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November 25, 2009

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Ken Seamon

I've done a few online webinars. Some were product-based demonstrations of software or hardware, which had an informal feeling to them, and left me wanting to know more. I think this would be a successful outcome for the presenters (if I did followup on my unanswered questions). However, a couple of others were training webinars that were obviously well-designed with clearly defined learning objectives and supporting exercises. These were the best for me because they provided post-course references (job aids) and information download links that would enhance my learning.

Organisinganevt

I really like a webinar for doing a little online learning-the only thing I have noticed though-you cant get the in depth conversions with your peers the way you do if you attend a conference or workshop-with the advances in technology, come the loss of that personal touch that can be so valuable in learning...

Cardinal

To integrate webinars in the classroom is brilliant. Taking classes online is the wave of the future and to include webinars make for a more efficient strategy for learning overall. I am glad to see that the classroom and technology are sharing the same perspective.

John Snell

As someone who works quite a bit online for business and work related research it would appear to me that the use of online webinars would help develop the ability to glean information from the internet in a more efficient way - sorting through all the junk to find what you want can be an artform. :) I too wonder at the efficacy of online learning vs classroom learning as Jennifer mentioned especially with the growth of online learning and even online high school courses.

Jennifer

It's truly amazing how far technology has come! It kind of surprises me that with the popularity of online classes and webinars that there aren't more studies showing the difference between online learning and learning in the classroom. I personally love online webinars and took many online classes when I went to college. I think you're right that it makes the student do more research and find their own answers for things they don't understand, which I think is a good thing!

Sarah Glass

I've been learning a favourite topic of mine through webinars, both recorded and 'live' ones. I find that they are extremely useful in their own ways.

For recorded ones, I get to pause and type the notes. This is much faster than writing them when I'm in a normal lecture in school.

For 'live' ones, I get to ask questions and get immediate response from the presenter. This means the presenter can see what direction to go for the presentation. Another way is to ask for feedback. I find that this encourages the shy students to speak up, as almost everyone is very comfortable with commenting or instant messaging.

Regarding clicking on sources, do you provide the links while the webinar is going on, or after the webinar has finished? It may distract the listener if it is during the presentation, unless you have a simple call to action.

Bernie: I had been thinking about my research question in the paedagogy in English Language, and I think that if there is some material on teaching webinars, I could write on that. Thanks for the inspiration.

Bernie Gallagher

As someone who just finished their first graduate semester on distance learning (on-line is just one method) at UMUC, I can tell you that there are indeed plenty of articles in the academic journals about the digital classroom and pedagogy. My online education experience included a webinar (from Israel), a team project, and yes, independently I used the internet and the e-library at UMUC for access to full-text articles in ERIC (and other academic sources) or they were attached in e-conferences as “class handouts.” By the way, the faculty for the course happened to be located in Germany and Canada.

Distance education has its roots in the nineteenth century – both academic and commercial – and continues today as a worldwide phenomena. And while most distance education programs are targeted at adults, the fastest growing demographic is K-12.

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