Delivering teaching online with webinar

What are webinars?

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 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

Unlinke podcasts, webinars still facilitate interaction between you are 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 three tools for running a webinar:

GoToMeeting
Great for small, collaborative meetings and tutorials of up to 25 people.

GoToWebinar
Great for simulating real world lectures of up to 500 people.

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

Staff development

Course: Introduction to Webinar

In this session we will cover all of the basics to get you started with webinars, including:

  • The benefits of webinars
  • Current and potential uses of webinar
  • Webinar features and how you can utilise them in your teaching
  • Advice on adding interactivity into a webinar
  • Tips and best practice

Course: Working with Skype for Business

This course will tell you everything you need to know to setup and host a Skype for Business session. It covers:

  • What is Skype for Business?
  • What do I need to use it?
  • How can it help me?
  • How to run a Skype for Business meeting
  • Good practice

Case study

Professor Ray Jones uses webinars to run interactive online workshops that facilitate group work. This is achieved by Ray delivering material via webinar, before setting a task that students work on in breakout chat rooms. Students then come back to the webinar to present their findings.