Enhancing VILT for the Future of Hybrid Learning

As modern companies expand their hybrid work environments and employees execute more of their tasks online, the need for virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is more relevant than ever. The ability to effectively develop, deliver, and administer virtual instructor-led training was once a chore but is now a transformative journey with the help of Microsoft Teams and their catalog of new, exciting collaborative features.

Engaging Learners and Empowering Instructors

Companies are increasingly recognizing the time, money, and resources saved when moving training and work tasks online. The benefits of conducting meetings, presentations, and training through virtual channels have only continued to mount: improved learner engagement, increased accessibility for global teams, reduction in administrative costs, and more.

What is Virtual Instructor-led Training?

In short, VILT 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.

So, when professionals speak about VILT, it can be as expansive as security training for 300+ employees, or as simple as role-specific training for your small Marketing team. Either way, training is delivered to learners through virtual channels, offering more access and ease for employees to interact with these trainings wherever (and whenever) its best for them.

“According to the Association for Talent Development, companies that offer full and comprehensive training programs see a 218% higher income than companies that offer no formalized training.”

Whether your company has the goal of 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 workforces 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 business 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 VILT:

  • Learn in the Flow of Work: Add learning into everyday work tasks to increase efficiency
  • Easy-to-digest learning content: Incorporate micro-learning to appeal to attention span
  • 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

So, how do companies create agile and engaging VILTs that are easily accessible and integrated into an employee’s workday? Well, you get the right tools.

Transforming VILT with Enhanced Microsoft Teams’ Features

The modern collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams, is continuously enhancing their toolbox of technologies, further empowering virtual teams to connect and learn online more comfortably and efficiently. When it comes to conducting a VILT, 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 thanks to Teams features; for example, the interactive virtual Whiteboard where they can brainstorm together.

But it doesn’t stop there. Microsoft recently released even more fun and collaborative features to the Teams platform that are sure to bring more ease and efficiency to virtual instructors-led training. Let’s explore how!

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 videos. To access this feature, simply select the Share Content button in Teams to select your chosen PowerPoint, load it, and you’re good to go! Lead and teach your content with more clarity and ease.

Get Your Meeting Recap in a Snap

Ensure real action comes from your meetings and training with the intuitive Meeting Recap feature. Seamlessly provide instructors and attendees with a detailed recap of the meeting, including the full recording, transcript, chat information, and any files shared during the meeting. 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. You can easily send meeting recaps out to all participants to keep them in the loop and even link it to the meeting event in your Outlook calendar.

Report on and Download Training Attendance

If you want keep track of virtual learner attendance, Teams makes it easy to download the full list of meeting participants. See who joined and participated, along with transcriptions of the meeting contents. While the training or meeting 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 meeting.

Break Out of the Meeting Mold

Instructors can easily split a large group of meeting 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.

Live Caption Your Trainings

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 meeting attendees say will appear in the bottom left corner of your meeting screen. This feature can be turned on for all meeting attendees or hosts individually.

Foster Inclusivity with Live Transcriptions

This live transcription (currently available in US-English) allows attendees to follow all meeting 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 for 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 organizer or presenter can start the transcription.

Lead and Learn in One Streamlined Virtual Environment

Zensai’s Senior Business Manager, Travis Campbell hosted an informative webinar covering all most useful Microsoft Teams features for conducting successful Virtual Instructor-led Training. Watch the webinar here!

In addition to its newly enhanced features, Microsoft Teams becomes a one-stop virtual training platform when paired with the highly configurable Learn365 learning management platform.

When used together, Microsoft Teams and Learn365 create a fully integrated collaboration learning space that allows instructors to build, deliver and assess their training content in one dynamic platform. And because Learn365 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 and L&D courses.

“The management platform has been greatly improved in many areas just in the last year. Integration with Microsoft Teams is a notable example of how Learn365 continues to innovate what we have started using.”

– John Meyer, VP of Information Technology, Buchanan Group

Companies use Learn365 to boost L&D training capabilities and create a secure, trusted environment for deeper learning and training. With the combined efficiency of Microsoft Teams and Learn365, virtual instructors find intuitive technological support while learners experience an interactive training environment, all within one streamlined platform.