Show your cards

Here’s a simple and effective way of improving communication during online meetings. Collaboration supercards are a collection of cards with clear messages to other participants so that you can quickly show that someone is muted, has poor sound quality, bad connection, frozen video etc. So instead of interrupting or writing in the chat you just hold up the right card in front of your card. Here’s the video.


Building on chat engagement in a webinar

2015_kopje_ff_500px-kopieA new guest post by Francisca Frenks, Dutch online learning consultant.

Some time ago I was asked to join a webinar about “Sponsoring” so I could give recommendations for improvement. The audience consisted of representatives of primary and secondary schools in different countries. The organization who was hosting the webinar invited an expert to tell more about sponsoring.

Halfway through the webinar the expert completely lost the audience’s attention. The chat discussion was very engaging and most of the participants were fully involved in that. Some participants shared their stories and experiences of how they manage with sponsors in a practical way. People were asking questions, deeper questions, more questions. So the expert was not really needed.

The host made a decision. She decided to stop the expert to present his Powerpoint and started to ask him the questions of the participants which they had formulated in the chat. Then she made a mistake by expecting too much of the expert. The expert did not feel very comfortable in this situation and it was an embarrassing situation when the host took over. Continue reading

Recycling webinar recordings

We record so many webinars and although there are many who watch these recordings there may be other ways of reusing them. I wrote a blogpost on this theme recently, Recycling webinars, and a few days later I got a link from our project partners at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showing how they have used the recording of our webinar from the Introduction to urology MOOC. They have reused our recording to make a film showing teachers how to organise a webinar with tips on layout, structure and methodology.

Thank you to Eva Lorentzon and the learning technologists at Karolinska Institute University Library for telling us about this excellent spin-off to our project.


Why you should always plan a webinar rehearsal

CC BY-SA Some rights reserved by Jorge Rayon on Wikimedia Commons

When you run a webinar with guest speakers it is essential to arrange a rehearsal meeting a few days before the event. Even if you are working with experienced speakers there are many details that can cause major problems if you don’t  go through the roles, timeline and technical details well in advance.

A new article on the excellent Webinar blog, Why You Need A Webinar Run Through, stresses the need for such meetings to make sure that the slideshows and other documents actually work in the webinar room and that there are no technical conflicts. Many presenters will claim that such planning meetings are unnecessary but the article describes clearly the dangers of not preparing properly. Continue reading

Swivl points the camera at whoever has the microphone

If you are alone hosting a webinar session where you have several participants in the room with you it can be a problem keeping the camera on the person who is speaking. Swivl is an inexpensive solution that takes care of the camera for you. Swivl is a small robot on which you can mount a tablet, smartphone or camera. It has a wireless connection to a small microphone and Swivl will rotate to automatically focus on whoever has the microphone. This makes discussions much easier to follow remotely since you always see and hear whoever is speaking.

Here is a short introduction film.

Webinars for crowd-sourcing


Guest post by Francisca Frenks | The Netherlands |  | |
Since 2008 she has offered training for webinars, virtual classrooms, online & synchronous collaborative sessions. Her focus is on the human factor while working with technology. 

It was 2012. I trained some people for a remarkable webinar. An insurance company wanted to ask the opinion of their agents about a new insurance product during a webinar. Continue reading

Webinar toolkit


And so we have come to the end of our official project period. It has been a fascinating journey investigating new methods and testing new devices together with our partner organisations, with the common aim of making webinars more engaging and interactive. Even if the project is over we plan to keep this site active as well as our Facebook group Effective Webinars.

If you look at the top menu of this site you will see that we have now added lots of guides, methods and tips about effective webinars under the heading Toolkit for effective and interactive webinars. Here you will find plenty information that will help you to plan and run more effective webinars, including our guide to developing participant engagement, Webigagement. The toolkit is still being developed, maybe we could say that it is a never-ending task.

Please give us feedback on this guide and we welcome new ideas and tips that we can include as the guide develops.