Webinars, online classes and meetings - from yawn to yay

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted an overnight change in the way we work. In our temporary new world we are finding different ways to engage with our colleagues and learners, writes Esther Barrett, Digital Practice specialist at Jisc.

There are plenty of ways to collaborate and share work using platforms like Teams, Yammer and G Suite, and we’ve been using them for a while. But suddenly we are doing a lot more live online meetings and webinars. Teachers and trainers are looking at delivering in real time using platforms like Zoom and Adobe Connect.

It can be hard work and very tiring taking part in live online sessions for hours at a time, day after day, without a break. We need our webinars, classes and meetings to be as effective, engaging and enjoyable as possible.

So I’m sharing some of the basic principles of live online delivery advocated by the Learning and Performance Institute and Lightbulb Moment. It’s all about frequent interaction using tools like chat, mics, icons, polls and whiteboards.

Several Jisc colleagues and I have been using these tools and techniques for nearly 10 years and we always get excellent feedback after our sessions. Whether it’s a training workshop, a webinar style seminar or a meeting with colleagues, we can be sure that our participants have enjoyed the experience!

Each of the following blog posts cover the topics listed below and really focus on quick tips and tricks to make your sessions more interactive. You might find you enjoy this method of delivery more than you expected and it can be very rewarding for you and your participants.

  • Exploring your platform – find out what functions you have available.
  • Making your participants comfortable – give them the ground rules and show them how to take part.
  • Using tools and techniques – frequent interaction makes for active participants.
  • Following up – the live session or meeting is not the end of the story

These will be useful whether you are running online meetings, developing webinars to share and engage with your community, or planning to run some live sessions with your learners. Follow the link that’s most appropriate for you:

Live online classrooms – from Yawn to Yay
Online meetings – from Yawn to Yay
Webinars – from Yawn to Yay
Presentations – From Yawn to Yay (for face-to-face events, when we are allowed out again).
Stay safe!

This article first appeared on the Jisc website on 8 April, 2020.