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Producers: A Role Critical to Virtual Learning Success

At some point in our careers we have all experienced a virtual session that has gone wrong.  You’re unable to log in, you send in chats that go unanswered and ignored, and the background noise of another participant is loud and distracting. If the message and content is worth the investment in developing, then it is worth doing it well.

In early March, when our world was experiencing the disruption of daily life and business, I heard many organizations share their stories. One common theme was the need to expedite their virtual and digital learning strategy. But as organizations make this shift, many of these virtual sessions have been met with technical complications, delivery errors, and other issues creating a bumpy virtual experience.

As organizations move into virtual and digital learning, they need to consider adding a critical role to be successful. We have seen survey results from participants of virtual sessions and, frequently, the overall participant post-event survey scores increase when a virtual learning producer is present and supporting the session. Having a producer support virtual and digital learning will help take learning to the next level.

The Underrated Role to Deliver an Organized Session

Imagine a busy office running without the support of an administrator and office manager. Scheduling, customer service, deliveries, paperwork, and much more would add to their already busy schedules. The result would be people without any time, disorganized procedures, and other negative consequences. This is the same for virtual sessions.

We have all attended virtual training that felt chaotic, disorganized, and even distracting. These pain points detract from learning. The digital learning producer role can help take things from a mess to a big success.

Prior to the start of the session, the producer takes steps to set up the training for success. They establish the session in the platform, develop and send custom communications and instructions, and enable all features or tools to be used. A producer helps to establish a strong start to the session by sharing guidelines, answering participant questions, and enabling features that will be used throughout. Producers can provide tutorials on how to use the various tools such as annotation, whiteboards, and polling. They can also troubleshoot any technical challenges that a participant may be experiencing. This support creates a strong foundation for learning.

Imagine how challenging it can be as a facilitator to juggle participant questions, launch interactive tools, and keep participants engaged without a learning producer. We don’t want to eliminate those features, but better manage them. The producer can help by deploying polls, monitoring chat for Q&A, and setting up the whiteboards. This support enables the facilitator to remain focused on the learning and content.

Implementing Your Virtual Strategy With Producers

For these reasons and more, it is important to assess your producer needs and capabilities. Many organizations have shared that they have aggressive timelines in place in order to get learning into the hands of their employees. Because of this, many have leaned on their learning partners for support and upskilling in this space.

Organizations can implement training and certification programs to upskill people for these roles, including:

  • Designing virtual instructor-led training (VILT)
  • Developing virtual facilitation skills
  • Offering producer skill training on a variety of platforms

As you continue to develop and implement your virtual and digital learning strategy, try not to forget the underrated role of the producer. Their support will not go unnoticed in your next virtual training or meeting.

Learn about our Virtual Training and Delivery offerings at GP Strategies.


About the Authors

Megan Bridgett

Megan Bridgett, a leader in training and talent development for over a decade, helps organizations implement, optimize, and increase capabilities in their learning management initiatives.

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