Webinar: live training just a click away
The first videoconferencing software was born in 1990. In the last 27 years this mode of communication has become widespread, thanks to the evolution of the LMS that support them. But is it really all clear?
The expression webinar is a neologism born from the merging of the two terms web and seminar: with this expresssion we designate an interactive seminar held online.
When we talk about webinars, however, we do not refer to seminars tout court, but we also indicate meetings, workshops, symposiums, conferences, training ... disseminated via the Internet and for training purposes.
Why create a webinar?
Webinars give the opportunity to participate remotely in meetings that otherwise should take place in presence. This mode has several advantages; first of all:
- the breaking down of space constraints (carried to the nth degree by the possibility to participate in the webinar by both desktop and mobile mode);
- the reduction of training costs;
- the possibility of audio and video interaction (as in the meetings in attendance);
- the possibility to provide continuous training (life long learning);
- the ability to quickly share strategic updates within the company.
A webinar is therefore a tool that can be organized and easily used, allowing to drastically reduce training time and costs and to obtain specific tracking data. Furthermore, "it offers the possibility of disseminating a training content with great timeliness and capillarity, thus responding to the speed requirements of information flows typical of contemporary society."
There are different types of webinars. A first distinction has to be made with reference to the registration price: there are free or paid webinars.
A second distinction to be underlined is between:
- webinar: aims to share educational sessions characterized by interaction and involvement of participants;
- video conference: is an online event with the purposes to go beyond the training;
- streaming event: allowing to enjoy content remotely, but often without the possibility of interaction.
With the exception to webinars with the exclusive objective of training participants, the functions can be different: training, professional presentation, updating and sharing of work methods.
Webinar software allows us to share images and power point presentations, documents and files, screen and applications, audio and video content in real time and through multimedia files, online recording and chat features for questions and answers, surveys and questionnaires.
Some tips to create a successful webinar:
- create the content of the webinar thinking of the participants;
- adapt the tone and the language of the speech to the participants;
- take care of the duration of the interventions, keeping in mind that after 2 minutes the attention threshold tends to decrease;
- do some tests to check the quality of the connection, audio/video quality, effective file upload;
- make participants aware of the interaction tools available during the webinar (audio, video, chat...);
- involve participants through questionnaires or satisfaction surveys.
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