When it comes to converting virtual instructor-led training (VILT) to e-learning, there are several pros and cons. In this post, we discuss these and how they impact you as a training provider.

For a quick definition, VILT is an instructor-led training that takes place online using a tool such as WebEx or Zoom. E-learning is self-paced training that is loaded into a learning management system (LMS) for completion. Another name for e-learning is asynchronous learning.

Pros of converting from VILT to e-learning


E-learning enables the learner to complete training wherever they want—or at least by the required due date. Adult learners need flexibility when it comes to learning; this is one of the beliefs in adult learning theory. It also frees up your time as a training provider and stops you from being locked in the Zoom training room. This way, you have time to do things like concentrate on marketing your business to gain more clients.


Once your VILT is converted to e-learning, you can distribute it to wider audiences. The flexibility of e-learning means more people can complete it versus having to enroll in VILT sessions. Also, you can create several mini modules. For example, you can take a three-day course and make smaller learning modules out of it, which can then be sold as one large learning program or packaged into customizable learning. Creating small or large modules has an upfront cost of both time and money, but afterward, you can reap the rewards over and over.


E-learning is often distributed using an LMS, which means the learning consumption is trackable, and your clients can hold their staff accountable. Likewise, if you have the right LMS, you can see the completion of the courses yourself. This information can be used to update your courses or as a selling point to other clients.

You can also sell increased knowledge transfer to your clients. As a training provider, you might be familiar with the forgetting curve. People tend to forget about 20% of their live training three days afterward. That might not seem like much, but that’s just at the three-day mark. Imagine how that number grows after a week or two weeks have passed. E-learning is a fantastic resource for helping learners remember because it has been proven that proper spacing allows for better memory retention. By enabling the learner to remember, you are setting up the first steps to having a real knowledge transfer happen.

Cons of converting from VILT to e-learning

Looking at the list of pros, it’s understandable why e-learning as a training modality will remain popular. But it does have its limitations. They might seem major, but one thing to consider is the importance of having the mindset to create e-learning. Once your mindset has shifted, these cons will no longer be seen as negatives, but rather as fun challenges to develop the best training content possible.

Limited interaction with trainees

For many training professionals, being in the room or Zoom call with learners is the best part of their job; they enjoy that person-to-person interaction. Converting from VILT to e-learning takes that away from the trainer. Although learning styles have been debunked, it is a proven fact that peer-to-peer interaction aids in memory. The loss of that interaction can keep certain learners from being able to adequately take in the information. So, when shifting from VILT to e-learning, the savvy training professional will think about ways to use the e-learning tools at their disposal in creative ways to improve knowledge retention. For example, use gamification and knowledge checks to help learners recall new ideas.

Loss of hands-on practical application

When learning technical skills, learners do need that hands-on application. With a shift in mindset, though, this can be seen as an interesting challenge. For example, using the proper e-learning software, training providers can create amazing learning simulations. A well-done simulation can get the learner the hands-on experience that they need for more technical training.

Potential learning curve to creating highly engaging e-learning

As e-learning moves through Bloom’s Taxonomy for learning, the features become more interactive. This can come with a steep learning curve. Training providers need to research the best tools, learn how to use them, and then perfect those e-learning creation skills. This requires upfront time and financial costs, but once complete, your e-learning becomes incredibly scalable. You might even decide to outsource the task of training creation to an instructional designer to save yourself time for other activities, like building your business.


When deciding to convert from VILT to e-learning, there are many pros. E-learning offers training providers and learners flexibility, scalability, and trackability. It’s also a great tool for helping your client’s learners experience a knowledge transfer. However, it does have a few cons, such as loss of interaction between the trainer and the learner and the learner and their peers. Before converting VILT to e-learning, ask yourself the following two questions:

  1. What am I missing from not being present in front of my trainees?
  2. What’s the best way to recreate that missing link using e-learning technology?

Whatever decision you make when it comes to converting from VILT to e-learning, you can learn more about it here:

Here at Firmwater, we don’t just sell an LMS for training providers. We partner with them, giving them the tools and insights that they need to implement the best practices in e-learning course development, business growth, and delivery. When they need help, we don’t let them wade through forums and chatbots.

Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Book a no-obligation consultation directly with our team today!