What is the Best Training Modality? Don’t be Confused

What is the Best Training Modality picture of pros and cons

The Best Training Modality
What training modality is best for your unique situation?

  • Inexperienced Instructional Designers Say…
    If you ask inexperienced instructional designers what is the best training modality, they will most likely tell you their favorite approach and then provide all the reasons why it is better.
  • Experienced Instructional Designers Say…
    However, if you ask experienced instructional designers what is the best training modality, they will tell you, “It depends.” And they are right.

Experienced instructional designers are right because the discussion about training modalities usually happens way too early in the instructional design process and is given way too much credence compared to other questions that are more important.  Why does it depend?  Because no one training modality makes sense for every situation.  The best training modality approach 100% depends upon what you are trying to accomplish, for whom and why.

The 5 Most Common Training Modalities
The five most common corporate training modalities are:

1.  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 training modality is best suited for higher-level skill development, important behavior change initiatives, cross-functional collaboration concerns, and team building.

2.  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 and knowledge

3.  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.

4.  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.

5.  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 Training Modality?
To select the training modality that works best for your situation, you need to understand the goals of the training in terms of the:

  • Desired business and performance results and their comparative importance to other initiatives
  • Target audience
  • 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 sustained behavior or performance change 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 Bottom Line
Be forewarned of a bad outcome if your instructional designers are discussing what training modality is best or designing training content before the business and learning objectives are finalized and agreed upon with your key stakeholders. 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 Results

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LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
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LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
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VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

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.

Jennifer Remling
Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

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Cutera

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

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