Delivering teaching online with webinar

What are webinars?

A webinar is short for web-based seminar. A webinar is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the web, instead of in person. 

As a result of each member of the webinar, from the presenter to the attendees, can be at a different location providing they have an internet connection. 

This means you can present from your desk, your home or just about anywhere while your attendees can watch on their computers, tablets or even smartphones.

A webinar will typically transmit:

  • Audio – from a microphone the presenter is using
  • The presenters' screen – showing a presentation, website or file
  • Webcam – showing a video of the presenter.

Unlike podcasts, webinars still facilitate interaction between you and your audience. Depending on the product you use you’ll have a number of tools available to you such as:

  • Taking questions (text-based or verbal)
  • Running polls and seeing responses
  • Creating interactive whiteboards
  • Changing presenter.

Logistical benefits

  • Location – presenters and attendees no longer have to be in the same room. Providing they have an internet connection they can be anywhere in the world.
  • Student numbers – you’ll be able to present to up to 500 attendees at once – larger cohorts than our lecture theatres can support.
  • Audience – your attendees or guest/joint presenters can be from other organisations such as the NHS or other institutions.
  • Recorded – you can record your session for those that can’t attend.
  • Green – by reducing travel, webinars are an environmentally friendly option.

Pedagogic benefits

  • Providing you record your webinar students are able to watch the content again, make notes and study at their own pace.
  • Webinars cater for a variety of different learning styles.
  • Interactivity increases – as students can type questions, engagement typically increases as students don’t have to speak or be judged in front of their peers.
  • Attendees can learn in familiar and comfortable setting as they choose where to watch from.
  • Time – students save valuable time from not having to travel that can be used for independent study.
  • Surveys, polls and evaluations allow you to get instant feedback from your attendees to help confirm learning.

What tools are available?

The university currently provide two tools for running webinars:

Skype for Business
Covering anything from small meetings to seminars and lectures up to 250 people.

Zoom (limited licenses available)
Great for simulating real world lectures of up to 500 people.

Case study

Naveed wished to develop an assessment strategy online for students to present a 30-minute presentation on simulation. 

Students would be given an allotted time to set up and then present in their groups while Naveed would remain logged in and available through a Skype for Business video call to answer any questions students had.

Read the full case study