Use of webinar system for online delivery of lectures

School of Health and Social Care
University of Lincoln
Innovative Deployment of Technologies

Summary

A certain number of core lectures have been changed from traditional, on-campus delivery in a lecture theatre to online delivery through Blackboard’s Collaborate webinar system. Tutors talk through their presentation in the normal way, using the interactive polling tools to check students’ understanding. Students are able to interact with the tutor(s) via the text box. Tutors can also invite students to ask or answer questions online by raising their hand. The tutor can then enable their microphones and/or webcams to allow contributions.

What are the Aims?

More flexible delivery of lectures to overcome timetabling difficulties and avoid unnecessary travel of students. Lectures are also recorded, providing a useful resource for review and revision.

Who was/is involved?

Pre-registration nursing students

What has changed/will change?

At a practical level, the flexibility of online delivery overcomes some of the logistical difficulties in organising lectures. Timetabling constraints coupled with the geographically dispersed nature of the student body resulted in numerous negative comments from students when required to attend campus for individual lectures.

In addition, students reported numerous advantages of online delivery. The recording of sessions allowed easy review of key points, while students enjoyed the interactivity afforded by the use of polling and quiz tools. While the majority of students appreciated the convenience of being able to access lectures from home, some reported this as advantageous as they were less distracted during the lecture by other students.

What lessons have we learnt?

The use of live online lectures has been very positively received by students. Their success is however dependent on a degree of planning and preparation.

  • Technical advice and trouble-shooting support for students, particularly for first-time users
  • Training and support for tutors

With large cohorts (up to 200 students online), it is advisable to have two staff members present: one to deliver the content and a second to respond to students through the online chat.