Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Flipping the webinar

Most of the time we can't see the wood for all the trees. I've been working for some time in different projects trying to make webinars more interactive and using various tools to extend the dialogue. These experiments have been mostly successful and I feel that the webinars I'm involved in are more interactive and creative than before but somehow one elephant has stayed firmly in the room - content. Nearly all webinars are centred around the delivery of content and even if we now chop that delivery into bite-sized modules with discussion in between, content delivery still dominates the session.

So why not deliver the content before the webinar and focus on questions and discussion instead? This is the basis of an interview with Michael Kolowich, CEO of KnowledgeVision SystemsFlipping the Webinar – Advanced Tips from Industry Expert on Re-imagining Stale Webinars. We generally get the participants' attention 2-3 weeks in advance so why not make the content available immediately?

The schedule problem comes from the fact that when you find out about most webinars, they’re 2-3 weeks in the future. But as a marketer, you’ve got their attention now! Why not deliver the content now? Why make people wait three weeks? Chances are that no matter how well-intentioned a prospective webinar attendee is, some other meeting will come up in that time slot, and they won’t attend. 

Let participants focus on the presentation in their own time and then provide a channel for questions and reflections, for example a Facebook/Google+ group, a Twitter hashtag, a Padlet wall or a dedicated discussion forum. Then the focus of the webinar will be discussing the participants' questions and offering them more space to contribute. One advantage of providing pre-recorded content is presentation quality. In a live presentation there are many uncertain factors that can effect the delivery, often due to bandwidth issues. If you have over a hundred participants, slides tend to upload slowly and sound quality will fluctuate. Even the most experienced presenters can make mistakes and so delivery is often less than polished. However a recording can be made to higher standards, allowing several takes as well as the opportunity to edit. The recording will deliver the message in a more convincing and professional manner than the live performance.

It's time to test this I feel and will be interested in seeing the results. If it means that the webinar offers a deeper and more audience-oriented discussion rather than simple content transfer then all the better.

1 comment:

  1. I fully agree with you Alastair, its time to flip the webinar and record the presentations and make them available in advance. My only worry is that fewer participants will actually show up on the discussion webinar, but maybe that's not a problem. You cannot have a meaningful discussion with 200 participants in a 45 minutes session anyway. What about making the 2:nd session a q&A session, and let the participants ask the questions as they look at the recorded presentations and then get the answers to their questions in the webinar, and be able to ask further questions then. I would like to try that model for instance in a new session about legal issues in online learning. One subject I would like to discuss is the use of cloudbased services and BIG data in Higer Education and personal integrity (post Snowdon). In Sweden there is an ongoing discussion about using cloudbased services like GAFE and Microsoft 365 in schools, but no one talks about the fact that most universities today use different cloudbased tools and services like Google Apps,Dropbox, gmail etc. Is there a security issue or not when it comes to person data? Are you interested? Anyone else interested in discussiong this subject?