A webinar is an online meeting in which you can see, hear, and interact with your instructor and fellow learners in real time. During a live webinar your instructor may present course content, facilitate discussion, have learners participate in group work, or share audio/video materials. Your instructor will schedule webinar sessions throughout the course, typically weekly or bi-weekly on the same day/time. You will access the scheduled webinar sessions through your Quercus course site. You have several options for communicating with the instructor and other learners in a webinar:
- Audio: You will need speakers to be able to hear the instructor and other participants.
If you have a headset or built-in microphone, you can use this to speak during the webinar. You can do so by clicking on the microphone icon at the bottom centre of the screen.
- Video: If you have a webcam, you have the option of turning it on during the webinar so that while you are speaking your video feed will be visible to the other participants. You can test your connection and audio through the Blackboard website.
- Chat: If you do not have a headset, built-in microphone or webcam, there is a chat function in the webinar interface. You may post questions or comments and the instructor will respond.
Both speech and video are optional. The participation required for each course may vary, so please check with your instructor at the beginning of your course to clarify their expectations.
Your instructor will tell you whether webinars are mandatory or optional. 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 are scheduled at specific dates and times which, ideally, you will be able to participate in real time. Webinars are typically recorded, so if you are not able to attend you can view it at a later time on demand. 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 as scheduled or make alternate arrangements with the instructor.