Making Virtual Live – The Steps Studio

9 February 2021

As the ‘New Normal’ became established in 2020, it was clear that Steps needed to be able to provide more than the ‘typical’ learning experiences being delivered over virtual platforms like Zoom. Don’t get me wrong, the more traditional virtual initiatives we have created over the past 9 months have been extremely effective, but when you want to engage large groups of people, some at home, some in the office and when you want to replicate the look and feel of a live ‘experience’ it’s clear that more is sometimes needed. At least until we can all get together again…

So, we set out to combine our experience of delivering live, interactive learning and more recent virtual initiatives with the dynamism of event TV – think The One Show meets drama-based learning! The Steps Virtual Studio was born.

The approach is effectively a hybrid set up where the delivery team are together in the same space – the Steps Studio – and their ‘webcam’ is fed via a mixer, enabling a multi-camera delivery of live drama, “play-in” media and direct to camera facilitation, offering the look and feel of both a traditional trainer approach and TV presenter style.

That probably sounds a bit jargony (although impressive, eh?) but the point is we found that we could deliver a dynamic and engaging event-like learner experience that keeps participants at the heart of the learning and that can successfully accommodate both remote and office-based participants.

The studio experience offers a number of benefits on the more traditional virtual session:

  • High quality visuals and audio.
  • Ability to suggest different locations using subtle props and set design.
  • Creates a versatile space for presenter and actors.
  • Multi-person scenes allow wider scope for drama, replicating ‘normal’ (and not just virtual) behavioural interactions.
  • Switching between cameras allows us to direct viewer attention to particular issues and micro behaviours.

This is one way of doing it – to meet a need – but whether it’s lockdown, hybrid working or perhaps even for the foreseeable future, creating a variety of approaches to learning is going to be key – and Steps Virtual Studio is one of these. Being a fan of The One Show is an optional extra…

Click here to find out more about Steps Virtual Studio and our other Virtual Experiences

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