Use of Webinar Tool to Support Training


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This presentation introduces a study investigating the effectiveness of a webinar tool (Elluminate) on online learning environment from student-trainers’ perspective.

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Use of Webinar Tool to Support Training

  1. 1. Use of the Webinar Tool to Support Training: from student-trainers’ Perspective New York Institute of Technology Wang, S.-K. & Hsu, H.-H., (2008, March). Use of Webinar Tool to Support Training: The Effect of the Implementation of Webinar Learning From Trainers’ Perspective. Paper will be presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>CMC: Computer-mediated communication (Kerr & Hiltz, 1982, p. 2) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asynchronous (delayed time) communication: e-mails, bulletin boards, course management system, blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synchronous (real-time) communication: VoIP, instant messaging, video conferencing, webinar (web + seminar) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Why use CMC? <ul><li>Asynchronous tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides participants the flexibility that they need to manage learning time; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides students more time to read, reflect, and respond (Meyer, 2003); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitates structured and mandated discussion (Johnson, 2006). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lacks immediate feedback (Gao & Lehman, 2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involves less social presence (Stodel, Thompson, & MacDonald, 2006). </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why use CMC? <ul><li>Synchronous tools: (Branon and Essex, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Hold virtual office hours, </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate team decision-making, </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in community building, </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate in-depth and ongoing discussion </li></ul>
  5. 5. Research on CMC <ul><li>Past studies’ focus on asynchronous learning environments is due to the limitations of network bandwidth and to the lack of synchronous learning tools ; </li></ul><ul><li>There have been few studies whose aim is to identify and to analyze either the learning effects or the associated pedagogies of synchronous learning environments. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Research on synchronous tools <ul><li>Pan and Sullivan (2005) adopted VoIP (Skype) to facilitate online chat sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Duemer (2002) found that chat tools effectively develop a sense of learning community. </li></ul><ul><li>Locatis (2003) used videoconferencing to broadcast instructions to audiences at various U.S. locations </li></ul><ul><li>Wang (2008) used IM (Yahoo) to strengthen online users’ sense of community </li></ul>
  7. 7. Webinar tool <ul><li>Able to transmit video, audio, and images </li></ul><ul><li>Enables users to share applications and to use whiteboard </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange information in a real-time and two-way format. </li></ul><ul><li>Elluminate , Adobe Acrobat Connect , Live meeting </li></ul>
  8. 8. Webinar delivery formats <ul><li>Presenter vs. multiple participants from one site; </li></ul><ul><li>Presenter vs. multiple participants from multiple sites; </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple participants from one site vs. multiple participants from one or multiple sites. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Webinar study <ul><li>Chen et al. (2005): use webinar to deliver lecture and office hour </li></ul><ul><li>Ng (2007): webinar promotes tutor-student interaction better than student-student interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Kohorst and Cox (2007): use webinar to deliver virtual office hour </li></ul><ul><li>de Gara et al., (2006): negative experiences </li></ul>
  10. 10. Webinar advantages <ul><li>Affordable (de Gara & Boora, 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>Enables synchronous communication </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates real-time multimedia demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitates multi-level interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Can archive seminar content for personal review or for people who missed the real-time session. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Purpose of this study <ul><li>Corporations have widely adopted the webinar tool </li></ul><ul><li>Webinar tool is relatively new for online learning and needs to be tested for pedagogical merits. </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: investigate pedagogical issues underlying the use of the webinar tool in online learning and training </li></ul>
  12. 12. Research method <ul><li>Qualitative research: </li></ul><ul><li>Methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open-ended survey, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus group, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recorded Elluminate training sessions. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Validity and Reliability <ul><li>Triangulated data (Mathison, 1988). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple data sources, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>peer examination on data and theme analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Present the context and the participants’ backgrounds so that other educators and researchers can decide the extent to which they should apply the findings to other settings (Merriam, 1995). </li></ul>
  14. 14. Characteristics of Participants **** = Excellent, *** = Good, ** = Average, * = Weak Sex Office skills Tech- skills Training experience Online training experience Expertise Participant A F **** ** 3 yrs No Legal Studies Participant B F ** * 3 yrs No Library Science Participant C M **** **** 6 yrs Synchronous videoconferencing Multimedia Authoring Participant D F **** **** 0 yrs No Management Information Systems Participant E F **** **** 2 yrs No Multimedia Authoring Participant F F **** *** 8 yrs Synchronous videoconferencing/ webinar Human Resource Management
