Global training depends on digital platforms like eLearning, microlearning, and virtual classrooms. When dealing with multiple time zones and diverse learner groups, creating equivalent training experiences requires planning and professionals.
And while we acknowledge that facilitators act as the face of live learning events, producers power the sessions. They do much more than “open the room.” They act as learner advocates, a second voice delivering content, and an extra pair of hands juggling the many balls involved in effective modern learning.
Our production team includes the best in the business. So, what tips and tricks do they use to make sure every virtual learning session comes together into a seemingly seamless event?
We offer a few of our best practices to help guide your production approach:
- Make sure everyone knows how to find (and use!) the mute button. Sheryl reminds us of the cardinal rule of virtual learning: minimize distractions. Great producers remind everyone how to prevent background noise, unintended verbal comments, or contributions from four-legged office mates. At the beginning of every single session, demonstrate how to mute and unmute audio lines. You want to encourage collaboration, but in a way that limits embarrassing, confusing, or unprofessional interruptions.
- Set the tone from the start. Without face-to-face interaction, it can seem impossible to greet learners with a warm smile. However, producers can use their voices to create a comfortable and welcoming learning environment. Brigit encourages us to set the tone for engagement as soon as learners enter the room. Greet every single person. Ask them to contribute a fun fact or weather report for their location in chat or verbally. Setting the expectations for engagement and participation can begin before the official session start time.
- Have a back-up plan. Ever hear of Murphy’s Law? It famously argues that “anything that can go wrong, will” and we have seen first-hand its reality in the virtual classroom. Technology will fail. Audio will cut out. Kathy reminds producers to “always have a back-up plan.” Beyond mentally preparing for technical difficulties, also think through how to handle scheduled activities if additional or fewer-than-expected learners log-in.
- Master multi-tasking. Blended virtual programs include many moving parts. Producers have to balance learner needs, facilitator requests, and session activities. Doing so effectively demands amazing multitasking skills. Prior to a program launch, ensure you feel comfortable with the technology, the instructor expectations, and the session plan. A familiarity with the platform and the process allows you to better stabilize the live event.
- Communicate clearly at all stages of the process. Learners need to know how to attend the training, and facilitators need to feel supported even before a live event. Brigit recommends that you “connect with facilitators in advance to coordinate and agree on the best ways you can interact with learners and sponsor the content delivery.” Make sure learners understand how to use the necessary tools before skill building begins. Simple steps like sharing the most recent participant guide before each session and providing your contact information to registrants ensures everyone understands your value as a producer.
Preemptive planning and professional development can make sure your production toolkit includes all the necessary skills for becoming the virtual classroom MVP. Subscribe to the Getting InSync blog to discover more production pro tips we will release over the coming weeks.