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Innovative Ideas to Make Your Virtual Webinar Stand Out from the Crowd
In today’s digital age, virtual webinars have become an essential part of business and educational events. They provide a convenient way to connect with your audience, share valuable information, and promote your brand. However, with the increasing popularity of virtual webinars, it’s important to find innovative ways to make yours stand out from the crowd. In this article, we will explore some creative ideas that can elevate your virtual webinar and leave a lasting impression on your attendees.
Engaging Visuals and Interactive Features
One of the key aspects of making your virtual webinar stand out is by incorporating engaging visuals and interactive features. Gone are the days when a simple PowerPoint presentation would suffice. Today, attendees expect more immersive experiences that capture their attention and keep them engaged throughout the session.
Consider using visually appealing slides with high-quality images, infographics, or videos to convey your message effectively. Integrate interactive elements like polls, quizzes, or live chat features that allow attendees to actively participate in the discussion. These features not only make the webinar more enjoyable but also encourage active learning and knowledge retention.
Collaborate with Influencers or Industry Experts
Another effective strategy to differentiate your virtual webinar is by collaborating with influencers or industry experts. By inviting renowned personalities in your field as guest speakers or panelists, you not only add credibility to your event but also attract a wider audience who are interested in hearing from these experts.
When selecting influencers or industry experts for collaboration, ensure they align with the theme and goals of your webinar. Their expertise should complement the topics you plan to cover during the session. This collaboration can help boost attendance rates as attendees will be eager to learn from these influential figures.
Personalize Attendee Experience
Personalization is key when it comes to making any event memorable for attendees. In a virtual webinar setting, personalization can be achieved through various means. Start by addressing attendees by their names during the event, if possible, or encourage them to introduce themselves in the chat.
Consider sending personalized pre-webinar emails to registrants, providing them with relevant resources or asking for specific questions they would like addressed during the session. During the webinar, engage with attendees by responding to their comments or questions in real-time. This not only makes attendees feel valued but also creates a sense of community and connection.
Follow Up with Valuable Resources
After your virtual webinar concludes, don’t let the momentum fade away. Take advantage of the post-webinar phase to further engage with your attendees and provide them with valuable resources related to the topics covered during the event. This can include recordings of the webinar, additional reading materials, or links to related content.
Send personalized follow-up emails thanking attendees for their participation and including a summary of key takeaways from the webinar. Consider creating a dedicated landing page on your website where attendees can access all these resources in one place. By providing ongoing value even after the event ends, you solidify your brand as a reliable source of information and maintain a lasting connection with your audience.
In conclusion, making your virtual webinar stand out requires creativity and innovation. Incorporate engaging visuals and interactive features to captivate your audience’s attention. Collaborate with influencers or industry experts to attract a wider audience and add credibility to your event. Personalize attendee experiences by addressing them by name and engaging in real-time interactions. Finally, follow up with valuable resources that keep attendees engaged even after the webinar concludes. By implementing these ideas, you’ll create a memorable virtual webinar experience that sets you apart from competitors.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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What’s The Difference Between A Webinar Vs. An Online Course?
Use this guide to determine whether an online course or a webinar will help your company meet its goals.
eLearning offers convenience and effectiveness for people looking to enhance their skills from the comfort of their home or office.
With the popularity of virtual learning, it’s easy to confuse different approaches like webinars and online courses. It’s easy to interchange the two eLearning content strategies since they offer a virtual way to gain skills and knowledge.
However, it’s crucial to pinpoint the difference between an online course and a webinar to determine which would best fit your brand’s needs and goals.
The purpose of each method is to serve different audiences and help companies meet their event goals. Choosing the incorrect eLearning method could cause your attendees to miss your message, which prevents you from meeting your virtual event goals and objectives.
Let’s dive in and learn what each virtual event entails, how they differ from each other, and the pros and cons of each.
What Is A Webinar?
A webinar, or web seminar, is a live teaching session utilizing video conferencing or live chat to allow communication between attendees and presenters. It offers a broad range of topics, typically followed by a live Q&A session with viewers at the end.
While webinars are usually free, the goal is to promote a premium service, a new product launch, or an upgraded feature. You can expect a webinar topic to align with the sponsoring organization’s business goals.
Many companies host webinars to attract new customers or provide general information on a specific topic.
A webinar presentation is usually live, but it can also be pre-recorded. They last between 30 to 60 minutes and are intended for a wider audience. While different types of webinars may offer PD or continuing education points, it is rare to gain certification or credits from a webinar.
Photo by Anna Shvets
What Is An Online Course?
Online courses dive deep into a specific topic and deliver more in-depth knowledge, much as you’d experience in a university course. The structure of an online course mimics a typical college class divided into modules, lessons, or units.
Also referred to as eLearning or online training, e-courses often require payment to access the content. Online courses are intended for groups of people learning about a specific subject and can take days, weeks, or even months to complete.
Participants often receive some sort of certification or credits after the eLearning course . There may be a live streaming component and interactive tools that allow course participants to connect with their instructors and other course members.
Differences Between Webinars And Online Courses
As you can see, it’s easy to confuse the two eLearning methods because both offer virtual opportunities to communicate important information. Both require an internet connection and a level of interactivity.
Both approaches can be used for various purposes, like training sessions, onboarding, and professional development. They fit well with social media marketing and landing page promotion and generate email lists for future online events.
Both webinars and online courses can help your brand generate high-quality leads that can help convert participants into new customers.
However, there are some critical differences in the format and structure of webinars and online courses that make them better suited to specific audience needs.
Let’s take a look at how webinars and online courses differ so that you are prepared to choose the correct format for your next virtual event.
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eLearning format refers to the length and availability of the online educational opportunity. Webinars and online courses have different forms, and which you choose depends on what your audience members need.
Webinars work best for short bursts of information, while online courses allow for an in-depth look into the subject matter. Webinars allow for time to answer questions right away, while participants may have to jot down their questions to ask the course facilitator at a later date.
Structure refers to the flow of each online meeting. Because webinars and online courses take different amounts of time to complete, the design and pacing need to be different to obtain proper flow and engagement.
If you need to know whether or not your participants understood the content you were delivering, online courses allow for assessments. At the same time, webinars may not have the same opportunity for in-depth retention data.
On the other hand, many online courses do not offer a video conference feature, meaning participants may feel isolated or not engaged with the course facilitator. Webinar features tend to be more engaging and allow participants to connect with webinar hosts and attendees on a deeper level.
COST & PLANNING DIFFERENCES
The cost of hosting a virtual event refers to the capital it takes to develop and launch your webinar or online course for your target audience.
Typically, both forms have costs associated with creating content and a strong marketing strategy. A single webinar generally is less expensive to produce than a single online course.
Pricing differs for participants depending on the two approaches. Many companies offer a free webinar for lead generation since they are less expensive to produce. On the other hand, online courses are a great way to not only attract new leads but also generate revenue for your brand.
Let’s look at the cost differences between producing your own webinar or your own online course.
While both types of online learning formats can help your company generate revenue, online courses can be updated and reused easily. At the same time, a live webinar would need to be updated and hosted all over again.
Webinar attendees, on the other hand, can typically access recordings of the session for more extended periods of time. At the same time, online courses tend to limit access to materials for the duration of the course.
