What appears to be an antithesis of eLearning, we have Instructor-Led Training or ILT, the traditional form of training. ILT remains one of the most impactful forms of training despite the arrival of advanced digital formats. At the same time, it has also witnessed noteworthy upgrades with respect to content over the years. Let’s discuss the distinctions between E-Learning and ILT on the basis of content.

eLearning Content versus ILT Content

Beginning with a brief overview of these two major forms, eLearning is a form of training that takes the digital route. It involves flexible learning over a device offering benefits of user convenience. ILT, as the name suggests, is led by a qualified trainer. It involves physical proximity in a typical classroom style of learning.

No matter you go for eLearning or Instructor-Led Training, the content will always have a significant role to play albeit in a varying range of extents. Here are the 6 major points of distinctions between eLearning and ILT based on content-

  1. Role

    First things first, let’s talk about the role played by content. Under eLearning, content plays a pivotal role. It plays a protagonist by serving as a learning facilitator. It is the ultimate guide to the learners in the absence of an instructor. The learners learn by themselves with the help of content.

    On the other hand, content plays a secondary yet important role under Instructor-Led Training. The primary role is played by the instructor who serves as a guide and a facilitator in the learning process. The instructor is of course supported by content in the process. But unlike eLearning, the role of content is comparatively limited under ILT.

  2. Focus

    The focus of content under eLearning is different from that under ILT. The eLearning content is centered around learners since it is the single guiding force. It is highly learner-centric as it is meant for self-consumption.

    ILT content, on the other hand, is built up in a manner that’s meant for supplementing the efforts of the instructor who in turn, takes the role of an active contributor towards the learner-progress. ILT content is focussed on the instructor rather than on learners as under eLearning content.

  3. Type

    Comparing eLearning with ILT on the basis of content type, we find that eLearning involves the application of a lot of sophisticated types of content as per the requirements. An eLearning module may involve content in the form of videos, presentations, audios, infographics, animations along with a host of other types.

    On the contrary under an ILT format, content is usually plain and simplistic. It is generally based on text and presentations. ILT content is obviously meant for supplementing the instructor as mentioned, and hence the reason it is simplistic. eLearning content, however, has extended responsibilities and that’s why it is multi-faceted, interactive and highly engaging!

  4. Content Development

    The process of developing content under eLearning and ILT is different. eLearning content development involves a series of structured steps. The eLearning content creation is supported by the usage of models such as Structured Approximation Model (SAM), ADDIE etc. Further, the process involves storyboarding and prototype creation, followed by aligning the client’s requirements and confirming the content with learning technology standards such as SCORM, AICC etc.

    Content development under ILT follows a different approach. It includes relatively uncomplicated steps that involve analyzing the existing content, breaking down content into units, taking into account the opinions of SMEs and further formulating the course.

  5. Customization

    Another significant point of distinction between the two is the content’s ability to offer customization. eLearning as discussed is a user-friendly platform of training. As a result, the content under eLearning can be consumed in a customized manner based on the learning style of the individual learners.

    Under ILT, there is little scope for customization. The instructor delivers training using content that’s general in nature and common to all.

  6. Consumption

    Talk of consuming content, the pattern is flexible under eLearning. Users can access the eLearning platform at any time using a device. They consume content as per their own comfort, speed and understanding. They can also go reverse to a concept that they feel requires more attention.

    ILT, however, involves real-time content consumption based on the instructor’s teachings. The ILT content cannot be consumed in a flexible manner since it is dependent upon the instructor’s delivery.


    The role of content, as we’ve discussed, is swiftly rising in importance. While eLearning is highly dependent upon content, the role of content under ILT is also gaining significance. With advancements in the domain of content, instructors are increasingly leveraging the same to accentuate the impact of their training delivery.

    As they rightly say, content is the King! Whether it is eLearning or ILT or any other form of training, content defines the program and its outcome. Sound quality content that’s relevant is the key to achieving training objectives especially in the 21st century world that’s laced up with digital advancements.