Wake Me Up When the Webinar Is Over

July 10, 2013

Are you sick of boring webinars in which a presenter drones on and the only form of interaction, if any, is a somewhat contrived poll that gathers predictable information of interest only to the presenter?

We are tired of them, too, and we are doing something about it.

With the increased use of webinars and other online training media, we have made it a goal to push the limits of interaction and personal connection available using these tools. We have also embraced the unpredictability of participant comments and questions that may not align with how we planned for the program to flow.

We feel that the closer we can match the online classroom experience to the in-person experience, the better we can foster learning and skill practice. Without interaction, we don’t know if learning (Level 2) is really occurring, and if learning doesn’t occur, there is obviously no way that on-the-job performance (Level 3) can improve. If we aren’t positively influencing performance, then we not are contributing to organizational results (Level 4), which is always our goal.

When we interact with our online participants using question and answer, short answer and chat features, we engage in two-way communication similar to an in-person program, and we can both test learning and answer questions. We can also engage in discussions about how confident participants feel to apply what they learned and talk about any anticipated challenges or barriers in the workplace. We get creative about how we use the tools that are built into webinar platforms to accomplish a high level of interaction with groups of even hundreds of participants.

If you would like to experience an example of how some of these types of interaction are accomplished, we invite you to join us on Monday for an all-new free webinar entitled Meaningful Training Evaluation: It Isn’t So Complicated. During this 1-hour program, we will have 5 discussions on topics including:

  • Questions to ask training requesters to find out the true intent of the training
  • Points to clarify the required level of effort after training for initiatives to succeed
  • Formative evaluation techniques

We will provide definitions, job aids and background information, and all participants will share their ideas and tips with each other. You will come away with ideas from us and hundreds of other training professionals.

We also encourage you to examine your own webinars to see what you can do to foster learning and encourage on-the-job application. If you are just going to be an “information dumper,” why bother to gather everyone together? Just send out a recording.

How do you make online learning interactive?We welcome your questions and comments on this issue, or on any training evaluation related topic.


Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional resources:

Meaningful Training Evaluation: It Isn’t So Complicated (free webinar)

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

Avoid the Allure of Training Activity

Creating a Post-Training Evaluation Plan

Creating ROE: The End Is the Beginning 

The recording of this webinar is now available. Click here to access it.

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