Moving Quickly to the Virtual Classroom? Create a Show Flow!

Posted by InSync Training on May 13, 2020 11:30:00 AM

Virtual classroom show flow exampleLately, the virtual classroom has become the most popular kid in school. From team meetings to global training programs, platforms like Zoom, Webex Training Center, Adobe Connect, and Microsoft Teams, have enabled businesses to adapt to the unexpected and unfortunate current circumstances.  

But switching learning environments involves technical, instructional design, and delivery considerations. When asked by clients what a new virtual blend involves, we liken it to a stage production. Behind the scenes, experts coordinate and orchestrate acts to wow an audience, all while making the featured talent look good.  

Coordinating all those moving pieces takes practice and planning, especially when redesigning existing training content or re-scheduling a global delivery. To manage technically complex events, our producers rely on a document called a show flow.  

Show Flow Basics 

To extend the stage production metaphor, a show flow document details the choreography virtual classroom producers need to follow throughout an event.  

Common elements include:  

  • Introductory and instructional scripts 
  • The event’s key actors  
  • Activity details  
  • Start and end time queues  
  • Technical direction  

Combining this set of elements together into a single, easy-to-follow document provides a number of advantages, like ensuring:

  • Every event runs smoothly
  • Learners in different cohorts have equivalent training experiences
  • Core learning activities happen on time and as expected
  • Sessions with multiple producers occur with clarity of responsibilities and tasks

We usually create them using information gathered during a program walk through so producers can test them in a full-rehearsal, allowing for adjustments before the go-live!

Importantly, a show flow DOES NOT replace virtual classroom technical training for producers. Each producer assigned to programs have expertise in the platforms they support, allowing them to provide guidance to learners and facilitators. A show flow merely provides technical queues and timelines for competent producers to follow. 

Example Show Flow Template  

We create unique show flows for each virtual program based on the clients’ needs and the individual instructional team. But starting with a standard format allows us to build tailored documentation while ensuring every technical detail receives attention. Sections typically include:  

Needs

A running list of outstanding items the team needs to compile, technical considerations for review, and pre-event tasks

Examples: 

  • Need script for introducing the facilitator 
  • Are the five session polls set up? 
Hosts Instructional team details, including facilitators, producers, subject matter experts, and program key contacts. Sometimes includes contact information for emergencies. 

Examples: 

  • Host: Jane S.
  • Producers: Joe C. and Erika M. 
  • Emergency Contact Information: Phone number and email address for program manager
Program Details  A step-by-step outline of the session activities, featuring start times, activity lengths, and technical direction related to the relevant virtual classroom tools 

Examples:

  • 10:45 am - Pre open: Producer welcomes people, shares screen while displaying Webex Training Center chat and interaction tools
  • 11:30 am - Producer launches BREAKOUT #1 and floats between rooms to assist learners
  • 11:45 am - BREAKOUT #1 ends; producer brings learners back to main room
Post-Event Tasks Details around producers' responsibilities per client contract

Examples:

  • Download and save event chat and attendee list
  • Email recording link, chat, and attendee list to program manager

 

When used in conjunction with a facilitator guide, a show flow empowers the other half of the instructional team to actively, meaningfully, and consistently support virtual classroom events. 

We treat show flows like living breathing documents, editing and adapting them based on changes to event delivery. This proves especially helpful when dealing with global training roll-outs that include multiple cohorts moving through training programs or repeat sessions (like new hire training, or compliance training sessions). 

Remember: "one does not simply move training online." Like a great play, invest time in scripting, designing, identifying the core cast, and technical considerations for the event. Using documentation like a show flow results in memorable, informative sessions and happy stakeholders!

 

Topics: Blended Learning, Virtual Classroom - Best Practices, Virtual Teams & Modern Workplace