Engaging Recorded Webinars

Engagement transforms a recorded webinar from informational content to educational content. Your recorded webinar or video can meet one of CDC’s Quality Training Standards, specifically #4, with engaging educational content based on adult learning principles. When planning your recording, consider these suggestions to more fully engage your learner.

Imagine an audience
  • Script your presentation as if you are speaking to a few persons who match your audience profile. Practice so that you are comfortable, and your presentation sounds natural.
  • Increase engagement by aligning your questions with relevant learners’ needs. If you know that your learners manage programs in local health departments, ask them questions about how they might apply what they learned to their health department program.
  • When presenting, ask open-ended questions then pause for a few seconds, like you are waiting for a response. Then continue with realistic feedback to possible answers to your question.

Realistic Feedback Example

  • Respond with “You might have correctly suggested [insert common response], but also consider [new information the learner should consider.]”
  • You can also ask a question and instruct the learner to write their response. Insert a timer on the slide to make the time challenge visible. Allow enough time for a thoughtful response. Do not overuse this technique. Once or twice per recording is ideal. Adult learners are motivated pdf icon[PDF – 490 KB] and should rise to the challenge.
Challenge the learner
  • Prompt the learner to keep track of something throughout a segment of the recording. Connect the item to one of your key ideas and make it relevant to the learner.

Learner Challenge Example

  • Ask the learner to identify the number of infection prevention procedures mentioned in the recording.
  • Let the learner know that their answers will be compared against other learners’ responses to generate interest and competition. You can do this by developing a “How Well Did You Do?” slide that ranks potential response rankings with supportive category labels.

Response Ranking Example

  • 1-2 correct answers: a rising star
  • 3-4 correct answers: a bright star
  • all 5 correct answers: a supernova
Create a worksheet
  • Before recording your webinar, develop a worksheet for your learners to use while viewing the recorded webinar. Cover related topics and include the questions from your worksheet as a part of the script for the webinar.
  • Leave space on the worksheet for the learners to fill in their answers.
  • Be sure to include the questions that you developed in the “Imagine an audience” section in the worksheet. Revisit those questions, sharing optimal answers to guide and engage your learners.
  • Include the worksheet with your recording. Some programs such as Adobe Connect or CDC TRAINexternal icon allow training developers to include the worksheet as supplemental material within the recording room or platform and still be accessible through the recording.
  • Provide time stamps, i.e., times at which topics appear during the recording, on the worksheet or on a separate document. Learners can then advance to specific topics, as needed to review.
Create a time stamp document

A time stamp document is a timeline with topics identified by the time they appear in the video. Providing a time stamp document along with the posted companion worksheet, allows the learner to review the recorded webinar for specific topics easily, allowing the learner greater control of their learning experience.

Time Stamp Example

2:47 COVID-19 characteristics challenges
4:20 Infection Control Actions

Transform your video into e-learning

This suggestion requires a technical skill set but may be the most engaging.

  • Use software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Captivate, Lectora, or Storyline to convert your recording into an e-learning module. As your video plays, popup screens can appear at timed intervals that require the learner to react to and engage with the information.
  • The popups can be knowledge-check questions, infographics that highlight key points, or a data entry screen that requires the learner to input information. This technique also provides a way for the learner to review previously presented material easily. If a learner answers a question incorrectly, he or she is returned to the point in the video where the material was covered. This technique moves engagement from external sources like the worksheet or time stamp document into the video.
Use a learning management system

A learning management system (LMS) can provide tools to facilitate engagement such as a discussion board and a place to include supplemental materials like the worksheet or time stamp document. TRAINexternal icon is a national learning management system that provides quality training opportunities for public health professionals.