Photo by RODNAE Productions
The Pros And Cons Of Webinars And Online Courses
Which eLearning approach you choose depends on the needs of your audience members and your brand.
Both types of online learning have their own unique value, so how can you know which one is right for you?
Take a look at the pros and cons of each method to help you determine which is the best fit for your virtual event goals.
Both webinars and online courses are excellent tools to utilize for your online learning needs and generate quality leads. Facilitators must analyze the intended purpose of their virtual session, their target audience, and the allocated budget.
Choose The Best Online Learning And Webinar Software
Online courses and webinars offer unique ways to provide information on a wide scale. Depending on how in-depth you wish to go on a topic, choose the method that provides the most opportunity for your company and audience members.
To avoid technology headaches, partner with BeaconLive for your own webinar and online course needs. BeaconLive helps you produce, deliver, and manage in-demand webinars and engaging online courses from start to finish through cloud-based solutions and impeccable customer service teams.
Contact BeaconLive today to begin planning your next successful webinar or online course.
Topics: Continuing Education , eLearning , Webinars & Webcasts
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Webinar vs. Online Course: What is the Difference?
Are you torn between conducting a paid webinar or creating an online course for all employees because of a new in-house software you’re hoping to launch?
Is there even a difference between webinars and online courses?
Yes, there is.
We sometime s have a tendency to interchange the two methods thinking both may be referring to the same thing. Both are e-learning methods, yes, but they also have distinct differences.
It’s important to specifically pinpoint the differences between a webinar and an online course in order to determine which works best depending on a particular circumstance. Remember that both are intended to serve different purposes and audiences.
Let’s dive deeper, shall we?
Webinar A web-based seminar or webinar is typically a live teaching session offering a broad range of various topics followed by a question-and-answer portion from the viewers at the end of it. Although usually free, webinars often aim to promote either a premium service, a new product being launched, or an upgrade of features on existing company services. So you can expect that a webinar topic is usually aligned with whatever the sponsoring organization is selling. While it is usually delivered live, webinars can also be prerecorded and would last between 30-60 minutes. It is intended for a wider audience. If you’re worried about inclusivity, there are webinars that have real-time captioning features.
Online Courses Online courses, on the other hand, dive deep into a particular subject matter, delivering more in-depth knowledge that is similar to what you’d experience when enrolling in a university class. And like any university course, online courses are also divided into modules, lessons or units. Online courses are also referred to as an e-learning module, a digital course, an e-course, online training, etc. There may be a couple of websites offering free courses but the majority of the content is paid. Online courses are intended for groups of people learning about a specific subject matter.
Differences of Webinars and Online Courses in Format and Structure:
- Lecture-style presentation
- Broad topics
- Usually conducted live
- Typically free or very minimal charges
- Some provide an on-demand link of the video for those who weren’t able to join but have registered
- In-depth content/class
- Custom-made per specific topic
- On-demand learning resources that can be accessed anytime as long as you are enrolled in the class
- Has free short courses available but longer courses will cost you more
- Opening – A trained webinar moderator will introduce the and expectations are laid down. A brief introduction to the topic is made.
- Body – This is the essence of a webinar. This portion is where the topic is completely discussed alongside the subtle integration of product promotion. This is where visual aids are utilized to assist slide decks.
- Closing – The host will summarize the main topics, give emphasis on the key points, and open the floor for the attendees’ questions. There are a few webinar services providers that offer testing modules after the live session.
- Objective – Much like the webinar’s opening portion, this is where the goals and expected key takeaways are explained.
- Content – These are the learning resources, the downloadable PDFs, the training video transcript, supplements, and other interactive learning materials.
- Assessment – Most paid courses have assessments or exams at the end of every course especially if they’re offering certificates after completion.
How To Know Which One is For You?
To know which one of webinars or online courses should you be conducting, here are a couple of things to consider and ask yourself and your team:
- Your audience; their pain points and struggles, their preferred methods or formats, and more
- The purpose of the event
- The cost of the webinars or the lessons
- The availability of on-demand
- The technical equipment
- The media or other learning resources you’ll be sharing
- The value for the audience
- The advantages ad disadvantages of both webinars and online courses
Advantages & Disadvantages of Webinars and Online Courses
Again, both are great e-learning tools to utilize. You just have to know your intended purpose, your target audience, and your allocated budget.
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Virtual Training VS Webinars: Choose What’s Right for You
Article by Nelli Gevorgyan
Virtual training and online webinars have enjoyed high demand for the past few years. Digitization of the learning industry proves to be productive & efficient both for learners and educators.
But the question is, which is better for you, virtual training or webinars? This article will compare these two and identify five key differences to simplify your choice.
So, if you are ready, let’s start!
The following article covers:
What is virtual training?
What is a webinar, 5 main differences to consider, virtual training’s main advantages, webinar’s main advantages, get started with your teaching program.
First of all, let’s start with the definitions. What is virtual training?
Virtual training is training that aims to develop skills and knowledge in a specific area within a program. To design a virtual training program, you must be an expert on the subject matter, as it requires breaking down the area to come up with a course outline, relevant topics, additional materials, etc.
To summarize, virtual training is a wholesome program designed to improve performance and skills in certain areas.
When to choose virtual training?
You can be a virtual trainer if you are a skillful professional in the field.
Virtual training will scale well and enjoy high demand if you know how to market the program and yourself as a professional.
Virtual training is the way to go if you are a beginner but want to make a full-time income through knowledge monetization.
A webinar is a virtual event where the host can cover one specific topic or, in a broader concept, a few topics. It is similar to a training session, yet does not have a logical continuation.
Webinars are good for awareness , not for performance or skill development.
For instance, if you are a sales trainer who wants to generate leads for a new sales training program, hosting a webinar is a great idea. You Webinars are usually free and can cover a certain topic or a wider range of topics to showcase the skills & style of the coach or trainer.
You can also sell webinars related to various topics (e.g., pre-recorded ones).
When to choose webinars?
You can choose to host webinars not only to gain income but rather market your courses, training programs, and other learning products that you offer.
Webinars are educational and informative but nowadays are widely used to scale & gain visibility rather than a separate product themselves.
So, our advice if you are planning to incorporate webinars into your marketing is to offer those for free to
- Grow your email list when more people sign up
- Grow the visibility of your brand, and you as a trainer
- Familiarize more people with your style & generate more leads
Let’s consider the main differences between webinars and virtual training.
Learners can learn more from a wholesome training program than from a webinar.
If you want to sell a webinar as a separate product and not use it as a tool for lead generation , then you must be aware of this fact. Webinars cannot efficiently train participants or enhance their skills but provide knowledge about a specific topic.
Webinars are shorter and usually come as a single session.
Meanwhile, training sessions can last as long as webinars. A whole program takes a longer time to complete as it includes several sessions (e.g., up to 20).
Objectives and goals
Webinars and training programs have different objectives. A webinar aims to inform and increase awareness. Meanwhile, training aims to improve performance and skills and provide practical knowledge.
Many won’t pay for webinars but participate in free ones. Yet, they will pay a good amount for a high-quality training program.
Regarding engagement, everything depends on the host, yet a few aspects vary.
