4-Value Added Benefits of Virtual Training

Building Collaboration, Peer Learning, Encouragement of Self-Study and Self-Development

By Linda Savanauskas, MSM, HCS

January 23, 2016

The Virtual Instructor Led Classroom – What Makes Virtual Training Different from a Webinar Lecture?

Have you attended an online lecture recently? Was the online training a webinar? A recorded online Instructor Led training program? A recorded video or event? A live Instructor Led Training program? What do you remember about the training program?

Does a recent attended class come to mind?

-Was the program online a public course? (People joined from various locations, unknown to other participants).

-Was the program private? (People from your workplace, a membership group, etc., participants are known to one another).

-What was it like? Was it beneficial to your self-development? What were you doing while the lecture was in process? Did you participate in the online polls, the surveys, the chats? Did you get an opportunity to chat with the speaker? Did you get an opportunity to engage with your teammates and do white boarding or exercises together?

-Were you ‘multi-tasking’ and half listening– with your mind elsewhere, and your fingertips flying over the keyboard as you answered your email, texted the family about dinner and the stop at the grocery store?

When we participate in online webinars – we tend to half-participate. We often think of all the things we need to accomplish, even though the speaker is excellent. We may participate in a few of the polls – yet many of us are thinking of what is next on our agenda. We forget what we are listening to and do not recall the ‘lesson’. Unless of course you are, one of those very engaged learners who writes down everything you learn!

Webinars can be excellent and an effective method to provide online training, as well as Do-it-Yourself learning.

There are other types of online training such as eLearning, YouTube videos. Some videos, which we search out and take to learn something immediately, i.e., how to replace an air filter in our car. Other times we watch a video where we are participating along with the speaker by taking a quiz, or reading a white paper on the subject matter that you can take with you.

When it comes to virtual instructor led training (VILT), it is the most similar to being in a face-face instructor led classroom. What makes virtual training effective as a teaming and collaborative group experience?

4-value add – Virtual Instructor Led training Offers

1. Flexible Learning Environment, Continuous peer learning, before, during and after the training

-Share and collaborate via ‘program-generate’ text and email access for internal chat sessions and connectivity to your mobile device if you choose.

-Self-study and collaboration before, during and after the learning event has ended

2. Private Virtual online Classroom, access to private email, chats, text with other participants and the facilitator

-Private online classroom with access to your teammates in a private setting. Only those invited can attend and participate in the offerings.

-Chat sessions private – looking similar to a ‘list-serve’ communication.

-Provides a communication rich environment for reflective learning in self-development and with peers.  © Mastering Reflective Communications Virtually (MRCV).

3. Live Instructor/facilitator – can hold 2-way discussions

-Encourages peer and social learning, a building of collaboration and trust, interacts with social media

-Small group, group exercises, continuous learning environment to stay connected to other participants, and colleagues as a follow-on to your self-development

4. Communications and Technology

-Technology includes, calendar scheduling, videos, social media, eLearning, web page links and provides whitepapers, materials, posting 2-way from instructor and participant

-Access whitepapers, pre-work, assessments, post-work, videos, etc.



Quick Comparison Chart – VILT classroom versus online webinar lectures

Virtual Instructor Led Training (Classroom) Webinar Event
Live training – Discussion based led by a facilitator (can be recorded for review) – Can be a continuous learning environment. Live session. Recorded slideware.
Private – Sharing information in a live online classroom – posting documentation by both facilitator and participants. Can talk together as a group, can talk live with the facilitator. Private – Sharing – Speaker – can push out materials to participants, Participants can engage in online chats, exercises, polls, surveys, etc.
Private chats and texts within the online classroom, i.e., only those in the class see materials provided, and posted within the classroom. The participants can add to an internal discussion. Privacy of individual email or texts is available – so as not to clog up your email or text inbox. Can interact with social media. Public and private chats to the webinar group during the lecture is available. Upon completion of the webinar, the chats also are completed. There may be a recorded version available – however there is no further communication with the chats available. Can support the event through social media while being conducted.
Group size – typically smaller – encouragement of collaboration with other participants, pre-work and post-work encouraged with continuous learning including after the event. Group sizes can be small to large. Whiteboard and breakout sessions are good for extended learning and encourages online participation. Once the webinar session is complete, so is the participation on the subject matter.
Encourages self-learning and self-development as a part of your learning objectives. Supports collaboration with participants before, during and after the formal and informal learning has taken place. Encourages self-learning during the learning event. Pre-work can be provided to encourage readiness for learning in an elongated study.


As a virtual instructor – I enjoy the collaboration of the classroom. I enjoy communicating with the participants and being part of their learning. Whether I am offering 1:1 get to know you sessions, communications during the virtual class and post class continued discussions and availability for the learner and the participants.

Engagement – Collaboration using online technologies

Engagement of the participants are part of the value in classroom instructor led training and this can same engagement can be done on line live with the addition of social media, emails, chats, etc. to engage participation – and the learning becomes more than an event. The group support and engagement of discussion with each participant – holds people accountable to what is happening in the present moment rather than doing email, other work, and writing a grocery list for dinner.

Collaboration, Teaming, Peer and Social Learning

The encouragement of teaming, collaboration and self-study as a group becomes part of the learning experience rather than the get-in and get-out of the webinar lecture. The virtual environment is rewarding to me, as a virtual instructor as I enjoy being part of the learning experience with the group. The encouragement from each other to continue learning together or have an accountability partner to meet your objectives for self-development and encouragement is the real benefit!

My words of encouragement to you get involved in your own learning!

See you in Class! iStock_000017515487_ExtraSmall_megaphone

Author Image

About Linda Savanauskas

An accomplished talent management professional with experience in curriculum design, development of learning strategies, and professional skills development training programs for the workplace. Collaboration in training programs includes small and medium size businesses (SMB) to larger organizations from Raleigh to Charlotte, North Carolina. Virtual instructor led training can be offered to any location.

  1. Author Image Braden Bills 09/27/2017, 1:47 pm Reply

    It’s interesting that virtual teaching can be so beneficial. It makes sense that it’s something that businesses might want to consider incorporating into their business strategy! That way they can teach new hires things a lot easier.

    • Author Image Linda Savanauskas 05/10/2018, 5:00 pm Reply

      Yes, I agree, we are getting there! Thanks!