What is the Role of Webinars in ELearning?

Even though webinars have been around for a while now, many organizations still find them intimidating.  However, with proper planning, even a non-technical person should be able to conduct effective webinars.  Webinars can be used for just about anything starting from teaching people how to use a tool to lecturing or providing information on the topic of importance.

Webinars can have a single presenter who speaks to the audience, demonstrates slides or steps needed to do something, and answers questions from the audience.  Webinars can also take a form of an interview where two people talk to each other or multiple people can speak and answer questions with a facilitator moderating the discussion. While, all three formats are appropriate, the last two are much more interactive in nature.

Just like eLearning, webinars rely heavily on audio-visual presentation of the material. Therefore, it is important to have attractive slides and clear audio. Many facilitators create an outline of points they need to cover to avoid leaving out important information. While there are facilitators who like to script their webinars, doing this is neither necessary nor recommended as webinars should provide more interactive and dynamic experience than an asynchronous eLearning course. It is highly recommended to do a walk-through before the final delivery of a webinar. This will allow you to ensure that you will finish on time, and it will also give you more confidence before you present the information to the webinar participants. A walk-through should also help you find any existing issues with visuals and allow you to check the equipment.

There are many web conferencing tools on the market, both free and commercial. Therefore, prior to selecting the tool for your webinar, you should research your options and find the tool that best meets your needs. You may even decide to sign up for trial versions of each software and try each one before finalizing your decision. As you do your research, consider the following questions:

  • Which features are important to you?
  • How much can you afford to pay?
  • How many participants will attend the webinar?
  • Do you want to make a recording of your webinar available for later viewing?

While webinars cannot replace classroom training, they can offer a robust synchronous eLearning experience for learners who cannot attend face-to-face training.

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  • Vicki Carruthers

    interesting article I would like to see the e book.

    October 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm
  • michael

    I would like to see the e book. I am a little further along using this method of synchronous e learning but I am mining for information regarding facilitation , ground rules etc in this e learning environment.

    October 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm
  • Katherine Rosenbaum

    We rely heavily on webinars to deliver anywhere from 30-50 short classes per month on various topics. We’ve grown comfortable with WebEx, but there are many others outthere that provide as a good a service. Webinars deliver knowledge so much more quickly, effectively, and let you reach heavily distributed populations at your firm. In addition to being very cost effective, you can record WEbinars to have them available anytime on demand. Best features to use are the chat window, whiteboard, and participant icons, as this is the closest you’ll get to emulating the classroom experience. Also, it is good to have a panelist with you who can monitor the questions as you teach. Don’t speak too quickly; give your audience a chance to absorb what you are saying by providing relevant pauses, and challenging questions..

    October 27, 2014 at 1:27 am
  • In the current scenario, there is a pressing need to deliver technology-enabled learning which the learners can consume, wherever and whenever they want – all within tight budgets. In this scenario, webinars are a powerful medium of learning delivery across varied learner groups – small or large. Easy to access as well as convenient, webinars are an effective mode of learning for professionals who can fit in the short bursts of learning into their schedules – http://www.gc-solutions.net/blog/learning-through-webinars-an-e-learning-perspective/

    October 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

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