Enhancing Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) for Hybrid Working

As organisations continue to embrace new, more flexible ways of working, expanding their hybrid work environments to enable more employees to work remotely, the need for virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is more prevalent than ever. With a workforce that is more proficient in using digital tools and completing tasks online, the implementation of virtual instructor-led training is an obvious step to take. And with the help of digital collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams, it is now much easier for businesses to effectively develop, deliver and administer their online training sessions.

Engaging Learners and Empowering Instructors

Companies are increasingly recognising the time, money and resources saved when moving training and work tasks online. The benefits of conducting meetings, presentations and training through virtual channels are clear, including improved learner engagement, increased accessibility for global teams, reduction in administrative costs, and more.

What is Virtual Instructor-led Training?

Virtual instructor-led training takes the fundamentals of in-person or face-to-face training and seeks to reproduce them online. This virtual training can incorporate a range of important company learning points, including employee onboarding, skill development courses, and internal compliance training, as well as systems-based training. By delivering training through virtual channels, organisations offer increased access and ease for employees to interact and learn wherever suits them.

Whether your training priority is onboarding new starters, upskilling current employees for new roles, keeping staff up to date on compliance regulations, or introducing your team to new work systems, the continuous learning and training of employees is critical in modern times, rather than simply supplemental.

The Many Perks of Virtual Instructor-Led Training

According to Global Workplace Analytics, up to 30% of the workforce are still set to operate outside of the office, meaning that in-person training is even less likely to pull high attendance rates and will often come with a heftier cost to run it. For these reasons, virtual instructor-led training is becoming increasingly popular and showing major improvements, both in learner engagement and in company training costs.

In fact, research found that the move towards remote or virtual learning structures has increased the productivity of 85% of businesses and saves an average of $10,000 a year per remote worker in real estate costs. If that’s not enough to sway you, here are a few additional benefits of virtual instructor-led training:

  • Learn in the Flow of Work: Add learning into everyday work tasks to increase efficiency
  • Easy-to-digest learning content: Incorporate microlearning to appeal to learners with less time or a shorter attention spans
  • Scalability of courses and trainings: Easily make trainings for teams of 10 or 10,000
  • More inclusive for diverse learners: Provide support for learners with visual, auditory, or other learning needs
  • Wider reach for global staff: Make training accessible for employees in various countries and time zones

Transforming Virtual Instructor-Led Training using Microsoft Teams

The modern collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams, is continuously being enhanced, further empowering virtual teams to connect and learn online more comfortably and efficiently. When it comes to conducting virtual instructor-led training, Teams empowers instructors with agile and automated tools, such as live participant polls and end-of-meeting recaps. And for the learners, they experience a collaborative and engaging online space where they can brainstorm together.

Microsoft recently released further collaborative features to the Teams platform that bring more ease and efficiency to virtual instructor-led training. We’ve provided an overview of some of these below:

Present with Clarity and Confidence

The new Presenter Mode feature in Teams makes it easier to present and instruct with confidence. Get a full overview of your presentation with the clear display that allows you to view upcoming slides, skip ahead to certain points and see all personal presentation notes, all while still having a clear view of all attendees. To access this feature, simply select the Share Content button in Teams to select your chosen PowerPoint. Lead and teach your content with more clarity and ease.

MS Teams Presenter Mode

Quickly Share Sessions with Meeting Recap

Share your training with all participants using the intuitive Meeting Recap feature. Seamlessly provide instructors and attendees with a detailed recap of the training, including the full recording, transcript, chat information and any files shared during the session. Plus, with meeting recaps, you can better track learner progress and areas for training improvement, making it a great tool for training development and analysis.

Report on and Download Training Attendance

If you want to keep track of virtual learner attendance, Teams makes it easy to download the full list of participants. See who joined and participated, along with transcriptions of the session contents. While the training is still in session, open the meeting’s Participants Pane, in the upper right corner. You will see an arrow icon where you can Download the full meeting attendees list as an Excel document. The document will include the full list of attendees, including what time they joined the session.

MS Teams Training Attendance

Break Out Training Sessions into Smaller Classes

Instructors can easily split a large group of training participants into smaller groups with breakout rooms. This feature is great for encouraging brainstorming, hosting workgroup discussions, and promoting a more collaborative and intimate learning environment for larger training groups. To create one of these Breakout rooms, find the icon on the meeting tabs and select how many rooms you want to create, and the number of participants allowed in each room. You can even rename Breakout rooms and assign specific participants or make it randomly grouped to particular rooms. Once your Breakout rooms are created, you can select Start rooms to start all rooms at once and let your attendees file in.

Microsoft Teams Create a Breakout Room

Live Caption Your Training Sessions

As virtual instructor-led courses are taken by a wide range of professionals and learners, it is very important to ensure your training is inclusive to all types of learners. In Microsoft Teams, you can easily provide Live Captions during meetings to support visual learners or those with hearing difficulties. Simply navigate the three dots, More options icon in the meeting toolbar, and then select Turn On Live Captions. Once turned on, anything attendees say will appear in the bottom left corner of your meeting screen. This feature can be turned on for all participants or hosts individually.

MS Teams Live Captions

Foster Inclusivity with Live Transcriptions

Live transcription (currently available in US-English) allows attendees to follow all video and audio content in real time, providing them with a full written record of the text spoken in the session. This feature adds extra support for any learners who might have a hearing disability or different levels of English proficiency. These are also great if attendees want to catch up with what has been discussed. To enable this feature, the admin only needs to turn on the Allow Transcription policy and then any meeting organiser or presenter can start the transcription.

Enhance Virtual Learning with an Integrated Learning Management Platform

In addition to its newly enhanced features, Microsoft Teams becomes a one-stop virtual training platform when paired with the highly configurable LMS365 learning management platform.

When used together, Microsoft Teams and LMS365 create a fully integrated collaboration learning space that allows instructors to build, deliver and assess their training content in one dynamic platform. And because LMS365 is the only learning management system built into the entire Microsoft 365 suite, users of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online or Outlook can simply use their Microsoft log-in to access virtual training courses.

Organisations use LMS365 to enhance their training capabilities and create a secure, trusted environment for deeper learning and training. With the combined efficiency of Microsoft Teams and LMS365, virtual instructors find intuitive technological support while learners experience an interactive training environment, all within one streamlined platform.

Learn more about how the LMS365 learning management and collaboration platform can help you on your journey to delivering effective virtual instructor-led training.


Screen examples shown above are from Microsoft