There are two main benefits of Instructor-Led Training. They are the instructor and the structure of the class. Unlike a book or video, the instructor can adapt how he or she teaches based on the students’ levels of understanding. The instructor is a huge benefit and can teach much more material in a day than self-taught student learn on their own in a whole week. The structure of the class helps students schedule time for learning and lets them make mistakes in a controlled environment. Having a person who can answer questions, explain scenarios that tie-in with the student’s particular work experience and practical exercises to reinforce the class content should be highly effective training.
Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that anyone can teach Information Technology and that anyone can learn how to use Information Technology. But not everyone can be a good trainer, much less a great one. The Learning and Performance Institute started off as the Institute of IT Training and I was one of the original members. They understood that teaching Information Technology is not a case of sitting beside a student and showing them what to do. The whole reason for founding the institute was to ensure that Information Technology teaching involved setting definable objectives, interaction, question technique and continual reinforcement of learning.
If you decide Instructor-Led Training is right for you, here are some guidelines to help you decide which training program offers the best value. First, the instructor part of Instructor-Led Training is the most important part. Before you pay for training, check out the instructor’s experience. Are there any testimonials from previous customers? Has the company undertaken any independent assessment of the quality of their work? Speak to the trainer. A good trainer has equal parts technical and public-speaking expertise. Don’t underrate communication skills; someone who knows a lot but can’t explain anything is just as ineffective as a great speaker who doesn’t know anything.
Second, ask to see the courseware. Read through it to see whether the book explains the concepts in a way you can understand. See if the courseware includes the subjects being covered on the course. You want to determine whether the courseware will help you retain what you learned in class.
Finally, ask someone to help you determine what you need to learn before you start the class. Does the training company offer a pre-course assessment to evaluate your current skills and the skills needed to complete your future tasks?
Instructor-Led Training is the most expensive training format, but it offers the most potential for learning much in a short period. Because you or your company is paying a lot of money for the training, you have every right to find out whether the trainer and the training company can meet your needs. Before you pay, spend the time to make sure you’ll receive a good value for your money.