Recently, a doctor asked me for some feedback on a webinar I had observed. I started to rattle off some suggestions. Then I had to stop myself. It’s true that more interaction would clearly have made the webinar more engaging – use of polling features or the chat function or simply posing questions to the audience and having them respond verbally or maybe even throwing in a few breakout room discussions. (Click here for a related post on strategies to engage learners during a webinar.)
But none of these suggestions felt right.
Then I realized I was doing a poor job of answering his question. Honestly, I couldn’t answer his question without one key piece of information: what were the original learning objectives for the webinar? It was never clear to me what the learners were supposed to be able to do differently as a result of the webinar.
It dawned on me that the answer to this doctor’s question was: better-crafted learning objectives would have made the webinar better.
What is a well-crafted learner objective? A well-crafted learner objective finishes this sentence: by the end of this webinar, my learners will be able to…
If his learners should be able to explain the key differences between the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) IV and the DSM V, then there should have been some type of activity in which participants were challenged to explain these differences.
Well-crafted learning objectives are essential to a well-crafted and engaging learning experience – whether it’s a webinar, instructor-led classroom training or even an elearning module. Without identifying what learners should be able to do differently, it’s tough (impossible?) to design and deliver a tight, targeted, engaging learning experience.
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