Background & Objective
Students In the faculty of Health and Human Sciences are dispersed across the South West due to placements. As a result webinars as a tool for delivering lectures and seminars at distance in healthcare have been growing in their use over the last few years. This research aims to evaluate the impacts of webinars on teaching and learning. The research compares webinars against traditional lectures and analyses the advantages and disadvantages of webinars on teaching and learning. It also looks at how interactivity can be added to a webinar building on ‘Great Webinars: create interactive learning that is captivating, informative, and fun’ (Clay, 2012). This information will be used to inform best practice going forward.
180 students completed a questionnaire sharing their experiences of webinars. This contained both quantitative and qualitative data. A full statistical analysis was carried out on the quantitative data including a bivariate analysis and correlation coefficients. Qualitative data was coded using a grounded theory methodology.
The learning experience of webinars when compared against traditional lectures are seen as the same or better by 89%. Equally, most students (89%) say the interaction in webinars is the same or better than traditional lectures. Only 6% of students say webinars have a negative impact on their learning. As a result 76% of students would like to see more webinars on their degree in the future. The main benefits of webinars reported by students are: the ability to watch them again (learn at their own speed and recap material); learn in a familiar and relaxed atmosphere; and make efficient use of their time (no travelling or distractions). Meanwhile the main limitations of webinars are: being isolated from peer support; technical issues; and a lack of time to reflect on material. Typed questions and polls are amongst the favoured interactions between students and lecturers with verbal questions being the least favoured. For students where English isn’t their first language, 67% of students rated webinars as having better interaction than traditional lectures.
From my findings it’s clear that webinars can be an effective tool for delivering lectures and seminars at distance. The majority of students find the webinar experience similar or better than traditional lectures. By analysing the benefits and negatives of webinars I’ve been able to provide informed recommendations that will enhance the learning experience they provide. To progress the study, it would be beneficial to run focus groups to provide an insight into the answers given. I would also like to adapt an action research approach to evaluate and measure the impact of my recommendations to keep enhancing the learning experience of webinars.
This session will present the results from the research. It will discuss the current views of students regarding teaching and learning via webinars including what they like and what they don’t like. It will also evalute ways to improve webinar engagement / interactivty and how this can benefit teaching and learning. Finally I will discuss my plans for how the research can be developed further and welcome feedback and collaboration.
Clay, G. (2012). Great Webinars: create interactive learning that is captivating, informative, and fun. New York: John Wiley & Sons.