Today’s virtual training software–or virtual instructor-led training (VILT) software to be more specific–and techniques are evolving at an incredible pace. But what does this change look like?

The 2016 Benchmark Report by Citrix Systems attempts to answer this question. The report provides useful data to help improve the operations and effectiveness of virtual training software and virtual training programs. Some important takeaways from the report include:

Virtual training software continues to provide significant cost savings

Companies can save between $9,550 and $15,870 by switching one course from a traditional classroom setting to VILT using virtual training software. This includes costs related to technology, travel and transportation, as well as productivity loss experienced by students taking time away from work. If you’re interested in learning how much your organization can save by switching to virtual training software, contact ReadyTech and someone from our team will provide an estimate for you.

Compared to traditional face-to-face or classroom-style training, virtual instructor-led training is substantially less costly. The cost differences are greatest for when multiple students and multiple instructors are traveling to a training location (where more travel is required) and for mid-level and senior-level staff (where the cost of time off is highest).

However, even when no travel is required, the cost savings of virtual instructor-led training represent effective savings of $1,910 to $2,535 per training session.

Consistent tech support is critical

Because training professionals wear many hats, such as planning, promotion, scheduling, content development, delivery and assessment of training, it is very important that the virtual training software is easy to use and consistently supported.

Virtual training success depends on the support provided by the technology vendor—together with how readily the tool can be learned by both the trainer and student.

Evaluate training effectiveness

Who wants to spend time and money on training that doesn’t provide a good return? Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model helps objectively analyze the effectiveness and impact of training.

According to Donald Kirkpatrick, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin and past president of the American Society for Training and Development (ATD), the four levels are made up of reaction, learning, behavior and results.

Reaction measures how learners reacted to the training. This is important because it helps organizations understand how well the training was received and how it can be improved in the future.

Level two asks how much has the learners’ knowledge increased as a result of the training? It is imperative to measure this in order to understand what trainees are learning and what they are not.

The behavior level evaluates how far learners have changed their behavior, based on the training they received. It looks at how trainees apply the information.

The last level analyzes the final results of training. This includes outcomes that an organization has determined to be good for business, good for the employees, or good for the bottom line.

By analyzing each of these four levels, organizations can gain a thorough understanding of the effectiveness of training—and how it can be improved in the future.

Virtual Training Software Improves Effectiveness & Engagement

Students learning online don’t need to feel isolated and disengaged. In fact, virtual training software can make the experience feel as if you are sitting in an actual classroom. For example, ReadyTech’s Lobby feature allows students and instructors to share information about themselves by creating a profile and share a picture.

Private Chat and Public Chat features allow students and instructors to initiate chat sessions, while the Demo View feature enables instructors and students to share their remote desktops with each other. Even more engagement can be created by using ReadyTech’s STEP tool to create survey’s, tasks, exams and polls.

The Citrix Benchmark Report is intended to support a conversation within organizations about effective training methods, as well as approaches and programs that benefit employees, customers and companies as a whole. Starting this conversation is a must for organizations that want to improve and expand their training methods.