A webinar is best used when you wish to explain or expose new information to large groups in an online setting yet still have interaction with them. You can use webinars to host short lectures and include interactive elements, such as quizzes, voting, and a chat. Webinars are often used when you want to switch between plenary sessions and small group interaction, using so-called breakout sessions.
Seminars (also known as work groups) are used to help a small group of students (max. 20 students) gain a better understanding of the course’s content by facilitating more complex cognitive processes. This way students can contribute to the program and the learning experience of their peers by using different formats, for example a simulation, debate, and peer feedback.
Keep in mind
- Consider the group size: Seminars work best with groups of up to 20 students, to ensure the active participation and contributions of all participants. If you plan to use moderators and break-out sessions, it is possible to serve about 10 extra students, but this is not recommended. Webinars are best used in the case of bigger group sizes.
- Interactivity is key: If you don’t plan to have interactive elements in your session, it’s highly recommended to use video lectures instead. Once made, these videos can be used for many years. You can also have a look at this page about Open Educational Resources or this page about innovative teaching methods for inspiration.
- Use a moderator: You can use a moderator to guide the discussions in the chat and support participating students whenever they have questions or (technical) issues. We advise you to check out this page for more information.
- Recording: Recording and playback is possible. Please consider these privacy guidelines for recording.
- Don’t overestimate tech skills: Although students are used to working on computers and might use different educational platforms, don’t assume that they will understand everything immediately. Take some time to explain the used tools and their functionalities or provide tutorials.
- Go easy on the tooling: There are many tools and applications available to support online webinars and seminars. It’s recommended to work with the minimum amount of tools needed and only elaborate when you feel comfortable enough.
- Combine formats: As in many cases, it will be difficult to achieve all set goals or devised work forms within one format. Do not hesitate to combine different formats: As long as this is clearly communicated, this should not lead to confusion.