10b) Webinars work! Getting students learning and talking online with ‘Collaborate’ software.

Luke Miller (ScHARR), Dr Jenny Owen (ScHARR), Dan Smith (ScHARR)

Second Session (12:20 – 13:20) 
Inox Conference Suite 2
What is this about?
Are ‘webinars’ another passing cyber-fad, or do they offer new opportunities for active, participatory learning? This session offers a short practical introduction to running webinars and some discussion about their contribution to wider learning and teaching repertoires. The workshop will open with a brief overview of recent webinar initiatives in ScHARR, TUOS and beyond. This will be illustrated with extracts from recently-recorded ‘Collaborate’ webinar sessions, showing how this software can be used to involve students in group work and discussion. Our practical examples include online open days for prospective PGT students, MOOC presentations and online dissertation supervision. The workshop will conclude with discussion and an invitation to take part in a follow-up webinar a week after the conference. The webinar topic will be agreed in consultation with session participants, and it will offer an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in setting up and running webinars with ‘Collaborate’.

How will colleagues benefit?
Colleagues will benefit in the following ways: (a) by gaining an up to date overview of webinar pedagogy and software support; (b) by seeing practical examples of webinar software in use with students and prospective students; (c) by sharing views and experience in discussion with colleagues who have similar interests. Those who opt into the follow-up, live webinar (a week after the conference) will gain hands-on experience in setting up and taking part in a webinar via ‘Collaborate’. So for anyone who is interested in flexible, blended learning approaches - whether with students on campus or students at a distance - the session will provide an opportunity to consider whether webinars in general (and ‘Collaborate’ in particular) could be a useful technique to adopt.

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