You must incorporate various tools to boost engagement in webinars and training sessions. Webinars and training programs can be whiteboards, presentations, or even games.
For training programs, only these can include a wider range of collaborative learning activities, quizzes, tests & homework assignments.
So, as a trainer, you have more tools in your toolkit for the learners’ engagement.
Besides, students are more motivated & dedicated during virtual training as they know it is not a one-time thing, and their performance will truly benefit if they engage.
It is far more cost-efficient or organizes an online webinar. However, you can record the webinar and sell the recorded version too.
If you want to create e training program, you need huge dedication and time investment. Also, you will need to invest in various virtual tools to enhance the learning experience for the students.
Yet, profitwise training is the right path to take in terms of scaling, getting more clients & selling for a higher price.
The main advantages of virtual training are:
- Allows to reach international audiences
- Location Freedom
- Cost-effective in comparison with traditional training
- Enjoys high demand on the market
- Preferable form of online learning
The main benefits of webinars are:
- Allow to reach a wider audience, inform people, increases awareness
- Convenient to attend as they do not require a long-term learning commitment
- An incredible tool for lead generation . Even though it can be hard to sell it as a stand-alone product, it is easy to use as a free tool to generate leads.
- Allows to increase audience engagement quickly
After all, it is possible to host both. Following the best marketing practices, webinars for promotion to grow an email list, and whole training programs as an actual product for sales.
It is your choice which one to choose as the main source of income or what marketing tactic to choose. Yet, you must have a platform to work with to do anything.
Uteach is one of the best online LMS platforms available nowadays. It is potent automation that will save a great deal of time on routine tasks and automate various learning processes to ease your journey as a virtual trainer.
With Uteach, you can build & customize powerful websites, open a blog, sell courses, webinars, live training programs, and even coaching sessions.
If you are trying to find the best platform to get started on and further expand, Uteach is the way.
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What is the difference between a webinar and a virtual class?
The terminology in e-learning is fundamental. Let's clarify some of the most used terms in the online course glossary starting with the webinar and virtual classroom.
If there are two terms in eLearning that are often superimposed, they are webinar and virtual class. The analogies are easy to find they are two tools used for online training in live mode, ie live, and involve the participation of a group of people. However, the differences are even more important, because they involve a different approach to online training. Knowing how to distinguish between a webinar and a virtual classroom does not only have a linguistic value but is fundamental for choosing the most suitable tool for a group of students. By answering a few simple questions, it will be easier to understand which is the best choice.
Questions and answers on webinars
The term is a neologism in the English language and comes from the union of web and seminar. The answer to the question "what is a webinar?" it is therefore simple: it is an online seminar, but not only.
What are webinars?
They are meetings, training sessions, conferences that do not take place in a meeting room, but in a network thanks and through software for online meetings. The webinar is not just for training, but for any type of business meeting.
What are the features of a webinar?
- It takes place live using a special software or integrated in an LMS, learning management system
- Allows the use and sharing of audio, video and power point files
- Many people can be connected at the same time (from ten to thousands, depending on the program used).
How do students participate in a webinar?
The participants interact only with the trainer or the person who holds the webinar through the surveys, through the live chat and the Q&A session, ie questions and answers provided at the end of the session. Discover in this article how to make your webinars more interactive.
Questions and answers on the virtual class
The virtual class is an online "place" where a group of people meet to enjoy educational content.
What is a virtual class?
It is a class in the classic sense of the term with the difference that one meets online to follow a live lesson, access the training material and compare notes with other students.
What are the characteristics of a virtual class?
- It takes place online via an LMS or app
- Allows the use and sharing of power points, audio and video files
- Only a few people in the class can be connected (20 on average)
How do the participants of a virtual class interact?
Also in this case the participants are active through chat and webcam: the difference lies in the fact that they do not speak only with the trainer, but also between them. They can, in fact, work in small groups, contribute to the board, share documents and participate in discussions in audio mode.
When to choose a webinar and when to choose a virtual class?
As evidenced by the answers to the questions, the main differences between the webinar and the virtual class are in the use and functionality related to student participation and their number. The webinar not only has a training function but can also be used for meetings and other types of meetings. The virtual class has an exclusively didactic function. With a webinar you are potentially addressing a large number of participants who only interact with the trainer at set times, usually at the end when the speaker opens to questions and answers. The virtual class has a reduced number of participants who can interact with more freedom not only with the trainer but also with each other, practicing in small groups.
Function, group size and degree of student participation are all elements to consider when choosing between a webinar and a virtual class. But the real question that makes the difference is: do you want students to interact only with the trainer or even with one another?
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Webinar Vs. Online Course: How To Choose The Right One For You
As soon as you have distinguished yourself as an online teacher, questions will come up about your digital occupation. Many people don’t know what the difference is between webinars and online courses, which often makes it difficult to choose the format that is right for them. In this article we will examine the main differences between a webinar and an online course. It is then up to you to implement the best online teaching practices.
Webinars are web-based seminars. They usually last between 30-60 min. Although a webinar offers free content, it often aims to promote certain products or services.
Webinars are hosted on a platform and require registration by the user. Different platforms require different ways to join the platform – automatically or via logging in.
Webinars can be prerecorded, although they usually deliver live content. There are some demonstration webinars where you only hear the lecturer while watching slides, videos, etc. In other cases, there is a live video and audio connection where the participants can actively participate – they can send comments or there can be a live discussion panel, voting, Q&A, etc. Another common practice is to send the registered user a recorded replay of the webinar that can be viewed for several days.
Tips for choosing a webinar format
Make sure you know what you will need for the webinar because different webinar formats offer different opportunities.
A webinar can be a powerful tool for your online teaching needs, although it is not suitable for every kind of training. But before exploring all of its benefits, you should be aware of both your goal and your audience. Therefore, first make sure you have the answers to the following questions:
- Who are you talking to?
- What’s the subject?
- How you will cover the topic?
- What resources will you need – time, technology, and content?
- What’s the value for the audience?
You should prepare a solid structure for your webinar due to their fixed start and end times. It is helpful to explain the purpose of the webinar at the very beginning. This way the participant will know what to expect and will be able to more easily grasp the main point. The webinar should be closed after the Q&A section.
Webinars have 3 main parts:
- Opening The moderator explains the topic and can also briefly present the content and the different parts. Additionally, the moderator needs to make a clear statement about the length and the format – demo, interview, or other.
- Body This is the heart of the webinar. Depending on the topic and the audience, you can vary the visuals, tone of voice, formats, etc. Select the tools that you will need. These may be PowerPoint, Google slides, video, images, or even live drawing.
- Closing Here comes the time to summarize the main topics and to include the audience. Leave enough time for questions and answers. Furthermore, encourage feedback. Many webinars include giving the audience some type of offer in this section. This is the time to advertise yourself, your product, or your service and to make sales conversions.
Webinars are either live or recorded. Whichever you choose, here are the main formats:
- Single speaker This is the most popular format and is the perfect choice for your first webinar in terms of resources and preparation. In this situation there is only one speaker who is responsible for the entire presentation and they are also in charge of answering the audience’s questions.
- Interview/conversation As the name suggests, this format is appropriate when you want to introduce an expert or an interesting point of view. This kind of webinar is also good for sharing know-how or when introducing someone. The key is to have a clear structure and predefined questions.
