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Instructor-Led Classroom Learning (ILCL)  is still the main act in Learning but barely and for long? ASTD, in its 2013 State of Industry report estimated that about 54 % of all training is Instructor-Led Classroom training. This is down from 65% in 2006.

The main drivers for the increasing use of technology-based learning have been,  cost effectiveness and scalability of “tick & flick” online compliance courses. The other driver is changing learner experience expectations – less time, smaller chunks of learning, flexibility etc.

So the transition away from ILCL seems inexorable. But is it happening the for the right reasons and the right way? Are we guilty of ignoring proven ILCL excellence, infrastructure and capability built over decades in our hankering for the new? Case in point is our school system where the teacher (instructor) is still the orchestrator of learning but now incorporate online resources and collaborative methods. The results from all accounts have been largely impressive. Is corporate learning missing a trick?

Questions for Discussion

  • What has been the status (volumes/structure) of ILCL in your organisation? How much has been replaced by online learning?
  • Does the flipped classroom model allow us to retain the nutrient value of ILCL while enriching the learner experience?
  • Can we use storytelling to make workshops more engaging and effective? Are some themes such as soft skills more appropriate for storytelling than say compliance?
  • What happens to all those ILCL facilitators who have built facilitation skills over the years? Is there an orderly transition?
  • We ask the panel to discuss the case study.

Case Study – When love for the job is not enough

Re-imaging Instructor Led Classroom Learning_Case StudyTom loves his work as a classroom facilitator. Sometimes the ennui of conducting 12 one day workshops month at the Wolcoldi Supermarket Training centre gets to him but it more than compensated when he sees the faces of learners light up when they learn new customer service skills. Respected at Wolcoldi, HR recognised the contribution that Tom makes in establishing the customer focus that makes Wocoldi the best-rated supermarket for customer service.

In the little spare time, Tom has he manages a team of 4 trainers and a training budget. He has mentored many trainers who have gone on to do better and bigger things in other organisations as there are few promotion opportunities at Wolcoldi.

As he sips his cup of tea, Tom cogitates about the dark clouds that have been gathering. Wolcoldi in its efforts to maintain margins in face of increased competition has decided to move 30% of the classroom learning to online learning. Tom has also noticed in recent workshops he is struggling to keep participants attention as they have started using their smartphones. When he pulled up one participant, he found that the learner was looking up the article on customer service from Harvard Business Review.

Tom can’t figure out how customer service skills can be picked up through an online course but the world seems to be going that way. Maybe it is time to change become an Instructional Designer as it is becoming all too difficult.

What should Tom do?


Serena Marriot Learning CafeYamini Naidu Learning CafeFionna Dunn Learning CafeJeevan Joshi Learning Cafe

    • Serena Marriott – Head of Learning & Development – South East Asia & Oceania, Ericsson. Serena has held senior leadership positions in Ericsson including as the Global Head of Learning Excellence. Prior to that Serena worked at Accenture.
    • Yamini Naidu is a seasoned business communicator and a global thought leader in business storytelling with over 20 years experience in both the corporate world and running her own business. An economist by training, Yamini has held senior leadership roles and has extensive corporate experience working in a range of industry sectors and running her own business. (blog).
    • Fionna Dunn -Global Learning Engagement Manager, ANZ,  Fiona has a wealth of experience starting her career as a teacher and then moved into Corporate Education and business roles. Fiona uses her skills to run several community-based leadership programs where flipped learning methodology brings depth and richness to these initiatives. (Blog, Community Leadership Project)
    • Jeevan Joshi – Founder – Learning Cafe – Jeevan is an experienced Learning and HR practitioner who is passionate about the digitisation of  Learning & HR. Jeevan has worked for EY, PWC, Boots, SumTotal and Upside.