Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"This afternoon I watched Dorothea Lemke from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, presenting Waking up webinars: bringing active learning online. Webinars can be very dull, or total information overload. Dorothea had a desire to create a focused learning environment for the IL webinars she presented (e.g. On citation practice and using reference management software)
"The webinars last for 2-2.5 hours as they want to cover the same amount of material as they would cover in a face to face class. Webinars always have 2 presenters, one who speaks and one who monitors and responds to the written chat. Webinar participants are always given time to share their perspectives and communicate with each other. Introductions are used to create engagement and break the ice in the chat window. Participants are invited to suggest topics to be covered through a tick box survey and an open text window which makes the webinar more relevant. The webinars always feature some exercises for students to engage with. It helps that students are using their own devices which means that particular problems can be solved at the time of need.
"Group activities can be tricky to implement in the webinar in the same way that they can be easily used in the face to face classes. They actively encourage questioning and information exchange to keep participants engaged. It was interesting that most people prefer to use written chat rather than voice chat which mirrors my experience of teaching on Adobe Connect for the distance learning students at Sheffield [that's on our MA Library and Information Services Management]. Students are supported after the webinar through individual appointments offered also in the webinar software. Dorothy recommended taking time to set up the webinar to make sure that technical problems are solved well in advance of the start time."
Photo by Pam McKinney:Swansea, April 2017