Webinars at the School of Government
A User Guide
Sharing Information Beyond the Classroom
Webinars have become a viable option for School of Government faculty and other instructors to deliver information to public officials across the state. The IT Division’s Instructional Support team assists faculty members and other instructors in planning, preparation, and hosting of webinars.
Making the Choice
Classroom, Publication, or Webinar?
A webinar can be collaborative and can include polling and Q&A sessions to allow full participation between the audience and presenter(s).
Benefits of Webinar vs. Classroom Presentation
- Instructors and guest experts can present from various locations
- Participants can access a webinar from any location with a computer and Internet access
- A webinar may provide a quicker or more convenient way to share time-sensitive information
- Members of the target audience who cannot attend the live online event may still purchase and have access to an on-demand version of the webinar
Benefits of Webinar vs. Publication
- Presenters add a personal element to the presentation
- Communication between presenters and participants can help to clarify complex information
- WWhen information, processes, or procedures in the field are changing quickly, webinars can be a low-cost, timely vehicle for updates
How long are webinars?
Depending on CEU credit requirements, an additional 10 minutes may be added for announcements so that participants receive a full 1.5 hours of instruction.
How much lead time is needed?
This period provides time to complete a budget (the same approval process as other course budgets), plan the event, market to the appropriate audiences with sufficient notice, and prepare materials. Plan on at least eight weeks of lead time if the webinar will be marketed through a postcard mailing. Unless there are special circumstances for your event, the process can be streamlined so that you can start marketing your webinar and accepting registrations as early as one week after submitting the budget worksheet. How soon an event can successfully occur after that depends on the event and specific marketing needs.
How Many Presenters can participate?
A typical webinar can comfortably accommodate one to four presenters in a 90-minute time period. Webinars that include a panel discussion (such as the recent Legislative Update) may include one or two additional presenters/panelists. Presenters can participate from the School or from any location with a phone and Internet connection.
How many participants can attend?
We currently support up to 250 webinar connections (sites). Multiple participants can view the webinar at a single site using only one connection.
What should I charge?
The registration fee for live or on-demand webinars is $125. The webinar can be viewed by an individual or a group; however, viewers seeking CLE or other credit must purchase the webinar separately.
Planning a webinar requires many of the same steps as planning a regular course; however, there are some differences. IT’s Instructional Support team will work with you to ensure that your webinar is a successful event.
PRIOR TO THE EVENT
- INITIAL PLANNING MEETING (FACULTY, PROGRAM MANAGER, INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
- a. Discuss medium, audience, timeline, roles
- INITIATE BUSINESS AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURES (FACULTY, PROGRAM MANAGER)
- Determine costing strategy and whether archive will be offered
- Request approval of budget worksheet and course codes
- SECOND PLANNING MEETING (FACULTY, PROGRAM MANAGER, INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT)
- Confirm dates and technical requirements
- WEBINAR ORIENTATION: 1 HOUR (FACULTY, PROGRAM MANAGER, OUTSIDE PRESENTERS)
- Orientation on facility, software, and roles
- WEBINAR MARKETING
- Create course page
- Coordinate with Marketing and Communications on marketing materials and outreach
- PRESENTATION DEVELOPMENT (FACULTY, PROGRAM MANAGER)
- Prepare learning activities, slides, polls, etc.
- WEBINAR DRY-RUN: 1 HOUR (FACULTY, PROGRAM MANAGER, OUTSIDE PRESENTERS, HELPDESK, MODERATOR)
- FINAL CHECK-IN
DAY OF THE EVENT
- PRE-WEBINAR MEETING
- Review agenda and roles
- CONDUCT WEBINAR
- AFTER THE EVENT
- WEBINAR REPORT
- DEBRIEF MEETING
Presenter –Individuals or members of a panel present their materials and control their slides locally from the Knapp-Sanders Building or remotely by phone and web link.
Host –The host welcomes participants with a prepared script, introduces presenter(s), and verbally transitions participants between presenters and/or topics. The host monitors time and keeps the webinar on track, intervening if necessary to protect other presenters’ time and time for Q&A. When not a presenter, the host may also be responsible for voicing audience questions to presenters or may function as an online question moderator.
Moderator – The moderator filters and clusters participants’ questions about the webinar topic and forwards questions to presenters for the Q&A. The moderator may also directly answer participant questions by text—either privately or to all participants. The moderator may be an Instructional Support team member, fellow faculty member, program manager, or off-site colleague.
Webinar Administrator – An Instructional Support team member prepares, monitors, and runs the webinar environment and technology. A webinar administrator also controls events during the webinar such as poll questions, break-out activities, break periods, handouts/file downloads, and transitioning between windows that show slide presentations.
Technical Support – Helpdesk staff are available before, during, and after the webinar to assist participants in case of technical problems with connections, audio, or visuals.
For more information or to explore using the webinar format, contact Instructional Support at InstructionalSupport@sog.unc.edu
Samples and Additional Materials
Sample webinars and additional webinar resources can be accessed at the IT Division website at www.sog.unc.edu/itd
“The webinar and instructors were very well organized, and the presentation materials are a nice bonus!”—School of Government client
“Being able to participate in this webinar was a great timesaver and a good way to save on travel expenses. Thank you.” —School of Government client