Sorry, I had to reboot Zoom.
Just take yourself off mute.
I can’t seem to get my camera working.
And the list goes on. How many times over the last couple of years have we muttered these awkward lines at some point of a virtual call? I know I have!
When the pandemic changed how we worked, many organisations had to rush to implement and learn new technologies to deliver business as usual. It was a panacea in an challenging time, allowing organisations to inch forward in a completely new model of work.
The use of video teleconferencing and webinar tools went through the roof and many organisations found they could, believe it or not, utilise these resources to give back some balance to their staff as they embraced working from home. With this came the slow burn of learning how to be effective in these virtual settings – some would say we are still learning.
However, the panacea has now become the poison. Zoom fatigue is real, organisations are leaning on video calls as a substitute to more effective online learning tools and the slow burn of being effective in a virtual environment is still slow – and the burn is painful.
I’ve had lots of conversations over the last 12 months as organisations have explained how they have taken learning programs ‘online’ and the successes and challenges of this approach.
Well, you may be using the internet to deliver content that you have previously delivered in a face-to-face setting, but is it impactful online learning?
Nah, here’s why.
- Effective Teaching & Learning Strategies
I’m yet to be involved in a webinar that has a clear plan to leverage effective teaching and learning strategies for the virtual environment. I’ve seen good content, engaging presenters, had good discussions in chat rooms, been engaged with nice visuals and completed the occasional poll but never have I been in a virtual learning program where these learner engagement tactics been used together.
The High Impact Teaching Strategies are used in the Victorian Education system and are a great resource for planning teaching and learning activities. In my opinion, these can easily be harnessed for use in a webinar setting – but rarely are.
Something else – it’s just really difficult using Zoom and other tools to teach online
- Built for Convenience
Most webinar and virtual call tools weren’t necessarily designed to deliver learning programs and the functionality of most of these would point to that. I’ve seen some webinar tools that have great interfaces and some useful tools to help design an engaging learning experience, but most are clunky in this area as they were built mainly for connecting people virtually – video and audio was all that was required.
- Learner at the Forefront
Learning Management Systems are far superior for deploying a learning program online. They are built so content creators can harness digital pedagogies with the learner at the forefront of creation.
The use of video, course ambassadors/experts, interactive elements, workbooks, gamification, quizzes and feedback, self-assessments, animations, immersive content, powerful text and even imagery or audio can all blend together beautifully for an engaging learning experience. Add experienced educators leaning on appropriate pedagogies and a healthy dose of storytelling and you have a recipe that puts the learner clearly at the forefront of product design.
In an on-demand world, learners can engage with content in their time, with little or no distraction. The content is evergreen and if designed effectively, will be delivered in bite sized pieces which allows the learner to absorb and reflect on key learning intentions, whilst having the flexibility to come back to it any time.
Good luck finding that nugget of gold in the 90 min recorded Zoom session you just attended and are still waiting to receive the link for!
An online learning program delivered through a Learning Management System allows organisations and course creators to leverage data and insights for all manner of good.
- Exploring specific quiz questions at a global level to examine if key learning intentions are being met
- Time on platform
- Course/Lesson/Topic completion rates
- Identify where learners are becoming stuck
- Survey data to examine learner experience, satisfaction and transfer of learning
- Overall Return on Investment (sales, efficiencies, engagement, brand awareness etc.)
These are just a few of the areas you might like to explore which you won’t get with video conferencing software.
Also – who owns the data from your Zoom call? Better check that too.
- Brand Awareness
Owning your tech ecosystem allows you to fully brand the software and sell assets to commercial partners. Some webinar and video teleconferencing tools will allow this (at the right price), but you still don’t own the digital asset or the data. How you engage your corporate partners on these platforms is another conversation altogether.
When you own your tech ecosystem you don’t have these issues and can brand the platform however you like, ensuring everything looks and feels like your organisation.
Before we finish today’s sermon, I should be clear – the use of webinar and video teleconferencing tools is important, they are useful and when harnessed effectively can develop efficiencies and great outcomes. At Playbk Sports we use these daily to connect our team and clients all over the world.
Webinars can be a great way to promote digital products or enhance the delivery of online learning initiatives by bringing your virtual class together. With clear purpose and strategy, the use of these tools can be very effective.
I do however caution those who believe they’ve taken their learning ‘online’ through video teleconferencing to think again.
And consider what they’re leaving on the table.
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About Playbk Sports
The best way for sport to commercialise online learning.
Playbk Sports makes delivering online learning simple and effective with dynamic technology, immersive custom and white-label courses, and – of course – Unrivalled Fan Engagement.
Playbk works with your team by harnessing your logo, players, coaches and administrators and uses the power of those ‘brands’ to create learning opportunities that clubs can commercialise.
As SportsTech trailblazers, Playbk fuses online learning and fan engagement – at scale.