- Group discussion As in the interview format, this structure incorporates several people that give different perspectives on the discussed topic. There is also usually a moderator that guides the conversation.
- Interactive audience This is a kind of facilitated conversation between the presenter and the audience in which the audience actively participates in the webinar. Using this format will help you deliver a better understanding and first-hand experience through engagement.
- Hybrid approach This approach usually combines several formats depending on the topic and the audience. It can also incorporate live and recorded segments.
If your focus is on offering higher levels of participation and real-life experience, the online course is always the right choice. Moreover, the online course is the next step after the webinar. It delivers more in-depth knowledge and can vary in duration. Although there are some free online courses, the majority of the content is usually paid. Online courses are a common tool to use to monetize your knowledge.
The online course is also known as a digital course, e-course, e-learning module, and an online training program. It can include several lessons and is accessible through any desktop or mobile device.
Online Course Structure
Similar to any course or training, the online course requires a solid structure and some research in advance. Despite the chosen formats in the course (video, slides, audio, guest teachers, or other), there is a structure that you should follow. You can deliver the following parts in different lessons or include all of them in a single online session:
- Problem This represents the goal of the course. The more intriguing the problem, the more challenging finding a solution will be.
- Context Put the above-stated problem into some sort of context. The more engaged your online students are with the details, the more facts they will remember. Try to choose a topic that is important to them and to use their everyday experiences as part of the context.
- Solution The solution should be simple and clear. You should avoid the use of distracting details. Try to summarize it in as few words as possible, which makes it easier to restate.
- Alternatives After your students have come up with a solution, ask them to question it. Give them extra alternatives and unexpected points of view. Challenge their critical thinking by presenting them with a variety of approaches.
- Resources Once you have piqued their curiosity, let your students dig deeper into the issue on their own time. Give them interesting resources to use or assign them a specific task.
Free or paid
Some online courses are free, while others are kind of promotional. The free options are like mini-courses that aim to present the basics of an entire paid course.
The prices for online courses vary quite a bit. So if you want to sell your knowledge, you need to research your local market and price your business accordingly.
There is also something called a mega course, which covers almost everything you need to know about a subject.
Choosing between a free or a paid option is your personal decision. But before you decide, consider the potential of your service, the needs of the audience, as well as the competitors.
Whatever you choose, make it clear for the users. Don’t mislead them or give false expectations. On the contrary, add even more value and unexpected gifts – for example, provide them with another free lesson, free research, videos, or whatever your students are interested in.
How to make the most of your choice
The following is a list of some ideas that may help you build an excellent webinar or online course:
- Select your promotional tool – emails, landing pages, paid ads
- Send invitations in advance
- Use simple registration forms
- Send reminders to the users
- Create a relevant schedule for the specific audience
- Involve the group
- Use active learning in the virtual classroom
- Serve up the knowledge in small bites
- Keep the groups small
- Explore various formats
- Design wisely
Webinars vs e-Learning: Pros and Cons
Is hosting a webinar better than creating online training courses (e-Learning modules)? Should you host a webinar series dependent upon your presenter(s) — or devote your time to developing a repeatable online training course, instead? This blog is second of two (2) articles in a series comparing webinars to e-learning modules and podcasts. By Connie May MHST . Read Part 1 – FAQs about differences between Webinars vs e-Learning modules vs Podcasts . (c) All Rights Reserved by PharmOut.
Webinars vs e-Learning: Comparing Pros and Cons
Comparison of webinars vs e-learning courses in terms of cost differences, convenience and effectiveness.
It often happens that training audiences are scattered in different locations, sometimes remotely. Perhaps they have very conflicting working schedules or family responsibilities that restrict their availability to attend a training facility or conference venue. If this is the scenario you face, you might be considering an online solution, such as a webinar series or e-learning training modules (both of these fall into the category of digital training options ).
If you need to deliver digital training courses (such as a short-form GMP course for manufacturers) or present an update to PICS compliance requirements, you’ll no doubt question if you should spend your valuable time and resources to:
- develop a new GMP e-learning course? OR
- create a webinar solution?
Both online-training courses (e-learning) and webinars have pros and cons…and very different costs and benefits.
Deciding which digital training approach will be best for your learners AND for your organisation — webinars or e-learning courses — relates to interactions between numerous factors. Significant considerations can be narrowed down to the following seven (7) key factors:
- Intent : what are you needing to accomplish with the training?
- Knowledge complexity/volume of material: how intensive and extensive is the training topic; and how does that factor into e-learning vs webinars?
- Presenter: Does your presenter have the credentials, availability and presentability/engagement to WOW an audience, or get them to learn and engage? Or will the presenter put your viewers to sleep?
- Resources: the budget and resource materials you have (or need to develop) to properly deliver the training sessions, including budgets, labour and technology access and familiarity
- Currency: is the training material going to stay the same for some time, or is the data (and industry) likely to experience a frequent need for changes and updates?
- Technology (familiarity and reliability): will the presenter, and users, have reliable, fast internet access and download/upload capacity without blowing data plan budgets? Will the learners know how to participate in a webinar or do they struggle to even check their emails? (E.g., neither a webinar nor e-learning module might be appropriate for those learners).
- Plans: potential opportunities over the longer term, such as long-term relevancy of materials and repeatability requirements (or opportunities to deliver the material for a lengthy period of time to many users)
What are the pros and cons of webinars compared to e-learning?
And what about the cost differences between webinars and online training modules.
In competitive businesses, Quality Managers often need to deliver effective, low-cost training solutions to individuals living in remote locations and/or with busy schedules.
In terms of costs of training, it’s not just the development costs you need to consider when comparing webinars to online learning modules or classroom training courses.
There are other costs and resource considerations well beyond delivery costs. Not to mention the costs of getting it wrong, if your organisation fails a GMP audit undertaken by the FDA or TGA in terms of employee training gaps.
Digital Training Cost Comparisons between Webinars vs e-Learning
Should you choose to offer webinars rather than e-learning options.
There are significant cost differences between classroom learning, webinars and e-learning modules. A webinar can be put together with minimal cost (labour and technology program fees, which are usually minimal compared to developer fees). An e-learning course can easily involve 50 hours of instructor development time for the materials alone, if not already created; and 100s of hours to put it into an engaging, interactive format that will load on people’s computers (including assessments).
Some of the biggest headaches Quality Managers face when organizing training courses ( GMP Group Training ) are:
- Finding a suitable time, qualified GMP instructor and venue
- Getting everyone on-board to attend at the same time
- Keeping your GMP training budget in check while training all of your team in various aspects of GMP
When scheduling training, it always works out that at least 2 of your 8 to 10 employees are either away that day (on leave or holiday) or performing a critical function where there isn’t a replacement. Or you have to choose which of 2 employees to send to training, and know that whatever your decision; which means at least one of your team is going to feel unhappy or left out (or perhaps feel self-conscious or uncertain about why they’ve been sent to training, without their other colleagues).
