My On-Demand Webinar Experience

Tue, 2012-06-05 08:35

When most people think about online classes, the usual questions arise: How does it work? How does it compare to a traditional class? Will I learn? I’ll admit that when I first thought about online classes I was skeptical; after all, I had spent my entire academic career in a traditional classroom setting. I always had this preconceived notion that I would have a difficult time learning outside the confines of a traditionally structured learning environment, in which teachers and students interact in person. I was thoroughly surprised, therefore, when I decided to partake in both the LEED Green Associate and BPI Building Analyst on-demand webinars. At first I was a little apprehensive; one, because I had no prior experience in the construction industry and was concerned about my ability to acquire the knowledge necessary to pass the exams; and two, it was a completely different experience from how I was accustomed to learning. However, once I began the on-demand webinars, my concerns were unwarranted. After over twenty hours of instruction over two different courses, I feel that I can accurately describe the elements of LEED and BPI. Even more surprisingly, I enjoyed the on-demand sessions just as much as traditional classroom learning!

You may be thinking, ‘okay, so you liked it, but will it work for me?’ Well the first thing is to evaluate your learning style. Everblue offers two different types of online courses: both live and on-demand. The fundamental difference between these two courses lies in their level of interaction. In a live online class, you retain the ability to ask questions and engage in the conversation, albeit entirely online. The on-demand option, which I chose, removes that live interaction, but contains an essential element that is not found in the live online sessions; that is, you can stop, rewind, and fast-forward through the sessions. The following is one of the main advantages of the on-demand webinar. In a live class, or even a live online class, you hear the material once, write it down, and if you have any questions, you ask the instructor. I found myself having to pause the webinars every time a multiple choice question popped up during the session, in order to think about it before seeing the answer. If after a while I saw that I was not getting the right answers, I could easily go back and re-watch the sessions I did not fully understand as many times as I needed. In a live class, there is only so much time to cover course material and sometimes the instructor cannot readily repeat an idea or concept. The same is true in terms of already knowing some material and wanting to fast-forward to the next section. Rather than using up time to listen to information you already know, as you would in a live class, you can maximize your time and learning capacity by focusing on specific concepts that you may not understand.

Even better, because the classes are pre-recorded, you can watch them on your own time and in any location where you have an internet connection. Instead of worrying about making that 8 am class, you can easily wake up, run errands, go to work, and have the on-demand webinars waiting for you whenever you have the time to watch them. For me, this was the selling point because I didn’t know if I would have the time to leave the office and take a class for a few days. Instead, I found it vastly more advantageous to study on my own time.

Everblue’s three different class formats: live, live online webinars, and on-demand webinars all share the common goal of helping you learn material in a way that is conducive to your learning style. My experience with the on-demand webinars has changed my opinion of online learning, as I felt that despite the lack of live interaction, there was still enough engaged learning to help me process the information. Almost every Everblue class has both a live online or on-demand format and I suggest that you consider these options; you never know you may wind up learning more than you ever thought!

For more information about our LEED on-demand webinars, please visit our LEED Green Associate On Demand Webinars section.  

By Peter J. Bock

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