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What Stinks About Webinars?
The webinar is an popular tool for disseminating ideas and techniques in the world of business. Yet, for all its popularity, this modality often falls short of participants’ expectations.
The webinar is an undeniably popular tool for disseminating ideas and techniques in the world of business. Yet, for all its popularity, this modality often falls short of participants’ expectations. Where do webinars go wrong, and how can they be improved?
Not a day goes by without webinar offerings popping up in my e-mail. At first I thought it a fad, a fleeting passion for a cheap way of distributing marketing messages. Could this go on? Would it touch learning professionals? The answer to both questions is a resounding “yes.”
Antonia Chan and Colleen Cunningham, 2007 alumnae from San Diego State University’s Department of Educational Technology, told me they were attending many webinars — in fact, several each week. As I have offered webinars and will do so again, I inquired about the best and worst they had seen. We then talked at length about what characterizes webinar quality. I asked them to keep track of their experiences to help the rest of us do this better.
Chan and Cunningham were top-notch graduate students. Both have good jobs and are launching what I expect will be wonderful careers. Both are measured in judgment, tending more to enthusiasm than nastiness. They’re also webinar “addicts.” In other words, they were great for this project.
I asked these young women why they were addicted to webinars. Chan said, “Webinars have become a low-risk, easy, quick and cheap way to stay current about the state of the field — research, trends and tools.”
Cunningham agreed. “What a great way to stay up-to-date, which is my biggest fear after leaving the SDSU nest,” she said. “In 60 minutes, you get enough of a taste to either pursue it yourself or have it in your mind as a current trend. For example, I had not heard of machinima before attending this webinar, and then I was out to dinner with a current student, and guess what? She was working on a machinima project in her class with [Educational Technology Professor] Bernie Dodge at SDSU.”
(“Machinima” refers to the “the making of animated movies in real time through the use of computer game technology,” as defined by Henry Lowood, a science and technology historian at Stanford University.)
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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