It’s Time to Dial up Webinar Engagement

Tween yawning
Boredom, by Alan Feebery, CC, no modifications,

I was on a ed tech webinar this afternoon where the presenter just talked and talked.  There were no questions, interaction, nor asking attendees what they’d like to learn or why they were participating. This translated into NO me.  I bailed within 10 minutes despite being very interested in the educational tool that was being discussed. And even though this was more of a business type webinar, UDL principles can apply.

C’mon folks, the time of talking AT someone is over. Instead, lets engage our online audiences. We have to remember that we are teaching people, not subjects (ref. unknown).  This is even more important online.

Engage your online audience

If you’re promoting a product, service, or just getting a team together to chat online, consider using the features that come with the video presentation software. Doing so will help to engage your audience and make the content more meaningful. Remember, you’re competing with other screens and priorities for attention.  Make your online meeting matter!

Look for webinar features like

  • Virtual whiteboards – collaborate, brainstorm questions, and or ask participants to engage with an image e.g., draw where they are from on a map
  • Instant polling – assess what attendees already know, need to know
  • Instant messenger – ask/respond to questions,
  • Check for understanding
  • Show your face – it’s really hard to connect with a screenshot

On a happier note

I turned my attention to some personal online learning and easily completed 4 x 15 minutes self-paced modules because the content was engaging, interesting, and fun.  The course used quiet design complimented by:

  • Reading
  • Slideshows
  • Drop and drag exercises
  • Best answer questions
  • Self-assessments

For reference, Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • Providing webinar hosts a strategy for more interactive events falls within the Engagement principle
  • Checkpoint 7.2 Optimize relevance, value, and authenticity
    • Includes: varying activities, facilitating active participation, inviting personal responses

2 Replies to “It’s Time to Dial up Webinar Engagement”

  1. It’s kind of funny that the webinar, which not too long ago would have sounded like the fanciest thing ever in ed-tech, can often be a place for digital chalk and talk bore-o-thons. But they can be awesome if it’s, as you said, engaging and fun. It takes most of us a good while to figure out the best way to use tech so hopefully in the future the boring webinar will be a rarity, but fun ones abound. Thanks for the post!

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