The webinar option
Let’s make an assumption: the case for workplace learning has been proven and accepted.
Not so very dangerous, as assumptions go… the idea that supporting employees with the information and skills to keep up to date in their work can boost productivity and efficiency. Quite uncontroversial, in fact. However, having accepted that we need learning and development, the question becomes: what kind? And with the enormous variety of learning options available, that question can be a little harder to answer.
Enter COVID-19. A global pandemic with the majority of the population staying indoors and – if possible – remote working, tends to thin out the options and many businesses are now looking at online, distance learning options.
But while the virus may have upped the urgency factor, this shift is not new. LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning report cites a trend (38% of respondents) of falling budget allocations for ‘instructor-led training’ and a corresponding rise (57%) in money for online learning. And as online learning options go, webinars, once primarily a marketing tool, are increasingly used for learning purposes.
Wait, what’s a webinar, exactly?
If I say, a seminar on the web, is that too glib? Think of it as a small (limited participants), often short (60-90 minutes) and targeting a specific learning point or ‘micro-topic’. By means of the usual Internet and videoconferencing technologies, participants can experience the usual discussion, case studies, group exercises, whiteboard activities and even practical role-play techniques common in face-to-face training course scenarios.
The benefits of webinars for learning
Apart from being perfectly suited to maintaining social distancing and helping reduce the risk of your employees contracting a coronavirus, what are the key benefits of learning via webinar?
- Less disruptive – Unlike a face-to-face event, nobody has to travel to a webinar; it saves time and is overall more environmentally friendly.
- Cost-effective – No need to travel brings the cost down, accommodation costs are minimal, and so are material costs.
- Less short-term impact on productivity – With no need to travel, there’s less ‘downtime’ with this form of training; participants can be working on their regular duties right up to start time.
- Flexible content – Webinar content can be easily updated or tailored to suit specific needs and requirements.
- Concentrated learning – The short duration means that webinar content tends to be more focused; arguably, 90 minutes of webinar packs more punch than an hour and half in a training room.
- Available for reference – The use of technology makes it easy to record the webinar, making it easy to revisit the key points (or even re-experience, if you like); yes, you could video a classroom course, but how often do you?
- Accessible – Again, the use of technology means that it’s easy to add subtitles or other adjustments to the learning content, making a webinar easier to access for more participants.
If webinars aren’t on the menu of learning options available to your people, it may be time to expand their options, not least in these restricted times. If you want to know more about webinars and how they could enhance your training provision, the Maximum range of webinars is worth checking out. Or simply call us on 01582 463460. We’re here to help.