This information has been adapted from a training offered by Communities Connect Network in 2007. You can access the CCN training and supporting documents through the following sites:
Web Conferencing webinar recording:
CCN Web Conferencing webinar 11-15-07.wmv
(Presentation slides and handouts available on the Web Conferencing work space page.)
The information is very relevant as Extension educators begin to think of using Adobe Connect and Presenter as mediums for reaching audiences. A common name for seminars using the web as a delivery point is a webinar. Webinars are either synchronous or asynchronous, that is live or recorded for individuals to access on their own time through the web. The technology that WSU Extension uses to develop webinars is Adobe Connect and Presenter. The eXtension system uses Moodle, a public access web delivery program. The information for developing quality training is the same regardless of web platform used.
Setting Your Target for an Online Training
Before you jump right into developing your webinar, take a little time and do some pre planning that will make your educational program that much more effective. Taking a little time up front to think about your goals, target audience, and what you want to teach will help you identify which conferencing features will be important to you and which tool will best fits your needs.
These questions will help you start your online training.
1. What are your goals?
A webinar can help you accomplish several goals, which can help you make decisions regarding the format of your program or meeting. Examples of goals include:
- Raising awareness about WSU Extension and/or a new program
- Teaching specific learning objectives to an audience
- Attracting people to more in-depth, in-person training at the Extension office
- Recruitment of volunteers and members
- Orienting and training volunteers
- Establishing your organization as a “Thought Leader” through facilitated discussion
Take some time to outline your primary and secondary goals for your webinar.
2. Who is your audience for the online program (and what will motivate them to attend)?
Potential audiences include remote staff, distant committee members, volunteers, staff and clients.
In planning your webinar describe the audience and their access to and comfort with the technology tools that will be used.
3. What is the content that will be delivered through the online training?
Consider the content you are trying to convey through the online training. Is it highly sensitive or political? Is it staff training about trust and communication? Is it highly complex, technical, or experiential?
A Webinar is great for certain topics, but is certainly not the best medium for all content. Think about your content and whether a webinar is the right vehicle to teach it. Understand the nature of the conference content and know the learning objectives for the online training.
4. What is your desired frequency for this seminar, program or meeting?
How often you want to hold this program will have implications for how you choose to structure it and what tools you use to lead it.
Identify which of the following options most closely describes your planned frequency for this online training?
- It is a one-shot deal. I’m delivering the program once and that’s it.
- I’ll need to hold it several times, but it will always need to be facilitated “live.”
- I need to hold it several times, but it doesn’t always need to be live. A recorded version would work just fine.
If you plan on delivering this same content several times, consider using recording features so you can record the online training and make it available to others for later use. Alternately, you may consider screencasting tools to create digital self-paced tutorials your program participants can access at any time. ECES can assist you with the technology to deliver the online training in any of the manner that you need.