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Advantages and disadvantages of online seminars

On : 07. Feb 2023 / In : All

Many continuing education courses in adult education are offered as online seminars. Hygiene training courses, for example, are flexible in terms of time and are prepared in such a way that participants can view the content at any time. Other formats include virtual classes with instructors who present digitally prepared teaching material live online. All participants have the opportunity to speak and ask questions, or to use the chat function. These variants are bound to times and are only flexible with regard to the location.

Thus a large cost factor is omitted, because the journey to the seminar is not necessary. Time is also saved by not having to travel to the seminar. The biggest advantage of online offerings is also spatial flexibility, and there is also the option of recording events and watching them again later. The cost savings must be viewed in relative terms. Companies that are technically well equipped and have a good Internet connection definitely have a high savings potential if several employees regularly use webinars for further training. In the best case, a video conference room or the corresponding variable technology for individual workstations or small rooms is already available.

The situation is different if no or only inadequate equipment is available or if it has to be purchased separately. In such a case, it would even be cheaper to travel to a face-to-face event, provided that no further digitization measures are planned and online events are not scheduled more frequently in the future. Whether an online seminar leads to the desired success certainly also depends on the complexity of the topics and the duration. If it is a seminar lasting several days with difficult topics, virtual participation may be very tiring and exhausting. For a continuing education course that lasts only a few hours, online participation is certainly a good alternative. The more difficult the content of an online seminar and the longer the duration, the more important good and reliable technology is.

Participants often report an increased stress level if the image and sound transmission is poor or the connection is generally bad. Motivation then suffers and a poorer result may be achieved in the end. Interactivity is possible in online seminars by means of voice contributions and chat messages, but the exchange on a personal level is missing. Break times with small talk, loosening up with intermediate questions, laughing together or brainstorming are not possible at all or only to a very limited extent. In general, questions are asked less frequently in online seminars, perhaps because the inhibition threshold is higher.

Conclusion. Online seminars are a good alternative to face-to-face training courses. The high degree of flexibility is a major plus point, but it is not always easy to cope in a real classroom situation without face-to-face contact with other people. The costs for travel and, if necessary, accommodation in a hotel are not incurred, but the purchase costs for video conferencing technology may be incurred. Advice on the various video conferencing solutions from the videokonferenz.store team is available, for example by using the contact form.

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