Have you heard of Dark Academia? The aesthetic trend of studying in a damp, but beautiful library, surrounded by tweed jackets with elbows patches and cold, black coffee, has hit Tik Tok at full force. As an edTech professional, I couldn’t help but take notice of this renewed enthusiasm for learning. Dark academics are pretty obsessed with instructor-led training (ILT), but how does virtual instructor-led training (vILT) measure up? Grab your horn-rimmed glasses, and read on to discover all about the differences between ILT and vILT. 

What is Instructor-Led Training, or ILT?

You walk into the office (post-pandemic, obviously), ready to tackle the inbox, and notice with some delight that you’re booked in for some classroom training in the afternoon. Instructor-led training is this scenario. Usually:

  • occurs in a classroom, office, or conference center (the type with good coffee and mediocre cookies at lunchtime) 
  • teaches a group of people at the same time, maximizing trainer contact hours 
  • has one instructor but can have several trainers 
  • excels as a method for brand new concepts or complex material

What is Virtual Instructor-Led Training, or vILT? 

The above scenario is still a little way away for us amid a global pandemic, but what do you do if you need to teach something complicated and new to your employees and there’s no way it’s safe, or possible, to get them in the same room as an instructor? Enter virtual instructor-led training. Usually:

  • range from 60 to 180 minutes in length to prevent screen burn-out 
  • instructors and learners come together live via software like Zoom 
  • very interactive to try and retain the discussions and ability to ask questions in person
  • up to 12 learners at the same time 
  • blended with other forms of virtual training, like eLearning, webinars, and quizzes

What’s So Great About vILT? 

In edTech land, we often describe vILT as the future of instructor-led training. In an ideal world, vILT will be just as engaging and just as motivating as ILT. Let’s have a look at the many advantages of virtual classrooms. 

Are There Downsides to vILT?

Transitions from the real-world to the virtual world are not without their teething problems. Some of the issues that can come up with vILT compared are up next. 


That digital future is coming for us all, whether we like it or not. It is up to us how learner-centered and engaging we make this change in the learning environment. Let’s grab virtual instructor-led training by the reigns and use it to the best of our abilities, blended with everything the edTech market has to offer. 

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