Creating an Educational Webinar

A Guide to Creating an Educational Webinar

Since the covid-19 pandemic has eliminated physical education across the world, teachers and educational staff have switched to e-learning according to the government orders, so that they can carry on with their teaching flawlessly. The need for teaching through the online platform has generated great eagerness to know about online learning platforms i.e. web conferencing, webinar, or webcast and the query how do you create an educational webinar? 

To create an effective and successful educational webinar focus on building the strategy,  putting effort in preparation, add relatable graphics and illustrations, and to take the educational webinar to a next level…keep it conversational.

Let’s dive into the comprehensive approach.

What are webinars, webcasts, and web conferencing?

Webinars, webcasts and web conferencing are listed under the same heading “online meeting”. But are they really similar to each other? Concerning their specific objectives, they are not quite alike. Key differences are found in  size, scale, and extent of interactivity. 

  • Webinars are online, live, virtual seminars that take place on online platforms like zoom, Microsoft teams, GoToWebinar, etc. they are preferred more when there is a larger number of people to communicate with and for that enormous capacity of classrooms is needed. Webinars require an instructor, an influential speaker, an audience, and a high-end degree of interaction among them. 
  • Webcasts are sometimes commingled with webinars, but there is a prominent differentiation between them. Webcasts are web broadcasts and broadcasts have the capacity of accommodating the largest audience. Webcasts can occur in two ways i.e. 1) an instructor can start live transmission through a web-based platform to a larger audience which is one-way or 2) an online broadcast of pre-recorded webinars through a web-based platform. Hence, webcasts are proved to be non-identical from webinars because webinars are based on two-way communication.
  • Web conferencing is a virtual meeting, more like web based training involving people from different places. Compared to webcasts and webinars, web conferencing deals with a limited audience which results in intense interaction and collaboration between attendees and host. Web conferencing can take place on platforms like RingCentral, Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime. Web conferencing includes whiteboard, audio, and video integration, allowing video sharing and recording. Thus, can be chosen for online sessions that involve a small audience and require intense and meaningful accommodation. 

What is an educational webinar?

The evolution of internet technology has brought many people to the platform. From anywhere in the world, where connectivity subsists, people can enter the world of digital media with a single click. The evolution has prominently improved the education sector.

An educational webinar is a web-based seminar that includes a presentation, lecture, or workshop carried on the most reliable webinar platform being hosted by a teacher/instructor/host. It allows people to host or take a class through webinars from their home, cafe, library, or any other place without any distraction. 

An increasing number of people are getting access to online education through real-time online classes. During this pandemic, people persisted in their homes but this online learning platform has permitted people to achieve their goals, expand their knowledge and continue with their studies. All thanks to an educational webinar.

Benefits of an educational webinar

  • Educational webinars can be called the most economical way to attend your school or college. As students do not have to invest money in transportation, they attend their classes from the comfort of their homes.
  • Compliance and reliability as in terms of recording your webinar. Students can easily record the live webinar, the host can pre-record it and post it at the scheduled time. This way students can get the most of it.
  • Students are more likely to engage and interact in webinars than in physical class because of the confidential nature of the webinars.
  • Webinars are pretty easy to use for both instructors and students. It doesn’t have any complex or demanding functionality.

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Online platforms for a webinar

A webinar has typically an instructor, who presents content through PowerPoint slides or shared videos to the attendees. These platforms include audio and video integrations, instant chat, screen sharing, whiteboards and recording features. Every webinar requires a host that creates a webinar and adds attendees by sharing meeting code.

Commonly, most of the webinar platforms let users comment, chat or raise their hand during a live session. Webinar platforms are distinctive in terms of their features like a number of attendees allowed. Other than this, some platforms do not have a default customer support system so you will need a supervisor to accommodate you.

We have the following online platforms that we are going to discuss:

  • Adobe connect
  • Zoom
  • BigBlueButton
  1. Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is one splendid online platform to host a webinar. It allows a seat size of about 100-1000 attendees accompanying several instructors who can share their screens at the same time. It comes under the paid plan as it is some extraordinary feature that other platforms do not offer. 

Initially, you can go with their 90-days free trial. If we look at the cons of Adobe Connect, we can easily estimate that Adobe Connect because of its extraordinary pricing does not let it top the list as well as it is challenging to take online classes through Adobe Connect as it lacks customer support system and you will need a supervisor to function it.

  1. Zoom 

Zoom is the best and reliable online meeting platform that is truly made to achieve tranquil webinars. It is the most preferred platform among the educational institutes and school districts as it is very straightforward and simple to use, allows up to 100 attendees for 40-minute sessions and it is completely free. If you want to increase the time limit you may want to go for a paid plan, which is inexpensive. It wouldn’t need any supervisor as it has a simple interface and options that one can easily understand. 

As we look through the cons of zoom, we find out that zoom has real-time security issues that put users to think about whether it is a good idea to consider zoom to conduct a webinar. Additionally, the zoom joining link can turn into a hyperlink which can permit hackers to use it to enter the windows login and spook through your desktop virtually. Also, the participants can go through the other user’s social profiles without zoom notifying any of the users that the other person is stalking your account.

