Distance learning is gaining pace. Many companies and tutors have acknowledged online education’s advantages and introduced this tool into their work. Today we will talk about webinars, one of the popular ways of organizing distance learning.
Implementing Webinar for Distance Learning
If you are only at the stage of introducing online learning to your employees or students, then webinars are the solution to start with. The prime cost of implementing them is not high. A specialized webinar platform would cost you about US$35 monthly for an audience of up to 60 people. All employees and students have computers that will be necessary during the webinar.
Webinars can make your e-learning system a bit more diverse and interactive if you study remotely. Learners interact with the tutors in real time, which means they can have more involvement in the process and effectively perceive the educational materials.
Formats of distance learning possible to implement with webinars:
- Closed group classes;
- General profile online conference with several speakers;
- Online seminar in the Question/Answer format;
- Testing and knowledge assessment.
No webinars can substitute workshops or training that target forming skills and practical experience. So if you would like to not simply tell the information, but do it so that your students can learn and use their new skills, do not forget about practical tasks.
When preparing for a webinar, paying attention to the information presented is essential. When no visual materials and special tools are used, chances are your listeners will fall asleep. For distance learning, the following tools might be helpful:
For proper visualization, prepare a keynote with visual images, schemes and critical points of your presentation. Collect quality materials that correspond to the topic of the class and are clear to the target audience.
“Above all, minimalism is an important rule of a good keynote. Have you heard the saying”Less is better”? It is a good illustration of the requirements for a keynote. To maximize the effect, use the minimum set of tools, short meaningful text, simple words, and sentences.”Above all, minimalism is an essential rule of a good keynote. Have you heard the saying “Less is better”? It is a good illustration of the requirements for a keynote. To maximize the effect, use the minimum set of tools, short meaningful text, simple words, and sentences.
Every 6-10 minutes, be sure to involve your listeners in the discussion: put direct questions, ask to illustrate the new material with examples, etc. It is essential to avoid abstract or too complicated questions. Instead, discuss several answers, summarize them and continue your online lecture.
No doubt, video is an entertaining and effective tool for memorizing. During classes, the presenter can demonstrate video lessons to students. First, make sure you have avoided potential technical issues. Then, email the video to your attendees or offer them a link for independent download.
“This is another imitation of the whiteboard. Learners see what is going on on the tutor’s desktop. When using screen sharing, refrain from your mouse pointer’s sharp movements and quick transitions from one image to another. Keep contact with your audience continuously, and if you see any communication delay, count to three and ask probing questions like”Do you see how I got here?”. The picture transmission delay is likely caused by low Internet connection speed.”This is another imitation of the whiteboard. Learners see what is going on on the tutor’s desktop. When using screen sharing, refrain from your mouse pointer’s sharp movements and quick transitions from one image to another. Keep in contact with your audience continuously, and if you see any communication delay, count to three and ask probing questions like “Do you see how I got here?”. The picture transmission delay is most likely caused by low Internet connection speed.
It allows viewing the webinar at any convenient time. Recordings are helpful in addition to recordings for learners who had no chance to participate in the online meeting or those wishing to refresh their knowledge.
In short, knowing how to work with the above tools will help you bring your information to your students’ attention in a more qualitative way and increase your students’ involvement as well.
Hints for organizing an exciting webinar
A webinar is a specific event format; on the one hand, it means presentations and interaction with the audience in real-time, and on the other hand, you do not see your listeners and their reaction. These factors might cause specific difficulties and discomfort. To make sure webinars bring both benefits and pleasure, take into account the below recommendations:
- Do not read the slides or any text. Otherwise, your listeners can at least have a nap or dive into social networks.
- We understand you want to tell as much as possible at your webinar. However, remember that it is not worth making your webinar last longer than 50-60 minutes. Our brain can perceive information effectively for no longer than 50 minutes, with a break required after this time.
- During the usual lecture or training, you interact with your students directly. At webinars, this interaction is done using a particular platform, which may cause some questions from your attendees. Not to get distracted by such things, assign a moderator beforehand. It should be the person that would help all attendees with any technical issues.
- The worst thing we have ever seen during a webinar is a presenter having a bad Internet connection, constantly pausing, with the quacking sound broadcast. Such situations irritate the learners, and the presenters get frustrated about the tools used. For this not to happen, stop any downloads or uploads during your webinar, disconnect your Skype or other messengers and close any unnecessary web browser tabs. If it does not help, it might be worth upgrading your ISP’s tariff to a better one offering you a stable and fast Internet connection.
Webinars are a perfect fit for distance learning. They allow live interaction with the learners, which means better involvement and results.
Simplified online meeting and webinar software platform MyOwnConference — perfect for a work-wherever world. Life hacks, reviews, and tips for scheduling and preparing to hold and promote webinars and virtual conferences.