Sultan Qaboos University
College of Education
Department of Instructional & Learning Technologies
A Review of a DE technology
Amina Al Sarkhy
o Define the technology:
• (v.) (1) To use the Internet to broadcast live or delayed audio and/or
video transmissions, much like traditional television and radio
broadcasts. For example, a university may offer on-line courses in
which the instructor Webcasts a pre-recorded or live lecture, or an
enterprise may Webcast a press conference in lieu of or in addition to
a conference call. Users typically must have the appropriate
multimedia application in order to view a Webcast.
(2) To use push technology( sending data to a client without the client
requesting it.), to send Web-based information to an Internet user.
• (n.) The data transmission that results from one of the above
• Webcasts are typically live presentations in which a remote audience
may participate, but real-time interactivity isn't critical to the definition
of a Webcast.
• the transmission of live or pre-recorded audio and/ or video to
computers that are connected to the Internet.
• The delivery of audio, video or both of these content formats to large
groups either locally or distributed (Boettcher & Nardick, 2001).
o Objectives of using the webcast technology in DE:
1. To create a forum for discussion that will allow students from all over the
country to contribute and scrutinize.
2. To communicate with remote audience.
3. To allow meetings to take place with all contributors in different places by
harnessing video conferencing technology
4. To allow members to work from home more effectively.
5. To deliver large trainings to customers, partners, and students.
6. To Launch new products or corporate initiatives.
7. Present special events or conferences
o Features/advantages of the webcast technology:
1. Webcasting makes meetings open to a wider audience.
2. archived webcasts can be recalled and reviewed at any point by
anybody with a computer.
3. Allow schools, teams, universities, institutions, and broadcasters to
produce their own webcasts.
4. Allow students to have full audio or video coverage online when they
may not be able to book standard radio or TV time.
5. Webcasts are reliable and failures should be rare.
6. Webcasts are typically dependable and of acceptable quality.
7. Being accessible to anyone with an internet connection (i.e. relatives
several states away), unlike the range and market limitations of
terrestrial radio and TV.
8. Through accepting emails during appropriate council meetings, the
public are able to engage in politics.
9. Gains the attention and interest of young people and can allow re-
evaluation of the image of a local authority.
10. The implementation of webcasting will increase computer
familiarization amongst those prepared to watch webcasts.
o Limitations of the webcast technology:
1. Instructors have no control over the stability of the server on which the
Webcast is located. As with any live demonstration involving Intemet sites
2. Actually, even if the Webcast works fine on a personal computer, delay the
classroom presentation until it's been proven to work flawlessly in the room.
3. Webcast can freeze up, lose audio, load slowly or produce any glitch that
makes the Webcast difficult to view or hear.
4. There is always the chance that webcasting could be an expensive failure.
5. webcasting can be a costly venture initially. Not only is there the cost of
purchasing all of the relevant hardware and software, there is the cost of
installation and furthermore the cost of training staff in its use. These costs
could be questioned by the public as excessive and unnecessary, especially
if webcasting is replaced by digital television.
o Discuss how this technology is used to deliver and support learning:
Webcasting technology is an effective mean to support and deliver learning
because it enables the teacher to deliver the courses or lectures via the
internet, so students can see and listen to the lecture at any time or place
independently with out the need to follow a scheduled programs like TVs.
This is preferred by students how are doing their Master or doctorate
program and for busy students. This would allow members to work from
home more effectively. However, As meetings have the potential to reach a
wide audience, participants in the meetings need to be aware of themselves
and how their actions can reflect upon them and upon their institutions. The
media is a very powerful and its powers can be harnessed by its correct use.
Using it incorrectly however can cause great embarrassment. It is also
important to consider what restraints the technology can place on actions.
Moreover, Through accepting emails during appropriate council meetings,
the students are able to engage in politics, thus increasing students' political
participation with the potential to improve turn out at elections and increase
legitimacy of local authorities. If they are taking part in council meetings they
feel as though they are being listened to. Additionally, there are some
elements to an ideal webcast including:
• High quality production – this includes top notch equipment being
used by a skilled production team, and is judged not only quality of
picture, but on directorial approach.
• High quality presentation – the subject on discussion needs to be
well researched and presented by skilled communicators.
• Accessibility – The webcast must be easily accessible to the public
• Worthiness – a subject that is worthy of being broadcast, if the
subject is not interesting people will not watch, and may be
deterred from watching again.
• Interactivity – public involvement.
o Webcast cost effectiveness:
The majority of webcasting solutions support the creation, management,
distribution, and delivery of rich media information and incorporate a wealth
of content provider and attendee feature.
• Webcasting allow you to see or here the rich media content without
the need to download entire rich media files ( save time and effort).
• Webcasting is much less expensive than audio or web conferencing.
ASP( application service provider) service provide offerings combine
little or no up-front cost and limited fixed fees.
• Low cost to enjoy high impact, interactive rich media content.
• There is no impact on the viewer's PCs since there is no software to
load or plug in to install.
• It has moderate up-front cost, low per participant cost. ( Weinstein,
o Discuss concerns raised by researchers and distance students/tutors about
1. Ben Taylor(2006) said that: 'it is also important to consider what
restraints the technology can place on actions. The following is a
list of bullet points to written to guide participants on various
aspects of webcasts:
• Technical Advice:
Stay within range of cameras and microphones, by
moving out of range the production will look amateur.
Avoid quick movement, this will show as a blur.
Ensure the background is plain, does not cause glare,
and does not clash with speakers clothes.
Avoid using excessive text, and if text is to be used
ensure it is of font size 30 or above.
Try to change shot regularly in order to maintain viewer
interest. Do not allow speakers to become talking heads.
• Personal Advice
Do not wear predominantly white. This usually
causes glare on screen.
Avoid directly facing the camera, this give an
appearance larger than reality. By sitting at a slight
angle to the camera one appears more slender.
Lean a little forward when speaking.
Speak in a clear and confident voice.
Use hand movements and appropriate body
language, but remember to keep large gesticulations
to a minimum.
Do not do anything regarded as inappropriate such
as swearing, belching, make slanderous remarks…
1. The following suggestions by " Steven Bell" may assist the
instructor in limiting or avoiding students passivity:
Assure that the learners' attention is focused on the
appropriate aspects of the Webcast as they relate to the
Assure that the learners understand the learning objectives
prior to viewing the Webcast;
Integrate questions and/or activities into the session that will
stimulate recall of prior knowledge;
Provide a cue or strategy that will promote retention of the
materials presented (association of new data to existing
Provide feedback as close to the completion of the
aforementioned tasks as feasible.
o some case studies/examples.
One of webcasting technology is used by the University of California
http://berkeley.edu/. It is an online service which Every semester, UC
Berkeley webcasts select courses and events for on-demand viewing via the
Internet. webcast.berkeley course lectures are provided as a study resource
for students and are not sanctioned as a substitute for going to the course
lectures. webcast.berkeley/courses is an “opt-in” program available to
lecturers scheduled to teach in classrooms with installed video and/or
podcast capture technology. Moreover, it provides the courses in both video
and audio formats to allow for more accessibility and variousness. You can
find this webcast service on: http://webcast.berkeley.edu/.
1. Ira. M Weinstein ( 2005). Effective enterprise webcasting: optimizing
your webcast solution for efficiency and success. Wainhouse
research. October 2005
2. Steven Bell: Cyber-Guest Lecturers: Using Webcasts As a Teaching
Tool. TechTrends, Volume 47, Issue 4.
3. Ben Taylor(2006): Webcasting and Local Authorities. HR & Business