If you’re in charge of learning and development, you know the value of offering online training (e-Learning) in reducing:
- transportation costs
- travel time
- childcare or job obligations restricting availability to attend GMP classroom training on a certain date or time
- set-ups and break-downs
- transportation for the instructor
- time to find a parking space or waiting between public transportation options
- break times
- finding a venue
- paying for the venue in advance whether or not the course is filled/goes ahead (lost deposits)
- special dietary requirements
But what about when you want to provide online training or an industry update module…and you’re trying to decide if a live webinar OR an e-learning module is best? When you compare digital delivery options for presentation materials, you’ll need to factor in quite a lot of information.
The primary decision-making factors for choosing between a webinar format and an e-learning course delivery format are listed below.
Webinar pros and cons: key benefits and delivery costs, benefits of webinars compared to e-learning/online training modules.
- Can be offered free if wanting to engage a specific audience for brand awareness, future sales and/or think-tank collaborations
- Can be developed quicker / delivered faster
- Can add in the latest industry news or trends
- Updated industry information (topical)
- Free software/applications or
- Low-cost delivery options
- Examples: Skype, Zoom, SlideShare
- Concept to delivery can be as short as several days or weeks
- However, concept-to-delivery time needs to be long enough to gain audience attention (e.g. webinar enrolments) within that time frame, or nobody will be watching
Other Benefits of Webinars vs e-Learning options:
- Convenience for attendees : webinars can also be offered as a recording (e.g., streamable viewing) for up to 48 hours after the webinar ends, to benefit people who registered but couldn’t attend at the designated time, due to a last-minute scheduling conflict or crisis
- Cost-benefit : reduces non-attendance (they can watch within 48 hours) and reduces refunds for people who cancel a classroom class or who fail to engage with e-learning.
- Affordability to learners : You can offer short webinars at low cost and make a profit, so long as your material and topic are (a) sales-worthy and (b)properly advertised and promoted; and many are offered free of charge as introductions to longer training courses that come for a fee (student recruitment methods)
- Training delivery costs : once pre-existing material is tweaked for the Webinar (or a new PowerPoint created), the only other fees are the Instructor’s time and possible minor administrative and program/application fees if the enrolment process isn’t automated
- Ease of use : webinar attendance is rising, so many users will be familiar with them; but some users may have limited computer skills, or find the log-in or application downloading challenging – technical issues are sure to arise but can be abated by webinar delivery team testing at least 4 days in advance of the delivery date
What training topics suit a webinar delivery format best?
- e.g. industry updates
- preliminary info sessions
- pre-learning sessions for longer courses
- loss-leaders for other courses/introduction to a company, brand or course topic
- Topics that benefit from live question-and-answer capacities (questions and answers, other topic engagement)
- Demonstrations of how to do something (screen sharing)
Webinars are also well-suited to specific types of participants (similar end-users) with specific, yet brief, training requirements.
Webinar CONS compared to e-learning: The Downside of Webinars
While gaining popularity as a training delivery method, webinars DO have a downside.
- Some issues are technical in nature (catastrophic failure to load the presentation or the wrong time advertised).
- Other tech issues are simply annoying, such as the sounds a webinar program makes when attendees ‘log in and off’ at different times.
- You need to ensure you have adequate promotion in order for a webinar to be successful
- Advertising budgets are a must, and ideally at least 4 weeks or more of lead time will be required
- Many who register will not actually attend (expect up to a 50% show vs no-show rate on your webinar depending on audience and costs)
Other CONS to webinars include:
- Some programs/bandwidth/servers may restrict the number of participants per webinar
- Higher software/app program costs OR more technical challenges for larger numbers of webinar attendees
- Not as flexible as e-learning: On a webinar, the user must attend the session at a set time
- Users may experience power or internet signal disruptions and lose part of the training they’ll never get back
- Unless the webinar is recorded and offered for 48 hours — that noted, it’s often never watched again
- Watch a video that went viral when a presenter was interrupted by his kids on national tv
Alternatively, the webinar can be anything BUT viral – suffering from low attendance and/or low engagement.
- You might not get the number of attendees you were hoping for, meaning it had a low cost-benefit ratio in terms of energy and time
- Can be boring with an uninspiring, unprepared or overly-technical presenter (‘death by PowerPoint’) – the webinar Instructor must be engaging
- Question formats for Webinar participants can be challenging
When should you allow questions in a webinar? The question with no easy answer.
One of the most challenging parts of Webinar delivery is how to handle live interactions, such as questions.
- Some people will be too shy to ask questions they’d really like to ask (the ‘fearing the question will sound dumb or ill-informed’ syndrome).
- Sometimes that’s where a technical issue will arise – users don’t know how to ‘raise a hand’ in the program /application
- It’s difficult to decide WHEN questions should be allowed — during the webinar, or only after the presentation ends? (Most presenters prefer holding question-time until AFTER the presentation ends, but there are risks to that approach).
- Question timing problems: The trend for webinars is to hold question time until after the actual presentation ends (slides finish), so that the material gets covered. However, this approach reduces engagement. It can also thwart important questions from being asked (or answered with relevancy re the slides being discussed at the time the question arose).
- The instructor then has to go back and forth trying to find the appropriate slide, using a shared screen
- A document’s SEARCH feature only goes so far, when the presentation is covering content in-depth (key topic terms are frequently repeated)
How to Handle Audience Questions During a Webinar
Questions asked by participants during a Webinar can slow down the delivery and impede the presenter from getting through all the material. They can also be less relevant or off-topic, leading to time-wasting tangents. Perhaps they’re even asking difficult questions, broaching contentious topics you’re not prepared to address. This is one reason presenters often allow Q&A time for only a brief period, and only at the end of the webinar. But if you wait until the end of the webinar to allow attendees to ask questions, they’ll often have less impact. Plus, you’ll nearly always run over time (it helps if you’ve built in adequate Q&A time such as an extra 20 to 30 minutes, not 5 or 10 minutes). The best way to handle questions during a webinar is to consider the time frame; if adequate time PLUS a small group, consider allowing questions throughout the presentation (in a text format). The the upside is the questions will be relevant to what is being covered in real time; the downside is questions can readily distract the presenter or lead to tangents that are off-topic or only of interest to the person asking the question.
How do you handle difficult questions during a Webinar?
It’s best to offer question room in a text box; but for the presenter to use discretion on when to answer them (note them and say you’ll cover later or to contact you off-line).
Do people pay attention to Webinars?
- the presenter is boring and/or
- they have their microphones silenced and the television on
- someone at home (child, pet, spouse, partner) trying to get their attention during the session
- they have two screens open at once and are multi-tasking
Compare E-learning to Webinars: Pros and Cons
E-learning training modules: the pros.
The primary benefits of online courses (e-learning) vs webinars are:
- They are entirely self-paced and can be engaged with anywhere, anytime there’s an adequate internet connection
- They can be done in parts rather than all at once
- They allow for disruptions and returns to training
- Compared to a webinar, where it’s all or nothing (or you’ll miss a lot of content)
- Repeatable /unlimited delivery to unlimited users
- Interactivity in e-learning means users aren’t bored by slides (and/or less-than-engaging Webinar presenters)
- Can offer low-cost training options (once developed/once development costs are covered)
- Learning is validated/verified through assessments, quizzes and self-evaluations/reflections
- No embarrassment if wants to repeat a module or slide (doesn’t need to ask)
Cons of E-Learning Options Compared to Webinars
- Time: developing e-learning is an intensive process that can take months in terms of materials and labour costs to build in interactivity
- Technical issues: platforms and servers can experience changes/updates or lead to training materials needing revising
- Cost: High cost to develop, and some ongoing labour costs / IT costs to set up and maintain the delivery system or LMS
- Material currency: industries that are rapidly changing need current data
- Program updates: if the program the course was built-in becomes obsolete or has an upgrade, there are costs for updating the program and the materials to the new platform or version (or operating system).
