We know virtual classrooms include technology bells and whistles designed to promote learner engagement. But how do instructors manage so many moving parts? We highly recommend bringing in a second set of hands to help juggle everything. The best option? A technical or instructional producer.
Whether you provide production support in your organization’s live online learning events, or you would simply like to create smoother virtual sessions, try applying a few simple approaches for seamless programs.
Our team of multitasking, multi-talented producers outlined their tried-and-true recommendations to help you reach modern learning MVP status.
Use the cloud creatively.
“I have a OneNote page dedicated to each client and class. I use it to store links, host keys, groups, etc. This allows me to prepare for the session on one machine but access the information on any of my computers through OneNote. The pages update across the cloud almost instantly! Likewise, I put all the files I need for a class on my personal Dropbox folder so I can easily get them from any of my computers. I also have a prep sheet for each week where I store all the info I need to access and run each session. This helps me discover if I'm missing something and need to follow up with someone to get that info ahead of time.” - Lynette S.
Set a routine.
“As the producer I have a routine I follow - in InSync’s case guided by the Producer Checklist - for each platform/class, and I follow it religiously. It has helped me avoid more than one disaster. I highly recommend making a checklist by client or platform. I also have a Windows sticky note on my desktop with common phrases and instructions so I can quickly copy and paste them into chat. They include things like how to connect audio, how to switch from the browser to desktop app in Webex, breakout instructions for the broadcast, etc. Doing this means I can go on autopilot for those things and focus on the one-offs that will inevitably come up during supporting a session.” - Michelle S.
Adapt based on facilitator and learner needs.
“I've learned that every facilitator is very different. My first step is to reach out to the facilitator with a list of my producer to-dos and ask them if they want to change anything. Once we have touched base, the most important thing I've noticed is engaging the learners in the beginning. Warming up to them, getting them comfortable with speaking up, being on camera, and just talking and chatting in general prove critical to the success of the whole session. From there, keeping in touch with facilitator during the session for any changes during the session is really important. Keep them updated via Skype, chat, etc on happenings with certain learners and any issues they may have so that they know where to focus their attention. After a session, I try and get the recordings, roster, and reports sent immediately with a note on how the session went. Finally, if I see someone coming into a series after me as producer I will reach out with a little FYI on the session and any tips and tricks I learned.” - Nicki N.
Practical experience and this expert insight speaks to the core competencies of successful virtual classroom production: communication, planning, and flexibility.
Hoping to build your skills as a virtual classroom producer? Become your corporate training MVP with our Master Virtual Producer certificate course.