Archive for the ‘webinars’ Category

As an online professor, I offer webinars regularly. For example, I offer one on the first day of a course to create a sense of community, get to know my students, and provide a roadmap of my expectations for student work. Also, I offer special webinars tailored to certain topics in class that may cause more learner problems than other topics. Attention in my webinars is encouraged, and life participation is rewarded with points. However, I always record them and make them available to my students via a web link. Other than the author of the shared link, I usually do not put myself or my students on camera but I have a visual and walk my students through a process on the screen. At the end of the course, I have students present their products and do something like a gallery walk. I also ask them to summarize the main takeaways from the course to wrap things up. What are some essential considerations? Read more here on some practical tips at


By Dr. Christel Broady


Screenshot 2017-04-24 11.54.17

VALUE OF Webinars Debunked

Posted: 29/05/2014 by broadyesl in webinars


May 29, 2014 10:27 am | System admin

Webinar alertOrganisations are usually looking more for efficiency than efficacy, because the first is easily demonstrated and the second is difficult to prove. As a result we have to live with plenty shortcuts. I believe often webinars are one of those shortcuts.

Time and again when I ask training organisers why they choose to use the webinar format, it comes down to a few factors only: it’s easier (than any other type of online learning), it’s cheaper (than any other type of delivery method), and it’s supposed to be motivational to be online together. I challenge each of these points.

Yet, when I share my frustrations about webinars, it seems many people dread webinars as much as I do. The main critique? Often so much effort (usually time related) for so little value.

I have attended many about e-learning because (1) I’m obviously interested in the topics and because (2) I’m on a quest to find one webinar that can convince me that this was indeed the best medium to do whatever it is that the organiser and/or the participants wanted to achieve. I’m also searching for a webinar that convinces me that without being there with all the other people at the same time, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up the ‘learning’ on offer. Why – I keep asking myself – are we in this together?

Webinars consist almost always of a presentation by an expert. The audience is invited to post questions in the chat and perhaps ask a question in the Q&A that follows. Sometimes there are survey questions (always wonder what presenters want to achieve by those). Very few people connect with each other during webinars.

With such shallow learning objectives (or outcomes or goals), why would I be forced to do this at a set (usually inconvenient) time? Just so I can have the ‘feeling’ I’m listening to this person together with many other people? Really? I’d much rather watch the presentation in my own time, think about the content and post my question – if I have one – in a forum where I get feedback. The time lapse would at least allow for some deeper learning and perhaps some real engagement because there would be an opportunity to have a follow-up conversation with those who are interested.

And if I don’t have a question or I don’t want to engage, that’s fine too. After all, it’s just a presentation which doesn’t need a ‘togetherness’ to be valuable. I watch plenty of those online all the time. Why pretend that webinars offer more?

Being together in an online space at the same time doesn’t mean there is any cooperation, let alone collaboration. (Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce something; cooperation is the process of working together to the same end).

Have you experienced true collaboration in any webinar you have attended? Doing stuff, not only talking about stuff, and certainly not just listening to stuff together. In your webinar, did you solve problems together? Did you produce something?

Webinars aren’t a great tool for collaboration either unless the group is really small. And if the collaboration is around complex(-ish) problems (which they should be to offer valuable learning) we’re better off with asynchronous online learning anyway.

I wonder why we are often still stuck with a tool that seems so overrated. Or have I missed all the gems out there?