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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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6.4. Webcast

Webcasts use the network to transmit a conventional training event so that many distributed learners can participate fully. The most common format is a lecture or speech followed by questions from learners. The presenter and audience are connected by a chat or conferencing system. Participants may also use screen sharing and whiteboard tools during the session.

6.4.1. When to use Webcasts

Use Webcasts to teach any kind of material best taught by traditional classroom activities. Typically these are ones where the material requires extensive interaction between instructor and learners. Such situations occur when it is impossible to anticipate what learners already know and what they need to know. If you cannot predict what questions learners will ask, a Webcast may be the best way to answer their questions.

Webcasts are also useful when there is neither time nor budget to prepare a presentation with sufficient built-in interactivity. Use Webcasts when there is not enough lead time for development, when the course will be offered too few times, or the subject matter changes faster than permanent materials can be revised. Webcasts should not be used just because the organization is too lazy to prepare a better version or merely to avoid having to revise classroom materials.

6.4.2. How Webcasts work

The sequence of actions in a Webcast is largely the same as those in the classroom activity on which it is based. Here is an example of a typical Webcast with a lecture ...

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