Even if you have not participated in the latest conferences on online education, you should have noticed that webinars have firmly entered the system of distance education. They have proven themselves to be a tool for holding masterclasses, online training and seminars, corporate education for employees over the Internet.
While earlier webinars have been associated with after class and optional activities, now more and higher educational establishments hold full-fledged lectures and seminars, and even exams, with the help of webinars. These educational establishments can use webinars in two directions:
1) Holding virtual “Doors Open Days”.
2) Teaching students.
Virtual “Doors Open Days”
Webinar applications offer a wonderful way of attracting prospective students. With the help of webinar technologies, the “Doors Open Day” can be held in the online format, with all its participants sitting in front of the monitors of their computers.
Such format allows for telling about the advantages of the educational establishment, its faculties and specialties, and admission conditions. Due to this solution, the maximum number of potential students and their family members will know your higher educational establishment. Moreover, they will no longer need spending much money and time on visiting the universities. On the contrary, the cost of holding the virtual “Doors Open Day” is minimal. Only a computer, broadband Internet connection, and specialized webinar software is required.
As a result of the interactive character of such events, the potential students will be able to get maximum useful information about the educational programs, grants, meet teachers and much more.
To get your “Doors Open Day” held at the top level, check some tools that webinar software offers:
- Keynotes. Demonstrating slides will help to vividly show the establishment’s advantages, as well as main directions and specialties together with admission conditions.
- Videos. These can be conveniently used for showing laboratories, reviews of the current students, classrooms, equipment or to demonstrate the prospects for getting a job.
- Branding. Webinar room can be decorated using the university logo and visual identity.
- Banners. Clicking the banner will redirect the future students and their family members to the educational establishment’s website.
- Text chat. Prospective students can ask questions they are concerned about.
Later on, webinars can be used instead of the full-fledged lectures and classes held at the premises of the higher educational establishment. There are faculties out there, which hold all education processes online. Sure thing that both tutors and students need to work in order these classes are convenient for everyone. Students require a high level of self-discipline and motivation. Yet, the following categories of students will have this form of educational process organization as the most adequate and irreplaceable:
1) Students that cannot attend higher educational establishments as a result of limited capabilities. Not all higher educational establishments are equipped with entrance ramps or lifts for people in wheelchairs, sound indicators and tactile tiles for poor sighted people, and other specialized equipment. Thus, webinars are a good opportunity for such students to master the educational program while staying at home.
2) Correspondence education students. They can have questions on how to complete their course papers and laboratory works, or while getting prepared for the exams between the sessions. At the webinar, they could communicate with their tutor while staying in their comfortable surroundings and saving time and money.
When using webinars for teaching students, the following functions will be irreplaceable:
- Keynotes demonstration. Tutors demonstrate images, graphics, diagrams and other educational materials.
- Pointer. It works as a usual school pointer and allows for pointing at certain fragments of the picture on the screen.
- Shared files. Tutors upload electronic books and references materials, along with study guideline, while students can download them to their computers.
- Online conference mode. Students can go on air to deliver a report, answer a question or participate in a discussion.
- Testing. Tutor launches tests to learn how students have mastered the material and provide the assessment.
- Recording. Any class can be recorded and the recording file can be shared with the students. This will allow the students to once again watch the webinar and learn the material at the tempo that is comfortable for them.
- Password protection of webinar rooms. To have no unauthorized visitors at the webinar, a password can be set for the webinar room that will be communicated to the students and tutors only.
To sum it up, in the system of higher education the webinars are not just a new form of holding lectures and practical classes for all categories of students, as they are a means of popularizing higher educational establishments between potential students with the help of holding the virtual “Doors Open Days”. Not less important is that webinars make education accessible to a larger number of those willing to study.