Your instructor will tell you whether webinars are mandatory or optional. In most cases, the webinars are strongly recommended but not mandatory. The School recognizes that one of the main benefits of an online course is schedule flexibility. While the time commitment to attend a webinar is usually much less than attending an in-class course, webinars do introduce specific dates and times where, ideally, you will be able to participate in real time. If you’re not able to attend any given webinar, it will be recorded so that you can view it on your own schedule. In some courses, the webinar platform is used for learner presentations that may form part of the graded assessments. In those cases, you would be required to attend the webinar or make alternate arrangements with the instructor to complete the graded assessment in another manner.
If you participate during the live-stream webinar, there are three ways to do so.
(1) Audio: If you have a headset or built-in microphone, you’ll be able to speak during the webinar. You simply click on the Talk/Microphone icon at the bottom centre of the screen. You will need speakers to be able to hear the instructor and other participants.
(2) Video: If you have a webcam, you have the option of turning it on during the webinar so that if you choose to speak, your video feed will be visible to the other participants. You can test your connection and audio through the Blackboard website.
(3) Chat: If you don’t have a headset, built-in mic or webcam, there is a chat function in the webinar interface. You may post questions or comments and the instructor will acknowledge them and respond.