The Role of a Virtual Learning Session Producer … Defined

November 11, 2013 14:33 by Dana Peters

Some potential clients, interested in our Virtual Learning Session Producer Services, come to us with a clearly defined set of producer duties and responsibilities they would like to outsource. Others, know they need a second pair of hands to support their virtual classes, but are not exactly sure what that role looks like in their environment.

With an uptick in inquiries about how we support live online classes, I thought it fitting to resurrect some of the content from a newsletter article I wrote about a year ago defining the producer role.

What is a producer?

A producer is someone who handles the majority of the technical aspects of a Virtual Instructor-Lead Training (VILT) Session. The producer allows the facilitator (trainer or presenter) to focus on the delivery of the content and their learners.

We are going with the term producer for this post, but, keep in mind, what we referred to as a producer is also known as a host or moderator.

Specific producer responsibilities can vary by organization, but the following are what we see consistently. Producers:

  • Invite participants to the session and make sure they have everything they need before class.
  • Arrive early to make sure the classroom is ready to go and all functionality is working properly.
  • Await the participants’ arrival and welcome them to class. Address/resolve connectivity issues to ensure participants are ready to go when class starts.
  • Kick off the session, review the session tools the participants will utilize, and introduce the facilitator.
  • Handle technical questions, issues, and problems that arise during the session.
  • Manage chat and respond to any messages. Alert the facilitator when he or she needs to be involved or address something.
  • Document items on the whiteboard.
  • Manage breakout sessions and assist the facilitator with other session activities.
  • Launch applications, set-up breakout rooms, and manage polling for the facilitator.
  • Co-facilitate as requested.
  • Reset the classroom at the conclusion of the session.
  • Handle post-session evaluations (collect and collate). Handle homework reminders and questions.
  • Complete any post-session reporting as required.

Abilities of a successful producer:

  • Natural ability to improvise - always has a plan B and often a plan C.
  • Clear and polished verbal communication.
  • Multi-tasking is second nature.
  • Strong grasp on technology and a quick study with new tools.
  • Flexible and able to “roll” with whatever comes up.
  • Virtual Intuition – reads virtual body language well.
  • A warm and welcoming demeanor.
  • Natural problem solver.
  • Works well under pressure.
  • Has an eye for detail.

Why should a producer be part of the equation?

  1. The producer manages the technical aspects of the session and learner administrative duties which allow the facilitator to focus completely on the delivery of the session content and their learners. If there are technical issues before or during the session, especially at the individual participant level, the facilitator can continue to facilitate class while the producer troubleshoots the technical issues.
  2. Multiple voices and personalities provide a natural “change up” at certain points during the session which can help increase participant engagement.
  3. For facilitators that are just learning the virtual delivery “ropes”, having a producer can help them become more confident and comfortable in the virtual classroom.

When I wrote about this in our newsletter, I received several comments and perspectives from our readers about the responsibilities of the producer role. What are you experiences?

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Online Learning | Virtual Instructor-Led Training | Virtual Learning

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