In the era of new technology, educational institutions face challenges they didn’t have to ponder upon before. Logistics, organisational costs and procedural requirements are only some of them. The most important issue they must deal with, however, is the fact that students’ needs have changed on a large scale.
Need to satisfy digital natives’ needs
The so-called Generation C (C as in Connected, Communicating, Changing and Clicking), or digital natives, are people born after 1990. They don’t know the world without computers and mobile devices. They have always been connected to the Internet, so they expect they will be provided with educational services in a completely different way than former generations.
A university reputation is not enough for them to enrol. They need unlimited access to its programmes, no matter where they currently are. They want to study on their mobile devices, acquire small portions of knowledge while on the go and learn from the best experts, without having to travel long distances to meet them.
This means universities have to embark on a journey towards brand new solutions that let them reach out to their audience scattered all over the world and meet the expectations of digital natives. From this article, you will learn why webinars are a tool you should consider in the first place.
How can universities benefit from webinars?
Webinars are a technology tool, so making them part of a university’s educational and promotional toolset lets it boost its image of a modern institution, up-to-date with recent trends. That’s surely what generation C will appreciate and value.
With webinars, universities can offer their programmes to a much wider audience. They can reach out both to students who cannot come to study on campus and, what’s very important, to the disabled who, due to different limitations, cannot choose a regular course.
Also, thanks to webinars, new courses can be added to the programme. Just think of a situation when a world-class expert you would like to invite to run a course lives miles away and cannot travel to meet your students on campus. All you need to do is to use a good webinar platform to get rid of that problem once and for all.
How can a university use webinar?
Can you imagine inviting candidates from all over the world to your open days? Impossible? Not with webinars. You can organize a traditional event on campus and encourage prospective students who cannot make it to the campus to sign up for a webinar and join you live. Access the webinar platform on your mobile device to take them on a tour around the place and let them meet their future professors and colleagues.
Willing to win international students and eager to present your programmes in a convenient way? Nothing can be easier than a webinar session where you provide them with any details they need and answer their questions in real time. You can even invite professors or students to co-host the event with you.
As for communication, let’s imagine, you need to take your newbies through the services and facilities available for students at the campus – accommodation options, health services, where to eat and drink, where to turn to for scholarship or a loan. Set up a webinar to invite them to join, especially if they haven’t arrived on the campus yet.
And if you want to use webinars for educational purposes, it lets you conduct live online lectures and seminars. You can also offer your students individual e-learning courses, both in the synchronous and asynchronous model, as well as create video-tutorials and expert guides. With webinars, you can teach both small and large groups of students.
What webinar features can you use to reach these goals?
You can use your own branding – you can add your company logo and brand colours and even get a custom URL for your online event. This makes your webinar communication more trustworthy and professional.
The audio and video feature enhances your attendees’ experience – they can feel as if they were taking part in a traditional meeting. Thanks to the chat and the Q&A you can talk with attendees in real time, answer their questions and ask them for feedback.
To present more complex issues or e.g. explain how a process works, you can easily share your screen and show them what needs to be done step by step.
There is also a virtual whiteboard that lets you write and draw as you speak and spontaneously add extra information to your presentation.
To make your webinars available for an even wider group of prospective students, you can record them, publish on the university website or a social media channel and invite those who could not participate online.
Today’s students expect universities will use latest technologies to cater for their needs. They want to use modern tools and devices to study. With webinars, you will be able to meet their expectations and accomplish numerous goals for your educational institution.