Employee Training
Content Development
Learning & Development
July 18, 2022

How to perfect your eLearning content distribution strategy

Back in the day, the primary option for corporate L&D was traditional, instructor-led, live classroom delivery. Even pre-pandemic, this was still a popular learning delivery method.

But, things are now changing.

As we found in our recent eLearning survey, many businesses are shifting to more cost-effective and more engaging digital content delivery methods.

That’s not to say this change is coming easily for all organisations. Only 7% of L&D professionals told us that their learning delivery methods are fully prepared to meet business needs.

With that in mind, we wanted to take a closer look at the learning delivery methods available to L&D leaders, along with the pros and cons of each.

Want more eLearning insight? Download our ebook – The State of eLearning 2022 – to find out what L&D leaders are saying about the current learning landscape.

What should the L&D structure look like in an organisation?

According to our survey, L&D leaders had two key priorities for their content distribution strategy in the years to come.

Nearly 50% of businesses were looking to improve learning flexibility and around 37% were looking to improve employee motivation.

But there are, of course, other considerations when deciding how learning will be delivered. L&D professionals have to take into account:

  • Budget

  • Employee learning preferences

  • The topic being covered

  • An organisation’s learning objectives

As a result, L&D leaders typically use more than one delivery method, adapting to the needs of individuals and teams, as well as to the requirements of the organisation.

Whatever the channel, content delivery is all about meeting those requirements and getting good ROI on your L&D efforts.

What are the methods of delivery?

Instructor-led training (ILT)

Traditional, in-class teaching delivered by an in-person instructor.


  • Class-based learning is an effective training tool, especially when you want learners to try out scenarios and work out problems as a team.

  • It works for trainees when there’s lots of interactivity. They get to ask questions and get instant responses.


  • Classroom training takes up a lot of employee time. It’s not something trainees can dip in and out of during a working week.

  • Providing a training space, covering any staff expenses and paying an instructor make classroom learning a potentially costly option.

  • The quality of the course is dependent on the instructor and their skills. If you have to choose an instructor from your local area, you may not get access to the very best course content.

  • Classroom learning – when delivered as a lecture rather than an interactive experience – isn’t great for recall.

Best for…

A large group of learners, able to meet in the same place at the same time, over a short period.

Topics more suited to in-person learning include company culture, technical skills, communication, and sensitive topics (for example, sexual harassment).

Virtual instructor-led training

Real-time training is delivered in a virtual environment by a real-life instructor. Training is usually delivered via a video conferencing platform.


  • With VILT, employees can study wherever they happen to be – as long as they have a computer and an internet connection. This saves on logistical costs.

  • Organisations can enlist subject matter experts, as they’re not limited by their geographic location.

  • In terms of learning, employees get the same interactive experience they’d get with ILT. However, this channel facilitates digital media content delivery too – so learners can access images, video and even interactive whiteboards to enhance their understanding.


  • Whilst good virtual trainers know how to use a platform and tech tools to create an interactive and personal learning experience, some learners inevitably feel disconnected from a teacher on a screen.

  • An organisation has to provide good tech support for both learners and instructors.

  • VILT offers some increased flexibility, but employees still have to log on at the designated time and date.  

Best for…

Training large groups and distributed teams. Suited to topics where the trainer needs to have expert knowledge

On-the-job training and job shadowing

A more experienced employee passes on their knowledge to another colleague.


  • Research around the Forgetting Curve shows that when we acquire new knowledge – but don’t apply it – we forget 75% of that knowledge within a week. This is where on-the-job training is really useful. With a clear link between training and day-to-day tasks, trainees get the opportunity to put their learning into practice straight away.

  • This type of one-on-one, in-person learning delivery method allows learners to ask lots of questions and specify their learning needs.

  • It’s good for trainers, as it can offer new perspectives, improve leadership skills and increase job motivation.


  • Time is a major drawback with this delivery method. Trainers have to sacrifice their own work responsibilities in order to teach someone else.

  • This method also relies on the effectiveness of the trainer. Not everyone has the skills required to support a learner and share knowledge effectively.

Best for…

Sharing knowledge of specific workplace tasks and processes, on a 1-1 basis.


Learners access all training content online.


  • Employees can learn flexibly, at a time and a place to suit them.

  • Learners can follow personalised learning pathways.

  • eLearning improves knowledge retention rates by 25% to 60%.

  • Digital content delivery can provide a combination of text, audio, video, discussion forums, interactive assessment, AR, VR, micro-lessons, games and quizzes, so there’s a huge possibility to keep learners engaged.

  • eLearning also makes it easier for L&D leaders to lower costs, keep track of progress and monitor ROI.


  • Finding the right eLearning software, content and content distribution services can be a challenge. Of the organisations we surveyed, only 22% were very likely to recommend their current e-learning system to others.

  • For eLearning to be effective, learners have to be comfortable in a digital environment, which may deter older generations within the workforce.

Best for…

Improving employee engagement and knowledge retention. Great for remote, time-poor teams who can dip in and out of eLearning as the working week allows.

Blended learning

Blended learning combines the best of two training environments – face-to-face classroom training and digital eLearning.


  • Blended learning engages traditional learners and learners who are more comfortable online.

  • Learners and L&D leaders get all the benefits of digital content distribution and virtual classrooms – such as flexibility, greater levels of engagement and personalised training pathways.

  • They also enjoy good levels of interactivity and the human touch that some learners still need.


  • Managing two separate learning content channels can be a challenge. It can also increase costs.

  • You need an up-to-date eLearning platform and the right instructor-led courses to deliver effective blended learning.

Best for…

Multi-generational workforces. 

The right learning channel combination?

An incredible 60% of the companies we surveyed said that they will be funding eLearning content development in 2023.

Tasked with training a hybrid workforce, and creating more engaging learning opportunities, many L&D professionals are making eLearning part of their learning channel mix.

But you know your employees, your organisational objectives and the resources you have available.

When developing learning strategies, take all of this into account to find methods of delivery that suit the ambitions of your organisation and your learners too.  

Find out how other forward-thinking L&D leaders are approaching learning delivery methods in 2022 and beyond by downloading our ebook: The State of eLearning 2022.

Try it for free
Equip your workplace for delightful learning.
Get Started
Try it for free