This just happened in a virtual class I attended, produced by a highly respected university on the West Coast that will remain unnamed.
Where do I even begin? I’ve written before about the importance of having a qualified producer to support the facilitator in virtual learning sessions. The producer handles technical issues for the facilitator and participants, helps launch polls and other media, fields questions,and frees up the facilitator to focus on running the session.
It’s more than just technical support. The producer needs to understand the participant experience. What does the viewing screen look like for the participant? Is it the same for Mac and PC users? Jennifer Hofmann of Insync Training describes the producer in this way:
From class set up, to technical support, to instructional support – and even participant advocate, the producer is a role present in more and more virtual classrooms. Combining the roles of Teaching Assistant and Help Desk, the Producer can be difference between an exceptional training session, and an ineffective webinar.
At a bare minimum, the producer should understand that a participant who cannot hear the facilitator also cannot hear the verbal answer to the question he is asking!
My current job experience has put me in the role of the producer far more often than facilitator lately. I’ve been honing my skills as a producer and will soon share a series on best practices for virtual event producers.