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Based on observations of obstacles encountered during my 20-year tenure as a one-to-one sales coach to lawyers, I’ve written often about the limitations of instructor-led training. Here are the five most common:

  • Not scalable: each instructor can only train X number of lawyers
  • Expensive: sales coaches that produce results, like lawyers that produce results, command sizable fees
  • Inconsistent: If somehow you could find and afford enough good trainers, you’d have an unmanageable mixture of approaches, styles, language and frameworks
  • Synchronous: Learner and instructor must be available at the same time
  • Not measurable: There’s no way to know if tactical results represent progress, or luck, or the influence of a “ringer”

Today’s post in the E-Learning 24/7 Blog offers a broader perspective on the persistent bias that favors instructor-led training (ILT) over web-based training (WBT). Author Craig Weiss argues that we’re brainwashed by a longstanding belief, unsupported by facts, that ILT is the superior form of learning.

As it turns out, the facts paint a very different picture:

  • WBT retention rates average over 90%; retention rates for ILT are low, on average 8% to 10%
  • ILT forces learners to progress at the speed of the instructor, so if the instructor is flying through the information, the learner has no choice but to follow that path, at that pace
  • WBT enables self-paced learning; you choose your learning pace, and vary it by topic
  • ILT forces you to follow a linear path – i.e., A to B to C to D; the learner cannot jump around
  • WBT is non-linear; the learner chooses his own path, e.g., maybe start with B, then jump to D, then go 20 times to E, then go to Y

Mike O'Horo

This is why we developed RainmakerVT’s interactive virtual training. Now, every lawyer can learn and practice, affordably, conveniently, measurably and privately. Nobody will see your virtual-world mistakes as you learn. They’ll only see the successful you on display in the real world.

For a complete comparison of the two training modalities, read our white paper, "14 Ways Technology-Based Training Outperforms Instructor-Led Training.