Posts Tagged ‘webinars’

The worst type of classroom training are long PowerPoint presentations with limited interaction.  Transforming this type of training into a webinar because it easy and cheap, doesn’t make it good training.  Adding a few discussion questions or a quick poll might make it more interesting, but does it really make it more effective.  Most of what’s written about webinars relates to choosing technology and various features of different providers.  However, there is very little written on how to turn webinars into great training.  Therefore, I’m going to start a series of posts about instructional design concepts for webinars.

I think the first place to start is to consider what type of training is well suited for webinars and what isn’t.  Audience size and make up can make a big difference.  Hosting a webinar with five or six coworkers can be highly interactive with lively discussions.  A two hundred person public session is very different.  Only a few people will actually ask a question and it’s difficult to let more than a few people talk.  Designing these sessions to be more than a one-way data dump or sales pitch is difficult and requires a lot of creativity.  In general, here’s a quick list of what I think webinars can do well and what they’re not so good at.

Best Uses of Webinars

  1. Kickoff Sessions (Big Picture Overviews of What’s Going to Happen)
  2. PreWork (Substitute for reading assignments or self-study before coming to a class)
  3. Just-in-Time Information and Communication (When there isn’t time for anything else)
  4. Lunch and Learns (Quick overviews of topics in series)
  5. Introductions (Replaces things like department visits)

Worst Uses of Webinars

  1. Skill Building (Anything that requires a lot of practice and feedback)
  2. Action Learning (Anything that requires a lot of people working in teams to discover new ideas and techniques)
  3. Coaching Sessions (Most good coaching is one on one)
  4. Longer Activities (Some activities require an hour or more to complete, a lot of dead time on the phone)
  5. Role Plays and Simulations (Tough with more than a few people)

These aren’t hard and fast rules but general guidelines.  Often logistics and budgets restrictions will lead to more webinars and doing something is often better than doing nothing.  I think webinars can be particularly effective when they are part of a blended learning solution.

In my next post, I’m going to try to dig into the actual design of a webinar and share some best practice ideas.

Photo by DimDim Web Conferencing

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Webinars Any Ideas

I’m in the process of upgrading the LPI website.  One thought is to offer some free webinars on topics related to workforce development, talent management or knowledge management.  I’m really interested in any ones ideas on what topics they think would be best or any good ways to market those webinars.  In many next several posts, I’ll be describing some of the ideas that I have.

I’m also looking at expanding my LinkedIn account.  Anyone want an invitation from me.

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