Lessons Learned in Rapid VILT Conversion


Over the past few weeks, you have no doubt seen an unprecedented number of e-mails, webinar invitations and other calls to action relative to making instructor-led training (ILT) content more suitable for virtual environments. There are some great ideas, tips, and practices included in this barrage of information that can help us weather the storm and address current constraints on conducting in-person learning events. And, like other learning services providers, we have contributed our fair share to this discussion.

Now, we want to help cut through the clutter and share less about what CAN be done, and more about what we HAVE done to design, develop and deliver best-in-class virtual instructor-led training (VILT) events. 

Over the past few weeks, our clients have asked us to help them deliver ILT content, deemed critical to their business success, in virtual environments. Training topics have ranged from mandatory courses to ensure their workforce remains compliant, to developmental courses to improve workforce and business performance.

What have we learned? There is no universal right answer for all L&D organizations. However, they do share a drive to keep learning moving while continuing to function safely and effectively.

Here are some best practices and lessons learned from analyzing and rapidly converting hundreds of clients courses during just the past few weeks:

  • Not every ILT course is ideal for VILT:  Our analysis of existing curriculum and relevant objectives found that approximately 53% of ILT courses could be wholly or partially delivered via virtual.
  • The best tool for now is the best tool on hand: We have converted courses for delivery via Adobe Connect, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Zoom, Skype, and Polycom RealPresence depending on the platforms where clients already have licenses and integration. The focus in the early stages of this change, and rightly so, has been on continuity of learning services above all else.
  • Get learning to the learners now, improve the experience over time: Again, the best platform is the one you already have because speed of delivery is the primary objective, don’t let ‘better be the enemy of good’. We have seen very few organizations investing the time and resources to upgrade or reformat content as a pre-requisite to immediately repurposing content.
  • Train the technology: While there is a more than subtle distinction to teaching and facilitating in a virtual environment versus an in-person event, organizations are not letting this stand in the way of alternate delivery models. What we have seen as near-term critical is how comfortable and competent are the instructors with the delivery technology currently used by their company. Where L&D organizations do not have a cadre of instructors already certified in virtual classroom delivery and management, the focus has been more on platform, technology-training efforts than upgrading instructor skillsets. At least in the short term.
  • While the modality is changing, the learning concerns have not: The reach, accessibility, engagement, speed, and effectiveness of learning remain the top concerns of the customers we have helped to modify learning experiences over the past few weeks. New or limited modalities don’t necessarily drive new measures or areas for concern, but they do certainly impact where we focus existing measures in the short term.
  • Logistics and preparation greatly enhance success:  It’s not just about content and instructors.  Facilitation and online support before, during and after the event have made a significant difference in the effectiveness of learning events. Support for scheduling, enrollment, and assistance in advance of the class, as well as ensuring the LMS is updated with completions post course, have proven to be just as important as the course delivery itself. 

    Often, companies don’t realize the level of support that is required for large, global sessions and having a live support person available in seconds can make the virtual experience much more successful.

Want to learn more about the benefits of VCT? Read our Blog, How Virtual Classroom Training Delivers a Rich Learning Experience.

Reach out to RPS

Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) has an experienced support team that can provide the resources you need – from instructors to technical support teams and administrative support, to help desk teams.

Don’t have the right equipment to create a session? Don’t worry, RPS can recommend or provide exactly what is needed to pull off a professional looking studio experience. RPS will help convert your classroom materials quickly into highly interactive virtual sessions! To learn how our training experts can help you address your organization’s virtual training needs, please contact us, our visit our website at RPS.com.

Do you have lessons learned that you’d like to share? Start a conversation in the comments below or connect with us on LinkedIn, or at @RaytheonRPS using hashtags, #learning, #training, #virtuallearning, and #onlinelearning.