What is a Webinar?
Webinar (short for web-based seminar) refers to a service that allows conferencing events to be shared in remote locations. It facilitates the delivery of interactive workshops, seminars or lectures on the Internet using web-conferencing technology.
Webinars allow you to connect with anyone, anywhere, in real time! They combine desktop sharing through a web browser with phone conferencing and video, so everyone sees the same thing at the same time.
Learning made convenient
- Webinars allow you to attend and participate in workshops, seminars and lectures from the comfort of your own home, workplace or any other locations. This promotes a relaxed learning environment without losing the benefits of interacting with the course instructor and other students.
- Minimal travel saves time which in turn, reduces expenses, eliminates stress and allows more time for preparation.
- Thanks to the recording function in our webinars, viewing webinar material can often be scheduled around work, family and other commitments.
- Professional IQ College's webinars allow students to interact with the course instructor and other participants using the software's text, chat, or audio functions to ask questions, offer comments and share with other webinar attendees.
What do you need?
To get the most from our webinars, here is what you need:
- A computer or wireless device (e.g. Tablets) with an Internet connection
- An audio connection either through your computer (microphone/headset)
- A Webcam
How Do I know it will work?
Professional IQ College currently uses Cisco Webex for provision of webinars.
You can start a test session on their test site, to make sure software runs on your computer.
If you need to test audio and visual equipment or are trying a webinar for the first time we recommend that you contact us to arrange a test webinar and download the software so that you can test to see whether you can access the webinar with your current systems/technology. You shouldn’t have any problems if you have an average broadband connection.
WebEx also operate a Technical Helpdesk 0508 555 607 if you require any assistance.
Web Seminars - Best Practices
The following is a short guide on some things to keep in mind when participating in a webinar (web seminar) or a virtual classroom environment.
- On your first visit, log in at least 20 minutes before the start of the meeting since WebEx may require the installation of Java or other modules. Feel free to get set up and then leave the meeting window open while waiting for others to arrive. You can do other things on your computer as long as the meeting window remains open.
- To get to your sessions login screen, go to the WebEx webinar link sent to you by your host. The password for the session can also be found in the same email.
- Although technical problems may arise, for the sake of a prompt start, try and do all technical adjustments; audio levels, camera placement, etc. before the beginning of the session. Adjusting your audio/video can be very distracting to the other party and this also derails the web session.
- Try turning off your cell phone and/or PDA as these devices can cause interference with both the microphone and the audio in the online session.
Be visually aware:
- Unlike an actual face-to-face conversation if you move outside of the frame in a video the other party has no easy way of tracking you which can be very distracting and take away from the conversation. As well, try and centre yourself in the camera frame and don't stray too much from that position.
- Minimize movement. Video technology, specifically from personal computers, still does not handle rapid movement very well. Try and minimize movement, and move slowly when you have to.
- Look at the camera. Webinars and virtual classrooms attempt to emulate face-to-face and classroom environments, where eye contact is key. When participating in a webinar look at the camera, especially when speaking, and not the image of the other participants on your monitor. This will simulate actual eye contact as you will be looking directly at their 'technological eye' when speaking to them, instead of below or to the side. This is quite tricky but improves with practise.
Listening and the Audio environment:
- Although modern software, and hardware, cameras, microphones, and headsets, all have varying levels of audio cancellation capabilities, the sure-fire way to ensure that you are easily audible is to select a location with little background noise. Remember that this is not just other people but also white noise, such as heating vents, fans, etc.
- Please mute your microphone if using one. Don't forget to unmute your mic when you want to add to the conversation or ask a question.
- Avoid making excessive background noise, like rustling papers. If you're in your home office, we can hear your children, dogs, deliveries, television, etc. unless you mute your line.
Using a headset:
- When participating in a webinar from your desktop, using a headset reduces the chance of audio feedback as well as provides a clearer outbound audio signal.
Interacting with the presenter/facilitator and other attendees:
- Think of a webinar as speaking from across a desk. Eye contact, body language, and remaining seated are all key to having a successful conversation.
- It may seem obvious, but please speak clearly and articulate fully. Participants should speak one at a time to ensure everyone is understood. Remember that the presenter will have participants in the room as well as online. Often the presenter will relay your question or comment to the audience. You'll hear the answer over your audio.
- The presenters value feedback during the session don't be afraid to ask questions.
Etiquette tips courtesy of: http://www.ucalgary.ca/it/help/articles/networks/videoconf/practices with edits and additions by Professional IQ College