Confused? What Training Modality Is Best?

What Training Modality Is Best

Inexperienced Instructional Designers Say…
If you ask inexperienced instructional designers what training modality is best, they will most likely tell you and provide all the reasons why it is their favorite.

Experienced Instructional Designers Say…
However, if you ask experienced instructional designers what training modality is best, they will tell you, “It depends.” And they are right. And the discussion about training modalities usually happens way too early in the instructional design process and is given way too much credence compared to what matters more.

Why?

Because no one training modality delivers all and the best approach 100% depends upon what you are trying to accomplish, for whom and why.

Examples of Training Modalities
The most common corporate training modalities are:

  • Instructor-led Training (ILT).  The instructor-led training modality is comprised of seminars led by a facilitator where the content is either generic (off-the-shelf), tailored or highly customized to meet specific learning objectives.  This modality is best suited for higher-level skill development, important behavior change initiatives, cross-functional collaboration concerns and team building.
  • Online Training (eLearning).  Online training or eLearning typically consists of micro-bursts of skills, knowledge, job aids, videos and simulations that are highly targeted and easy to digest anywhere at any time. This modality is effective for a geographically dispersed or on the move target audience that needs bite-sized information.
  • Webinar Training.  Typically 60- to 90-minutes in duration, webinars enable learners to remotely attend a training session and interact with peers and the instructor. This training modality is also beneficial for a geographically dispersed audience and can save money with facilitator and participant travel costs.
  • Blended Learning.  Blended learning combines instructor-led training with Webinar and/or Online Training to typically create pre-work, support and coaching opportunities.  This modality if often used to create higher levels of reinforcement and to improve the training of transfer to the job.
  • Train-the-Trainer (T3). Train-the-Trainer sessions enable internal trainers to deliver externally created content.  A high number of participants and frequency is typically required for this training modality to make sense financially.

How to Select the Right Modality?
To select the training modality that works best for your situation, you need to understand the goals of the training in terms of business results, the target audience, and the desired learning objectives.  But one thing has become sure over the last 5 years…eLearning has a rather narrow applicability and, if relied upon to deliver results in the wrong setting, it can be full of risks and additional costs.

Take the U.S. Navy’s Experience.
About ten years ago, the Navy decided to cut costs and eliminate instructor-led training in favor of the newest fad, computer-led training, for their entry level programs. But the conclusions of a study conducted by Robert M. McNab and Diana I. Angelis of the Defense Resources Management Institute showed this was a poor decision. Not only were technology maintenance costs higher after the training (an additional $16m) but learners were also less well prepared. Not at all what the Navy envisioned.

The Lesson?
Be forewarned of a bad outcome if your instructional designers are discussing what training modality is best or content before the business and learning objectives are finalized. Once success metrics are clear, you can intelligently assess all the pros and cons of various delivery methods to meet your unique needs.

To learn more about designing and delivering training that works, download 3 Steps to Building a Smarter Training Initiative – One that Gets Business Results

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Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

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Kim Silva, CFO

We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.

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In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

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LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

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Business Development Manager

Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

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We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

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Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

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Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

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