Webinar Vs Online Course – The education industry is going through a very difficult time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shutdown has hit the sector hard which has been closed since the second week of March. Students around the world are losing their valuable time and resources during the imposed shutdown. It is online platforms like Skype and Zoom that help the education sector. Most schools and colleges are conducting online sessions instead of wasting time due to the delay in reopening schools, colleges and universities.
The online platform helps teachers interact with students from the comfort of their homes during the lockdown. Required resources are digital media such as a laptop, mobile phone or tab, and a wi-fi network for high-speed internet and an account in a digital platform. The scope and reach of online classes extends to far greater horizons than we ever imagined.
Webinar Vs Online Course
Online platforms offer unique opportunities for people who have limited access to education due to their busy schedules. The advantages of online learning are that it is easily accessible, budget friendly, timely, personalized, flexible and above all, during the Covid-19 era social distancing norms are feasible.
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In response to the growing demand, along with schools and colleges, many institutions have also started e-learning options in 2020. Webinars, online courses, podcasts, web conferences, etc are some of the modes of live online classes . Although people are familiar with this term, they get confused while choosing the right learning mode. This article helps you differentiate between webinars and online courses and how to choose wisely.
Webinars and online courses fall under the category of live online learning. The term webinar is coined from web and seminar, i.e., web-based seminar. A webinar is an online learning event attended only by an online audience. The annual growth of webinars is increasing because they are cheaper, effective, live and interactive.
Webinars have become an important ingredient during the shutdown not only in the education sector but also in the business world. Trending webinars that people do during the shutdown include educational webinars, employee training, product demonstrations, corporate communications, lead generation, customer retention, and brand management.
Online courses are a new genre of face-to-face physical classes. These courses deliver modules through a digital platform where trainers interact with students online and deliver a series of lessons. The main components of an online course are information, communication and assessment.
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There are different types of online courses such as university courses, massive open online courses, company training courses, e-learning sites and personal brands. Online courses are further divided into synchronous and asynchronous online courses. Synchronous online courses are a form of live streaming where teachers share information in real time and trainees can interact with the trainer directly, in real time. On the other hand, asynchronous courses are where students go through their studies at their own pace. All learning materials and recorded videos will be shared with students for a certain period of time and they can undergo training depending on their free time.
Webinars are live instructional sessions that offer a wide variety of topics. It is usually followed by a question and answer session where participants can ask questions to the speaker. Online classes are e-learning that focus on specific topics in depth. Live online classes are more interactive. Webinar content is divided into opening, content and closing. While in online courses the content, just like university courses, includes different modules and assessments.
Once the webinar invitation is shared, a large number of people can attend the webinar without any registration as the webinar is usually conducted for free. Online courses on the other hand are open only to closed groups registered for the program. Online courses are usually paid, but are much cheaper than face-to-face class sessions.
The duration of the webinar lasts from 30 to 60 minutes. The duration of online courses varies from course to course and institution to institution. Those who have attended the webinar will be given a certificate of participation and the online course provides a certificate of course completion. Unlike webinars online courses have assignments and tests for assessment before awarding a certificate.
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In the webinar, the trainer delivers the prepared content and keeps the session open for a question-and-answer session at the end. In online courses, trainers try to facilitate the participants’ experience which makes the sessions more interactive. The participants will be given tasks and assignments in the online course which will be analyzed and feedback will be given by the trainer.
All educational institutions are using the e-learning route to make up for lost time due to the forced closure of institutions amid the coronavirus. Learning is a process that has no boundaries such as age or gender. In 2020, not only students attend online classes but also professionals, teachers, housewives, artists and so on. Along with gaining knowledge, it also helps in enhancing personal growth and self-confidence.
When you have to stay at home, use your free time to study at home. You can gain knowledge in your own comfort zone, easily and comfortably.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to build their skills along with their busy work schedules. 2020 is the time to spend on developing your hobbies and special skills, because staying at home has left a lot of time. Attending a short webinar on a topic you are interested in will help you in this process.
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I am a student who prefers blackboard teaching. However, any platform that gives us new information is always good. The main advantage I find with online classes is that they can be accessed from anywhere and the content is mostly up-to-date information. As a PharmD student in the midst of the coronavirus, I chose webinars over online classes because they provide concise and up-to-date information on developments in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.
Many online institutions have reduced their course fees during the shutdown. Most of the famous brands conduct free webinars on different topics, in social media networks, which is an added advantage for the audience.
Every time you attend an online class, the instructor provides you with online content that you can refer to even after the class. If you miss a topic during class, you can revisit and revise it at your convenience.
Since you save enough time commuting from the office, make time for online courses that can expand your skill set and give you a promotion in your job.
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Informative content with a free-flowing structure is the backbone of webinars. The structure of the webinar is very simple, including an interesting introduction, a good body of content, a motivational conclusion and a relevant call to action. It includes an outline and key points of discussion.
A good webinar always starts with the right definition of a webinar. It introduces the topic and gives the overall gist of the session. Additionally, trainers make clear statements about session length and format.
The main topic is presented in the body. Trainers use PowerPoint, Google slides, videos, images and even live whiteboards to explain concepts.
To close the session, the trainer summarizes the main topics discussed and to include the audience, opens the space for a question and answer session.
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Content is the body part of an online course. Unlike webinars the online class content portion is more interactive and course material is shared with students for future reference. Course materials include PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, videos, notes and other interactive learning resources.
Paid online courses have an assessment or exam at the end of the course to achieve a certificate. Evaluation criteria vary from course to course. It is usually done in the form of an online assignment or test.
Choosing between a Webinar or an online course for me depends on the situation and the course offered. For example, if I am looking for a course that will improve my technical skills, I prefer an online course because it may offer customized knowledge in depth into my subject. Online courses also have their own tests and assessments which in turn help in assessing my understanding.
On the other hand, I prefer webinars for self-improvement or management courses for personality development, because they provide basic and general courses that can be used by everyone. So basically, I would choose online courses over webinars for professional development, and it’s easy because compared to Webinars in terms of time schedule.
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The duration of the webinar is very short and therefore it is very important to choose a narrow topic. If you try to put too much information in a short amount of time, you will lose the clarity of the information. Therefore, choose a narrow topic and progress in a single direction so that the audience can absorb every bit of information you convey to them.
Deciding on a format is an important step before developing content. Depends on the topic and the skills of your presenter
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