By Bob Mosher
There’s never been a better time it to be offering Instructor Led Classroom Training! Now, after reading that, you may be checking the author’s name on this blog! Bob Mosher praising the classroom? Yep, it’s really me—the person who was once called “The Classroom Hater Guy”! I’ve attempted to clear up that misunderstanding many times. So let me say yet again that the classroom is one of my favorite delivery mediums available to those whom we serve. My issue all along has never been with the modality, it’s been with what it’s become. In many instances it has become a dumping ground for everything needed to be “learned”, in way too short of a time and, because of this, in a format that’s instructionally broken. Ok,,, Well, that might be where the “Hater Guy” part came from. ;) With all that said, back to my original statement, and let me try and clarify my positon. With all that’s at our disposal as learning leaders it’s time to take a hard look at the existing ILT model and introduce ILT V2.0.
Now, before we dig a bit deeper into this you may be asking why a topic that seems fairly pragmatic warrants such strategic attention? I’m not talking about the changing the logistics of delivering ILT. This isn’t about scheduling trainers or equipping a classroom with technology. It’s about an L&D Departments overall role in helping redefine a paradigm that’s been a foundational tool in our toolkit since the dawn of time. That type of change starts with us, and if I’ve learned anything in my 36+ years in L&D it’s that change doesn’t come easy, especially when it involves changing something as entrenched as the ILT model. Yes I know, we’ve tinkered with it a bit with efforts like the flipped classroom and blended learning, but this is a much larger change than either of those. This is positioning ILT in a very different way.
We need to change three things in order for ILT V2.0 to be actualized. The first is to stop talking about it so much. Let me clarify. If the classroom is going to be allowed to do what it needs to do, it has to stop being what we always lead with. In most learning organizations, whether we want to admit it or not, ILT is still what starts the conversation and is the centerpiece upon which everything else is based. If ILT remains there it will never be given the time and space it needs to evolve into a powerful new model. We also need to remove the following words from our daily vocabulary – “course”, “lesson”, and even “training”. Because we use these terms so frequently we often predetermine our deliverables before we’re allowed to position ILT, and all that’s at available outside of it, in the appropriate way. In other words it puts our buyers in a “I’m getting 5 days of ILT,,,” mindset and it makes it harder to reposition ILT in a new way.
Second, we need to strengthen our non-ILT deliverable’s design and technology capabilities within our learning teams. If ILT V2.0 is going to be actualized, it needs to offload all it has been asked to deliver to other trusted and proven modalities. Building out these new capablilities is going to take leadership, time, money, and frankly courage. The learning learners we’ve seen successfully champion these efforts are what I’m calling Courageous Leaders. They have a vision, have become learned in the 5 Moments of Need methodology and related technologies, and are willing to lead their teams in a change management initiative that may be difficult and disruptive. We’re talking about reinventing ILT here! It will involve guiding many key stakeholders – ID’s, Trainers, our “buyers” and even the learners! We need to introduce and build new deliverables that fall under a discipline called Performance Support, and I don’t mean a simple Job Aid. I mean the robust discipline of Performance Support that involves tools such as Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS’s), Learning Experience Platforms (LXP’s), Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools, and Social/Collaborative Learning Platforms. These are the tools that will allow ILT to migrate from V1.0 to V2.0. and here’s the kicker – They need to be brought to the front of the line with ILT seen as a tool used in support of them, not something that continues to be built and positioned ahead of them.
This fundamental shift in focus is what allows the third change to occur. When we lead with 5 Moments of Need design and tools, ILT is allowed to take a new and powerful supportive and foundational role. It becomes the means not the ends. ILT V2.0 is a place where learners come to know just the critical skills needed to begin the journey while being taught these other workflow embedded tools that enble them to make the rest of the journey. This is no small feat, but it involves freeing ILT from the “Cover it all” strangle hold it’s under now to a place where experimentation, failure, creativity, and innovation is encouraged and even taught!
ILT V2.0 is here to stay and plays a new and powerful role in the learning ecosystem, BUT it needs to be championed by the L&D department if it’s going to have a chance to be realized. The potential is limitless and gives ILT a new and invaluable position in our overall solutions. Are you ready to champion the change?
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