Summary Comparision of Webinars to e-Learning
- PRO: Webinars are popular over e-learning delivery primarily due to development and delivery costs and faster delivery timeframes.
- promote the webinar sufficiently (using appropriate channels and adequate advertising budgets to gain the intended audience numbers)
- use an engaging presenter with the right credentials/knowledge and experience to offer value
- offer original, easy-to-understand materials and graphics that haven’t been used a million times before (slides).
- too generic to be of value to participants
- only relevant to a small percentage of people watching; and/or
- few learners will sit and watch a screen for hours at a time
- hence, most webinars are 60 minutes at most
- But as mentioned above, that brings its own problems with timing, flow and relevancy to all the users
- And tangents are likely, meaning the planned and advertised learning content might not get adequate coverage or the presenter starts rushing the ‘slides’
E-learning is rapidly gaining popularity over classroom training in recent years. This is due to cost savings and delivery convenience, including reducing barriers to access.
Webinars are also gaining popularity over e-learning in recent years; but only for delivering brief, well-defined topic(s); or free introductions to longer learning programs with higher attendance fees ..
- PRO: E-learning offers a popular and flexible delivery and learning method
- PRO: E-learning verifies knowledge through quizzes and assessments; offering instant completion certificates if the learner passes an online assessment – a Webinar doesn’t offer this information, even if questions are permitted, there is no guarantee attendees will ask for clarity on areas of confusion
- PRO: E-Learning offers digital proof of participation/certificates; webinars do not, plus with webinars, there’s no fool-proof ability to confirm full attendance (even if the attendee has logged in)
- more expensive to design and create than a Webinar
- more costly to maintain when application programs change or platforms change
- reliant on server capacity, with higher costs or higher crash rates with larger user numbers
- frequent content changes may be required to stay up-to-date in fast-moving (and/or tech-disrupted) industries
- software updates often mean earlier versions won’t work properly
Developing e-Learning (Time Frames)
A good e-learning program usually takes several months to develop, due to the nature of the information and the need to compile all of the information needed into a module that includes interactivity for engagement. This is a labour-intensive process. It does, however, result in a repeatable, readily accessible learning resource that can often be licensed or sold to numerous users in any location (typically using secure logins).
E-learning can also offer quizzes and assessments that ensure learners are not only gaining information , but they actually understand and retain the information; a precursor to being able to consistently apply new information in the workplace to meet GMP requirements, for example.
Compare e-Learning development time frames to Webinar development timeframes
For a Webinar, the instructor can typically:
- create — or modify — a PowerPoint presentation
- book a time
- promote the webinar (post the enrolment information across media channels)
This doesn’t take nearly as much time as developing an interactive e-learning module. It can take mere hours to create a webinar, versus the weeks or months of e-learning development time typically required. Webinars also work well when the material (slides) is already created; and will need only culling, minor updates and format tweaking.
The quick synopsis of learner benefits of e-Learning vs Webinars
- E-Learning Learners can engage with, absorb and return to information/slide pages entirely at their own pace, and check their knowledge through quizzes and assessments (= repeatability, user-friendly pacing)
- Webinar Learners can ask questions to gain clarification from an expert, so offers a more customised experience, but tangents are likely and retention might be noticably reduced compared to e-learning
The benefits and weaknesses of Webinar vs e-Learning delivery methods (suggested reading):
Review: comparison of classroom vs online training/e-learning.
Last updated on July 6th, 2023 at 12:39 pm
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What’s the difference between online event, webinar, e-ticket, and online course?
Have you just arrived at Hotmart and don't know which type of product is ideal for your business? Read this article and we’ll provide you with the key information to help you make this decision.
What’s the difference between online event and webinar?
Both Online Events and Webinars are ways of streaming live . Those who create webinars are usually looking for quick actions, where it’s possible to sell and attract potential buyers.
Online events, on the other hand, are used by businesses to provide a full experience for the audience and charge a ticket for it. Therefore, this format allows you to create a schedule with several online streams in a short period of time.
Keep reading to find out more details about these three Hotmart solutions!
What’s a Webinar?
A Webinar is a free solution for attracting potential buyers and selling your products live. And you can also call the webinar by other names, such as live class or live stream. It will depend on your strategy.
The main benefits of creating a webinar are:
- It's fast: you create it, invite participants, and are up and running in no time
- It's free! Create it without spending money
- During the stream, there’s also a chat room so you can talk in real-time with your audience with comment management
- Chat with a button where you decide what the text and link will be. It might be the link to your payment page, a Hotmart App community, and groups on WhatsApp and Telegram
- The chat remains available for consulting after the stream is over
- After the stream, you can download a list with all participants of your livestream. Remember that this is a list of people interested in the content you deliver, which increases the potential of them becoming buyers
Watch the video below with the step-by-step instructions on how to create your webinar:
And if you want to, you can read the step-by-step instructions on how to create the webinar .
What’s an Online Event?
An Online Event is the answer for those who want to sell a product in an event format, i.e., a meeting with people who will have a live experience together during a given period of time.
An event can be a group mentoring, workshop, lecture, seminar, congress, or conference. It will all depend on your strategy.
With the solution, you put together your type of event from start to finish; from its creation to sales! Check out its main features:
- Defining and organizing the schedule: you can create events lasting one or more days, organize the schedule and invite other speakers. And everything will be organized and available in a restricted area for those who bought tickets.
- Real-time chat: The stream features a chat room where you can talk to the participants live. In addition, you can reply, mute, or delete a chat.
- Chat room with an offer button: the chat room also has a feature to make offers live. You can create a button quickly with catchy text at the top of the chat room, and links to your product’s payment page. It can also be a link to a premium community in the Hotmart app or to a WhatsApp and Telegram group.
- Sell tickets with the help of other people: a great possibility to promote your event is to include it in Hotmart's Affiliate Program so that other professionals can promote it.
- Additional content: besides streams, you can add free or paid complementary content in the same place where you organize the schedule, such as texts, videos, PDFs, spreadsheets, and others.
- Separate participants: it’s possible to separate the audience by rooms with access to different content. For example, the "Basic" ticket may give access to a module with 5 lectures and extra material, while the "Advanced" ticket gives access to two modules with 10 lectures and extra material.
Check out the video that teaches you step-by-step instructions on how to create your online event:
And if you want to, you can read the step-by-step instructions on how to create an online event .
We have also gathered the main questions about online events .
What are etickets and online courses?
An eticket is how you sell tickets for in-person events . At Hotmart, you can sell tickets at different prices, create upgrades, and even make lots. Check out the step-by-step instructions on how to register a ticket for in-person events .
