A webinar is a synchronous distance education, synchronized with live instructors. Instant messaging applications like AIM, Skype, Pidgin, BigBlueButton and web conferencing are very useful in conducting webinars. The tutor, while factoring in the knowledge level of the trainees/participants, spearheads the session. This form of learning allows learners and their tutor(s) to interact in a similar way as in an actual classroom.
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Students or trainees ask questions and prompt feedback is given to them in an interactive style (Hrastinski, 2008). Students are able to make prompt clarifications that would only be made in an actual classroom set up. Therefore, the webinars are an imitation of a real classroom and they allow trainees and their moderators to interact and share information.
Thematic change in synchronous learning is sudden and usually not anticipated by trainees/students. Webinars are speedy because so much is to be achieved within a short period of time.
As a result, there is usually interference as students continue to give input to old themes while a moderator is already establishing new themes (Synchronous Course Delivery, 2012). The time taken to internalize ideas and type any comment is long to the extent that moderators will have proceeded to subsequent themes.
The occurrence of multiple time zones is challenging because the participants cannot participate and engage in thoughtful discussions and assignment in the same way.
When it is night-time, some participants may be very exhausted and will not have the enthusiasm required to actively participate in the seminar sessions. Alternatively, the session may conflict with the busy schedules for some trainees (Synchronous Course Delivery, 2012).
Hrastinski, S. (2008). A study of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning methods discovered that each supports different purposes. EDUCAUSE QUARTERLY, 4, 51-55.
Macaulay, L., & Dyer, L. (2011, November 14). Interactive web conferencing brings big benefits to the online classroom. Faculty Focus. Web.
Relearning Learning—Applying the Long Tail to Learning [MITVIDEO]. Web.
Synchronous Course Delivery. (2012). Elearning Faculty Modules. Web.