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March 17, 2020

How ILT Enables & Engages External Learners

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In today's global environment, organizations must collaborate with external partners, resellers and even customers to drive progress. Providing learning and development opportunities to these non-employees is key to strengthening their skills and forging personal connections that benefit everyone. Instructor-led training, whether face to face or virtual, is an important element of any L&D strategy for external learners. Here's how ILT brings value to your company.

Promote deeper learning

The dynamic exchange of ideas that characterizes ILT makes for a fruitful learning environment. This type of training allows for stories to be shared, questions to be answered in real time and training to be adjusted based on the external learner's needs. Live interaction can be more motivating, promote deeper discussions, surface and solve confusion quickly and enable practice and feedback that solidifies skills and boosts confidence. Deeper learning can also be supported with follow-up materials that can be made always-accessible in the LMS.

Enable relationship building

External learners often act as an extension of your company. Other instances may call for delivering ILT to your customers. Whichever the case, a strong relationship with your external learners is paramount. ILT builds connections between a company, its internal employees and its external learners to achieve a common goal. When done well, ILT opens communication—engaging in training together breaks down silos and fosters a collaborative culture.

Support skill development

External partners have a wide variety of developmental needs that ILT can address. Training topics may include career development, your company's products and services, and policies and procedures. Compliance education and other legally mandated training are also important to cover. Consider designing training that closes an information gap and empowers people grasp those nuggets of detail that contextualize goals, strategies and requirements.

Ensure effectiveness

Make sure you design for interaction, so that participants get the full benefits of synchronous training. To enable that, use your LMS to organize a streamlined learning experience that smoothly guides learners from targeted eLearning prework to post-course readings, discussions and follow-up courses.

To support external partners and your customers, keep ILT training sessions concise and focused to maximize learner engagement. Schedule sessions at times when partners are less likely to be distracted by pressing tasks. For example, if your partners work on end-of-month deliverables, block off time at the beginning of the month. That way they'll give their undivided attention and may even look forward to training sessions as a cooldown from their busy stretch.

Once external partners see the quality of what you have to offer, they'll be more inclined to look for additional resources and opportunities, which you can make available through your LMS. Consider, too, devising other relevant learning paths to further increase their knowledge and develop their skills.

People want and need the opportunity to interact with and learn along with others, and they appreciate being guided by expert instructors. By engaging external partners in face-to-face or virtual ILT, you'll provide a rich environment for deep learning. In addition, ILT creates the opportunity to make and strengthen connections that allow people to perform at a high level and achieve shared goals.

Connect with a representative to discover how Absorb LMS supports impactful ILT for your external learners.