An online course is content that is more in-depth and can be offered as pre-recorded videos, PDFs, audios, and more. At Hotmart, you can create your online course in the Members’ Area, a space where you organize your content, distribute and sell it any way you want.
Find out how to register a course in the Hotmart Members’ Area .
Can an online course be an online event?
An online course can be a digital event, as long as it doesn’t refer to evergreen content. The online event has a start and end date. If you want to create an evergreen product from your event’s content, we recommend that you create a product in the Online Course format.
- Online Event: Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I register an online event as a product?
- How can I register tickets for in-person events?
- How to set up Online Services on the Hotmart platform
- How to send free tickets
- How to set up a ticket bundle
- How can I create a Webinar (live class)?
- How can I get my event registered?
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- Continuing Education Course Formats: Online vs Webinar
Ameritrain 25 Jun , 2022 Ameritrain
Online courses are designed to be taken online and in a self-study format. That means that no one is monitoring you while taking the course, you can complete as much or as little at a time, and your time is recorded. The time you must complete the course may be finite, and the extent of that time depends on the course provider’s offering. Ameritrain’s 8-hour CE course is available to complete until the end of the calendar year in which you purchased the course. But most course providers have more strict rules at that time, so make sure you know what you are buying.
And like any similar courses, online courses are also divided into modules, lessons, or units. Online courses are also referred to as e-learning modules, digital courses, e-courses, online training, etc. In the mortgage industry, continuing education courses typically last from one hour up to 12 hours depending on what states you are selecting, but the number of hours increases accordingly for more than one state.
One final important distinction is that online courses for mortgage professionals have an authentication login system, called a BioSig, that is designed to authenticate users. All course providers must have this system in order for MLOs to be given credits for the hours of education they have completed.
A web-based live webinar is a live teaching session offering a complete 8-hour to 12-hour comprehensive course. Some course providers may also be offering state-specific courses, but not all do. Webinars are the equivalent of a live course but are conducted on the internet. Students can be at home or the office while taking the course, and although the instructor or a course facilitator conducts students’ authentication, there is no BioSig involved in this type of course. Participation is expected of everyone, which is why the sizes of these classes tend to be small (depending on the course provider), and they are typically more engaging, fun, and quick pace.
Online VS Webinar
How to choose between a webinar vs an online course delivery format?
To figure out if you should take a webinar or online course, here are a couple of things to consider and ask yourself:
- How much time are you willing to invest in a course? If time is unlimited, you could choose the online route and complete the course as time permits.
- Is cost an important factor for you? If not, investing in a live webinar may be the way to go since they tend to be a bit costlier than the online course, but they are more fun and engaging.
- How computer-savvy are you? We recommend the live webinar option if you are not very well-versed because some MLOs find it hard to navigate the BioSig authentication requirements.
- Are you able to take an entire day off your schedule to complete a course, or do you prefer to complete a few hours at a time? In that case, we recommend taking the online course because typically a live webinar requires a seven to eight-hour commitment.
Ameritrain Mortgage Institute provides NMLS approved mortgage education for Mortgage Loan Originators. Services include mortgage training, professional development, learning management, and consulting.
MLOs may choose to take our courses in the way which serves their needs best, whether it is in webinar, live classroom, self-guided online, or instructor-led online form. We are dedicated to giving our students the best experience to receive new or continuing education and certification.
Mortgage professionals, CE season is here, and when it comes to your mortgage education training, there are many ways to complete your annual requirements, including taking a live class, online course, or live webinar.
Today we will tackle the question of online vs. webinar format. Many people in the industry may sometimes tend to interchange the two methods thinking both may be referring to the same thing, but that is not true. Both are e-learning methods, yes, but they also have distinct differences, and it’s essential to precisely pinpoint the differences between them to determine which works best depending on your particular circumstance. Also, remember that both are intended to serve different purposes and audiences.
Self-Study, State-Specific PE Courses Come to Ameritrain
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Home > Education > Webinar or Online Course: Which One Should You Choose In 2023? [Updated]
Webinar or Online Course: Which One Should You Choose In 2023? [Updated]
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Which is the best bet in 2020?
The education industry is going through a very difficult time in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown has severely impacted the sector which is closed since the second week of March. Students across the globe are losing their valuable time and resource during the imposed lockdown. It is the online platforms like Skype and Zoom that came into the rescue of the education sector. Most of the schools and colleges are conducting online sessions instead of wasting time due to the delay in reopening the schools, colleges and universities.
Online platforms help teachers to interact with students from the convenience of their home during the lockdown. The resources needed is a digital media like laptop, mobile phone or tab, and wi-fi network for high-speed internet and an account in the digital platform. The scope and reach of online classes broaden to far greater horizons than we ever imagined.
The online platform offers unique opportunities for people who would otherwise have limited access to education because of their busy schedule. The advantages of online learning are it is easily accessible, budget friendly, time convenient, personalised, flexible and above all, during the time of Covid-19 social distancing norms can be exercised.
In response to the increasing demands, along with schools and colleges many institutions have also started e-learning options in 2020. Webinars, online courses, podcast, web conference, etc are some of the live online modes of class. Even though people are familiar with these terms, they get confused while choosing the right mode of learning. This article helps you to differentiate between a webinar and an online course and how to choose between the same wisely.
What is a webinar?
A webinar and an online course come under the category of live online learning. The term webinar is coined from web and seminar, i.e., web-based seminars. Webinar is an online learning event attended only by the online audience. The annual growth of webinar is steadily increasing as it is cheaper, effective, live and interactive.
Webinars have become an essential ingredient during the lockdown not only in the education sector but also in the business world. The trending webinars that people are undertaking during the lockdown includes education webinars, employee training, product demonstration, corporate communication, lead generation, customer retention and brand management.
What is an online course?
An online course is a new genre of face to face physical classroom. These courses deliver the modules through a digital platform where the trainer interacts with the learners online and deliver a series of lesson. The main components of an online course are information, communication and assessment.
There are different types of online courses like university courses, massive open online course, company training courses, e-learning sites and personal brands. Online courses are further divided into synchronous and asynchronous online course. Synchronous online course is a form of live stream where a teacher shares information in real time and the trainee can interact with the trainer live, in real time. On contrast, an asynchronous course is where a student goes through the lesson at their own pace. All learning materials and recorded videos will be shared with the students for a particular period of time and they can undergo training depending on their free hours.
Difference between Webinar and Online Course
Webinar is a live teaching session which offers a broad range of various topics. It is usually followed by a question answer session where the participants can ask questions to the speaker. Online classes are e-learning which concentrates on particular topic in-depth. Live online classes are more interactive. The content of a webinar divides into opening, body and closing. Whereas in online course the content, just like university course includes different modules and assessments.
Once the webinar invitation is shared, huge number of people can attend a webinar without any registration as webinars are usually conducted free of cost. Online course on the other hand is open only to a closed group who are registered for the programme. Online courses are usually paid ones, but much cheaper compared to live classroom sessions.
The duration of a webinar lasts from 30 to 60 minutes. The length of an online course varies from course to course and institution to institution. Those who have attended a webinar will given participation certificate and online courses provide course completion certificate. Unlike webinar online courses have assignment and tests for assessment before giving the certificate.