  15. 15. Research questions <ul><li>(1) What are the perceptions that trainers have regarding their use of webinar tools for the development and the implementation of an instructional session? </li></ul><ul><li>(2) What are the issues that characterize the development and the implementation of a webinar-based course? </li></ul><ul><li>(3) What strategies effectively support webinar-based learning? </li></ul><ul><li>(4) Which learning domains are appropriate for webinar-tool use? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Researchers role & setting <ul><li>One researcher was the instructor; the other researcher was the semi-independent researcher. </li></ul><ul><li>“ participant observation ” approach (Emerson, Fretz, & Shaw, 2001; Savenye & Robinson, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Format: “presenter vs. multiple participants from multiple sites.” </li></ul><ul><li>IT graduate program </li></ul><ul><li>“ teach-back” method (Phillips et al., 2000, p. 24). </li></ul>
  17. 17. Instructor (Participant observer) Independent observer
  18. 18. <ul><li>Week 1: Practice through the Elluminate demo room </li></ul><ul><li>Week 2: The instructor led a six-hour webinar session to demonstrate the use of Authorware software </li></ul><ul><li>Week 3 & 4: Each student chose a topic in his or her specialty and then moderated a forty-minute to an hour webinar training session. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Topics <ul><li>Conceptual knowledge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Successful synchronous learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Procedure knowledge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authorware (instructor) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PowerPoint </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Data Collection and Analysis <ul><li>Student-opinion Surveys: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: participants’ first impression of using Elluminate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B: feedback to a particular webinar session </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C: capture host students’ reflections </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Observation log: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The host-learner interaction, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The participants’ use of webinar functions, the effectiveness of the teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student focus-group interview </li></ul><ul><li>(Miles & Huberman, 1994). </li></ul>
  21. 22. Discussion of Findings <ul><li>Presenters’ use of the webinar Tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual knowledge: Interact with the learners through polling, break room, whiteboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procedural knowledge: focus on the software they introduced to avoid heavy cognitive load </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Effectiveness of teaching: Participants’ rating, researchers’ observation notes, assessment data, and the presenters’ self-reflection reveal that topics focusing on conceptual knowledge or basic procedural skills were more effective than those focusing on hands-on skills . </li></ul>
  23. 24. Host 1 Host 2 Host 3 Host 4 Host 5 Host 6 Topics successful synchronous learning Podcasting Law Authorware Google search engine Interactive PowerPoint Knowledge Conceptual Conceptual Conceptual Procedural Conceptual/ Procedural Procedural Assessment Multiple questions, T/F Multiple questions Multiple questions, T/F Hands-on Multiple questions hands-on Hands-on Effectiveness ****** ****** ****** ** **** *** Interaction video/ 2-way audio/ polling/ whiteboard/ chatting/ break room video/ 2-way audio/ polling/ whiteboard/ chatting video/ 2-way audio/ polling/ whiteboard/ chatting video/ 2-way audio/ chatting video/ 2-way audio/ polling/ chatting video/ 2-way audio/ chatting Real-time demonstration No No No Yes Yes Yes
  24. 25. <ul><li>Host-learner interaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentations focusing on procedural knowledge involved many confirmation-type of questions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentations focusing on conceptual knowledge ranged from topic-related questions and a sharing of experiences or of information to freely expressed comments (rich) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><li>Effective webinar-session strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used the polling and direct-message tools to realize or to monitor individual learning progress, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Break room was an effective tool for real-time group work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application of the electronic whiteboard to explanations of concepts was convenient and caught learners’ attention </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Advantages and disadvantages <ul><li>Connected instructors and learners </li></ul><ul><li>Relieved their nervousness about learning </li></ul><ul><li>Real-time video and audio communication increased the social presence of all participants </li></ul><ul><li>The Elluminate-embedded tools greatly facilitated the training process </li></ul><ul><li>Technology issue </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t attend to several learners at once </li></ul>
  27. 28. Conclusion <ul><li>Participants were satisfied with the different levels of interaction that the embedded tools made possible </li></ul><ul><li>Enabled the participants “to attend” sessions in a personalized environment </li></ul><ul><li>Webinar sessions were appropriate for delivering those topics whose direct focus was conceptual knowledge or basic procedural knowledge </li></ul>
  28. 29. Suggestions <ul><li>Sessions required high levels of interaction and that as this level increased, the sample size, or group size, should decrease </li></ul><ul><li>The instructor should ensure that participants who attend a webinar session have prerequisite skills </li></ul><ul><li>Test the webinar environment to exclude any possible technical problems </li></ul><ul><li>Backup plan </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous communication does not mean “learning that is superior to asynchronous communication </li></ul>
  29. 30. Future research <ul><li>Research use webinar to teach in various domains and that the research report the domain-specific results, particularly regarding the implementation of domain-specific practical strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile synchronous training </li></ul>
  30. 31. Authors <ul><li>Shiang-Kwei Wang, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>New York Institute of Technology </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Hui-Yin Hsu, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>New York Institute of Technology </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>