensive, and dependent on set schedules.

Blended Learning:

  • Combination of Methods: Blends both approaches to leverage the strengths of each – combines face-to-face interaction and self-paced learning.
  • Hybrid Flexibility: Offers the benefits of both worlds – structured learning and individualized pace.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Facilitates collaboration, discussion, and application of learned concepts through in-person interactions.

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