In a webinar the trainer delivers his prepared content and keep the session open for question and answer session at the end. In an online course the trainer tries to facilitate the experience of the attendees’ which makes the session more interactive. Attendees will be given tasks and assignments in an online course which will be analysed and feedback will be given by the trainer.
Five reasons to attend webinar/online course in 2010
All educational institutions are taking the e-learning route to compensate the time lost due to forced closure of institutions amid coronavirus. Learning is a process which has no boundaries like age or gender. In 2020, not only the students are attending online classes but also professionals, teachers, housewives, artists and so on. Along with receiving knowledge, it also helps in boosting personal growth and self-confidence.
Below are 5 reasons for you to attend an online class during lockdown.
Reason 1: L earn at home
When you are forced to stay at home, use your leisure time to learn at home. You can gain knowledge in your own comfort zone, easy and cosy.
Reason 2: I mprove your skill
Not everyone gets an opportunity to build their skills along with their busy work schedule. 2020 is the time to spent for developing your hobbies and special skills, as staying home has left a lot of time on hand. Attending short webinars on topics you are passionate about will help you in this process.
Reason 3: B udget friendly
Many online institutions have reduced their course fee during the lockdown. Most of the reputed brands are conducting free webinars on different topics, in social media networks, which is an added advantage for the viewers.
Reason 4: O nline content
Every time you attend an online class, the trainer provides you online content which can be referred even after the class. If you missed a topic during the class, you can revisit and revise the topic at your convenience.
Reason 5: C areer development
As you are saving ample time in commuting to and back from office, dedicate the time for an online course that can develop your skill set and get you a promotion in your job.
Structure of webinar/ online course
An informative content with free-flowing structure is the backbone of a webinar. The structure of a webinar is very simple, which includes a captivating introduction, good body content, a motivational conclusion and a relevant call of action. It includes outline and the key points of discussion.
A good webinar always starts with the proper definition for the webinar. It introduces the topic and gives an essence of the entire session. Additionally, the trainer makes a clear statement about the length and the format of the session.
The main topic is delivered in the body. The trainer uses PowerPoint, Google slides, videos, images and even live whiteboard for explaining the concepts.
To close the session, the trainer summarizes the main topics covered and to include the audience, open the floor for question answer session.
Like the webinar, the objective part defines the online course, goals, modules and expected takeaways.
Content is the body part of an online course. Unlike webinar the content part of an online class is more interactive and the course materials are shared with the students for future reference. The course materials include PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, videos, notes and other interactive learning resources.
Paid online courses have assessment or exams at the end of the course to achieve the certificate. The assessment criteria vary from course to course. It is usually done in the form of assignment or an online test.
How to conduct a webinar/ online course
Step 1: P ick a topic
The duration of a webinar is very short and so it is very important to pick a topic which is narrow. If you try to put too much information in a short time, you will lose the clarity of the information. Hence, select a narrow topic and progress in a singular direction so that the audience can absorb every information you pass to them.
Step 2: D ecide the format of webinar
Deciding the format is a crucial step before developing the content. Depending on the topic and the skills of the presenter you need to decide which format will work the best. Different formats of webinars are presentation webinar, interview webinar, question answer webinar, and panel discussion webinar.
Step 3: C reate a structure
Planning the structure is the key to a thought-provoking webinar. A good introduction holds the attention of the audience. The body part should be crisp and clear content which gives the audience a strong idea on what you are trying to convey. Telling a story and illustrating with examples will draw the attention of the audience and keep them listening. To conclude, use a motivational close and a call of action.
Step 4: P reparing presentation
A good PowerPoint presentation includes crisp, clear and bullet pointed text, and plenty of visuals to support the points. To prepare an engaging content, use the power of technology to make it more engaging with multimedia presentation, charts and videos. Canva, Piktochart, SlideDog are some of the tools used commonly for this purpose.
Step 1: D ecide the topic
Deciding the topic is the foundation of an online course. Before choosing it is important to know your goal and your audience’s. Decide a topic which you are passionate about and which students are willing to pay and attend.
Step 2: R esearch
Once you decide your topic, it is important to do market research to see if the market demands the topic or not. You may be an expert in your topic, still read and research on all possible resource. Brainstorm and jot down the points.
Step 3: P repare course outline and learning outcome
Preparing course outline and learning outcome gives the students a clarity on what to expect through the course, what skills they will master, and what knowledge they will gain. A clear outcome ensures the right students join your course.
Step 4: C reating Course Content
Content creating is an art with which the trainer decides what to teach and what not to, from the pile of information in your mind. Once the content is ready the next task is to bring a logical order for the content, and breaking them down into modules and subtopics. Place the topics and sub-topics in a progressive and logical manner.
Step 5: P resentation
There are plenty of ways to deliver your content. Plan on how each module has to be delivered. Decide on different teaching methodologies like video, audio, presentation, graphics to be used in each module. A balance of text, visual and audio delivery methods will help to make the content proficient.
Step 6: A ssessment and Feedback
Assessment and feedback play an important role in an online course. Planning and executing assessment and tests can be done with the help of different software. Feedback given to the students will allow them to assess their progress and fix potential areas of self-improvement.
Challenges of webinar/ online course
In spite of being the fastest and the latest wave of education, e-learning is posing challenges for both trainers and students. Some common problems faced by students are:
Challenge 1: A daptability struggle
Switching from a traditional blackboard led classroom to a virtual classroom makes learning experience completely different for the students. It takes time to get accustomed to the new wave and understand the benefits of e-learning.
Challenge 2: D igital literacy
To attend an online course, it is mandatory to have a minimum knowledge of working on a computer or laptop. When the students lack basic computer knowledge, it leads to issues in logging in, participation in class activities, submitting work and to interact with the trainer.
Challenge 3: T echnical issue
Many students, especially the from rural areas face problem with bandwidth. As many of these students don’t have a computer or laptop, they end up attending sessions through mobile. Learning technical course through a mobile is a difficult task as mobile won’t support every software to the fullest.
Challenge 4: I nteraction
Unlike traditional classes, during online classes students are more conscious of their self and are reluctant to be an active participant.
Webinars and live online courses are conducted through video conferencing software. There are many free, paid and ad subscribed video conferencing software used for webinar and online course. Zoom, Click Meeting, Skype, Livestream, Webinar Jam, etc are examples for such software. Some main features of these platforms include multiple presenters, video and audio sharing, screen share, live chat for attendees, recording option, calendar scheduling and invites, etc. There are some pre-recorded video hosting options like YouTube, Vimeo and Amazon S3.
In 2020, since people are confined within the four walls of house, e-learning is the best way to expand one’s knowledge. Although e-learning existed in India before pandemic, classroom learning continued t be the primary source of education. However, after the outbreak of coronavirus every educational institution and firms are compelled to adapt the new mode of imparting and receiving knowledge. They are also trying to build a teacher and student friendly online education infrastructure.
Frequently asked questions
To access a webinar, one need: Any of the digital device like computer, laptop, mobile or a tab. Internet connection for high speed internet Headphone or speaker
Yes, the study materials will be available for the participants for a particular period of time even after the class. The materials are usually shared through Learning Management System (LMS) link.
Mute is the new silence in an online class. All participants are expected to keep their audio in mute, unless they want to speak. This is to avoid any background noise.
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