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8 Ways Virtual Instructor-Led Training Is Transforming Continuing Education

8 Ways Virtual Instructor-Led Training Is Transforming Continuing Education

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Once every 12 minutes.1 That’s how often Americans check their phones. Eighty times per day, those glowing screens capture our attention—if we’re average. Ten percent of us check our phones every 4 minutes.1 And then there are the 74 times a day we check email or the fact that we only focus on a task at our computers for an average of 40 seconds before switching to something new.2

The information age is mind-boggling. In 2020, it’s estimated that our medical knowledge will double every 73 days.3 And yet our minds are more distracted than ever before. In 2005, Dr. Glenn Wilson at London’s Institute of Psychiatry found that those distracted by emails and phone calls at work saw a 10-point fall in their IQ—that’s double the impact of smoking marijuana!4

So the problem becomes not only how do we share the explosive growth in medical knowledge but how do we share it in ways that can captivate our attention despite constant stressors and interruptions? 

Just as technology is transforming the growth of medical knowledge, it’s also providing solutions to disseminate it in digestible ways. Virtual instructor-led training courses (VILT courses) have been revolutionizing the fire, medical, and EMS communities by providing training that is accessible, engaging, up to date, cost-effective, and, most importantly, improves outcomes. Here are just a few ways VILT courses are transforming continuing education and can help you better protect and care for those you serve:

1. VILT provides a more complex and diverse understanding.

As Anne Perry, CareerCert’s clinical program director, notes, VILT courses provide “a more galactic view” for both instructors and students. Instead of sitting in a room with people largely from your same region—who work in the same departments and use the same processes you are already familiar with—you will be interacting with students and instructors from across the world. Their experiences, knowledge, and questions can spark your own, leading you to become a more innovative, confident learner and develop a more comprehensive understanding that elevates your performance and level of care.

2. You’ll have access to immediate feedback, expert advice, and broader networks.

Virtual instructor-led training preserves the best part of traditional classroom learning—the ability to ask questions to qualified instructors and receive answers in real-time. In addition, you can continue to interact with instructors and fellow students in online discussions, chats, and forums long after the scheduled class, helping you deepen your knowledge, skill, experience, and work networks.

3. VILT instruction is convenient and flexible.

Virtual instructor-led training also encapsulates many of the benefits of online learning, providing a flexible schedule that allows learners to take classes when, where, and how it works best for them. With VILT courses, vital, life-saving information can be shared even in remote areas quickly and efficiently, saving lives across the world.

4. It increases engagement and improves knowledge retention.

It can be hard not to zone out from time to time when taking a refresher program for the 15th time in your career. But this repetition is critical in building the confidence and knowledge that can make the difference between life or death. VILT learning engages most of your senses as you watch, listen, respond, and interact with your instructor and fellow students. That form of active learning increases retention and engagement, leading to a more enjoyable experience for everyone. And when you pair VILT learning with industry-leading content and cutting-edge technology like those found at CareerCert, you’ll reach a new depth of understanding and skill that improves patient outcomes.

5. VILT provides an immersive and adaptable learning environment.

No matter what your learning style, VILT courses provide more adaptability to each learner and situation. With the help of online tools and traditional teaching, your instructors can adjust the course to answer your questions, start discussions, learn from real-life examples and case studies, explain a principle, suggest outside resources, and better mold the course to fit your needs. And the flexibility of online communication helps students connect how and when works best for them.

6. It reduces costs and mitigates risk.

Course fees, instructor fees, commuting time and expenses, coordinating work and family schedules—the cost of CEs quickly adds up in time, money, and stress. VILT courses eliminate most of those factors. Not only are they cost-effective, but they also help you stay compliant and stay up to date on the latest developments.

7. VILT is scalable and easy to track.

Whether you need a few live course hours to fulfill your recertification requirements or refresher programs for your entire department, VILT courses are an easy solution. With platforms like CareerCert, you can easily track all your certifications in one place and you’ll never have to second-guess if you meet requirements or if your team is prepared for the next call.

8. VILT courses improve community outcomes.

While convenience, cost-effectiveness, and increased confidence are nice, at the end of the day all these benefits lead to what matters most—protecting and improving the lives of those in your community. Whether you are a first responder or a clinician, VILT courses can help you receive the training you need to provide the best care possible.


  1. South West News Service. Americans check their phones 80 times a day: study.  New York Post. https://nypost.com/2017/11/08/americans-check-their-phones-80-times-a-day-study/. November 8, 2017.  Accessed January 20, 2020.
  2. Mark G. Work, email, distraction, repeat: Switching tasks is ruining your workflow. Rework. https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/switching-tasks-ruins-workflow/. July 27, 2016. Accessed January 20, 2020.
  3. Densen P. Challenges and opportunities facing medical education. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2011;122:48–58.
  4. Griffey H. The lost art of concentration: being distracted in a digital world. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/14/the-lost-art-of-concentration-being-distracted-in-a-digital-world. October 14, 2018. Accessed January 20, 2020.