A productive training process is key to the success of new products (from internal training to channel partners and customers). Since ILT also involves a substantial investment, it isn’t surprising that more and more training organizations are seeking to understand instructor led training best practices – essentially – what they can do to maximize the effectiveness of their training sessions. At Ravello we believe that the essentials are: easily provisioned and deployed isolated full-featured product environments for each student anywhere and anytime, where the instructor and student can collaborate.
What is Instructor Led Training?
Instructor led training (or ILT) is the practice where students learn given material from an instructor, or facilitator (as opposed to self-paced training, for instance, where the students go through materials at their own time, without a scheduled staff member). While in the past, this delivery method usually involved lots of physical hardware requirements, it is now becoming the norm for training organizations to take their classroom instructor led training sessions to the cloud, where they can benefit from on-demand capacity.
Train on the exact full-featured product, not some resized version of it
Instructor led training classes are often faced with hardware constraints – there’s only so many resources in the data center students can access. To deal with this constraint, many times instructors are forced to downsize – create a “lighter” version of the product, so there are enough resources to go around.
This completely defeats the purpose. Training sessions are meant to showcase and explain the product. In fact, more often than not – they are tied with the roll out of a new version, more features, a better product. The desired outcome is that students are familiar and understand all the features of the product. Thus, for successful instructor led training – always train students on a full-featured product without compromising the quality of your virtual training lab.
Provide each student with their own environment
Another undesirable possible outcome of scarce hardware or data center resources is a students sharing environments in an ILT session. In fact, the best practice here is to provide each student an isolated environment instance to control and learn through.
No excessive time or work investment in the class preparation
So these last two points leave us with an isolated copy of the complete environment for each student. In some scenarios this can lead to a high investment in the preparation for each class. This operational cost tends to run high and fast (see an analysis of virtual training cost structure). One of the more important instructor led training best practices from a cost perspective is to use tools or platforms that minimize these operational costs through enabling easy provisioning and deployment of virtual training environments.
Allow collaboration between instructor and student
To ensure a seamless and effective training session – facilitate access and collaboration between instructor and student on the student’s virtual training environment. This practice is key in ensuring students don’t get stuck during a training session, and in empowering the training instructor to keep the training in the proper pace, ensuring all students advance and see specific important features in the application environment.
Here are some further details about Ravello’s approach to instructor led training. In a previous post we also elaborated more on virtual training infrastructure requirements. You might find it interesting in this point, if you’re building out your training lab. If you’re interested to check it out, and see some product features that will help you follow these best practices, let us know, we’ll be happy to run you through a demo and discuss your use case.
About Ravello Systems
Ravello is the industry’s leading nested virtualization and software-defined networking SaaS. It enables enterprises to create cloud-based development, test, UAT, integration and staging environments by automatically cloning their VMware-based applications in AWS. Ravello is built by the same team that developed the KVM hypervisor in Linux.