Week of Webinars

What I have learned from a week of webinars:  I am not a fan of chat.  If I were to do a webinar in the future, I think the first thing I would do in disable the chat.  I know that it is important to provide opportunities for participants to interact and provide feedback but not as a chat.  During each webinar that I wet to, I was genuinely appalled by my classmates use of the chat.  Conversation was off-topic and, it seemed, purposefully distracting from the presenters.  I found it to be completely rude and avoided the chat while I was watching for that reason.


But webinars do have their place in instruction.  They can bring together experts from different places to have great discussions, and I know that it is important for me to know how to run one if the need arises.  Overall, I think that the presenters I watched did a great job and showcased some really great topics, and I am looking forward to the last one I will attend on Thursday.


4 thoughts on “Week of Webinars

  1. Tyson says:

    Like all online interpersonal interaction (well, offline too, but it’s a bigger deal online), how the chat goes depends a lot on community norms. I think because we were doing these chats for class and we’re all still in school, people felt it was all right to be pretty informal in the chat during our webinars. In a different professional environment, the situation would probably be different. It’s hard to tell people to use the chat a certain way, though: if you have it there, people are going to pretty much do as they please.

    My biggest gripe with the chat is that it’s just messy in general; in my opinion, instant messaging never works very well when you get beyond 2 or 3 participants. There’s not enough time to formulate something substantive and respond quickly enough that someone else doesn’t take the conversation in a different direction, and I think it privileges short off-the-cuff comments over substantive thoughts. Obviously, this can’t be avoided, but I have to say my experience with the chat was more… complicated… than I anticipated heading into the webinars.

  2. I think chat needs to be part of our Monday debrief.

  3. katzalot says:

    Well its seems that the hatred of chat is common place. I did not notice rudeness on any webinar that I was a part of but I agree that a participant could wind up reading the chat and never actually focus on what the presenters were saying. I think Tyson might have hit on something about this being a school project and maybe that gave some people license to act less then professional. That being said having been to in person PD sessions people there can be just as rude if at the back of the room.

  4. Caroline says:

    I know that even in the professionally moderated webinars I’ve viewed for this class and others I’ve seen digressions in the chat window. It seems pretty accepted? Now, we did have a couple of worse digressions, but on the whole, it seems like a commonplace occurrence. Not to completely attack chat – I saw many thoughtful questions, comments, and contributions in the chat interface as well.

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