  1. BigBlueButton

BBB is considered the most budget-friendly and easy functioning webinar hosting tool. It is completely free to use with a wide variety of features just like adobe connect and zoom. It is not very famous among the people but deserves to be well recognized. It is a slightly stronger and reliable platform compared to zoom and adobe connect. Its paid plan lets you download and record the webinar. If your educational institute feels confused in choosing a perfect webinar platform, then BBB can be a better option to start with.

Essential tips to make your Educational Webinar work out

While you start teaching through webinars you must consider some tips to make the most out of your educational webinar.

  • Know your audience

Get yourself aware of what your students want to learn and what topic interests them the most. If you are still confused with choosing the right topic you can take help from social media if you have a strong following by starting a poll. Other than that, you can go to LinkedIn, check forums and discussions on Quora. By the end of the poll or the explore, you will get to know which topic will turn out best for you and your webinar. 

  • Strategy

Pre-planned and organized webinars are the most successful ones. It is a prerequisite to plan and do homework before starting your webinar. Make sure that the instructor of the webinar is registering students and they can call in. As soon as the students are registered they can enter the lobby area where they can discuss the webinar topic 15 minutes before starting the webinar.

  • Focus on students

It is the most prominent mistake that is being made often by us. That the teacher or instructor becomes the center of attention the whole time during the webinar while the students are neglected. It should be restricted and the students must have the opportunity to avail themselves every second of the webinar. The educational webinar aims to make it effective by creating easy ways for students to reach out and learn easily.

  • Keep the students engaged

It is common that during online classes students lose their attention and feel more disinterested in the class as time passes by. Make sure to keep your students engaged by making them share their views on a certain topic through polls, short quizzes, or random FAQs. slide transitions, annotations, or section highlights should be included too to keep the students engaged and interested in the discussion. At the end of the session, open-ended discussions should occur to help students innovate new ideas, concepts and to know what they learned.

  • Make it interesting by telling stories

Storytelling is one vital source to keep holding your listener’s attention. In your live webinar, you can use this tactic too by telling inspiring stories. Start your webinar with a story and not a lengthy and boring introduction and you will notice that your students are growing interest in knowing more of it. Just keep in mind that you don’t tell a story of yourself. Try telling stories like if you are discussing the topic “marketing tactics” you are going to tell a story of people how their business influenced after applying these marketing tactics and compare them with the people who didn’t. Also, keep your story in a format that you end up telling the conclusion at the end, this way your students will grow curious and develop interest throughout the webinar.

  • It is better to keep it conversational

As is mentioned earlier, you lose your student’s attention in any second. To stay put with your students’ moods you can use graphics and illustrations. Additionally, you don’t have to keep the commanding tone of someone like a rude military general. Just try to speak in a lower friendly tone and add a pinch of humor where needed.

  • Prepare yourself and agenda

Hosting a webinar is not everyone’s forte, you need a strong work out plan and splendid communication skills to deal with your attendees perfectly. To achieve this, you should prepare yourself and do a lot of homework. You do not have to read a script during your live webinar. Instead, you can take help from note cards. In this way, your thoughts will be organized and you will be prepared enough to answer your students’ queries. Practice and rehearse your content, check your microphone and camera, see if you can hear your attendees and attendees can hear you. Make yourself perfect at expressing your ideas and teaching in front of the camera by constantly practicing. If you have connectivity issues, go with plan B, like use instant messaging to connect with your students and solve their queries.

  • Don’t let go of patience

This covid-19 pandemic has made us cope with the tough teaching policy through webinar technology or virtual teaching. It is quite challenging for the teachers to keep up with the students during a live session. The matter of concern is do not lose patience even if you are making mistakes, everyone does and learns from their mistakes. Just keep practicing and everything will be in order because practice makes a man perfect.

  • Graphics should be a part of virtual presentation

Graphical representations should be considered as a crucial part of visual presentation. It can be another tactic to gain the attention of your students. Because of it, the textual content can be put to a lesser extent and using graphics we can explain the ideas and concepts to the students more precisely. Keeping in mind that going into very deep details of the graphic can make the students lose interest real fast. Use one word descriptors and keys through which students can understand better and accurately.

FAQs

How do you record a webinar?

  • Select the webinar recording software according to your preference.
  • Get the software installed.
  • Make yourself familiar with it.
  • Choose a frame for your video.
  • Make sure the audio is maintained.
  • Manage the slides that you are going to cover.
  • Record your webinar.
  • Now edit and save it.

How to join a webinar?

Simply register yourself by clicking on the invite link in the email. Join at the time of the webinar by confirming your identity or through the calendar invite. Once you have joined it successfully a window will appear showing that you are connected.

Bottom line

After having a thorough look at the whole article we come to know about three webinar platforms that were discussed in detail to make it easy for you to decide which one is best suited and a number of tactics that can be applied to achieve an effective educational webinar. Hence, we give solutions to your problem. 

Reference

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