Best Practices: Training, Webinars, and Communities of Learning

Infopeople presenter Kelli Ham is a trainer-teacher-learner who consistently tries new methods to draw her audience into what she is doing.
Her “I Do Not Give Medical Advice” for Infopeople this week (on the “webcasts and webinars” page for those who want to attend the live version on Thursday, June 19, 2008; on the “archived webcasts and webinars” page after the day of the event) promises to be engaging for her audience of librarians who provide medical reference. It should also be inspiring for other trainer-teacher-learners who want to build online communities and learning environments through creative approaches to their presentations.
Kelli has already done several Infopeople webcasts and webinars in the continuing “Health e-Shows Series.” Her “In -Depth Look at MedLine Plus” offered an interesting hybrid of the Beyond Bullet Points by incorporating quite a few screenshots into her presentation. Her “Beyond MedLine Plus” presentation went a step further by incorporating images or screenshots into almost every slide she produced. And her “I Don’t Give Medical Advice” presentation style builds off of what she used during these webinars and adds a community-building element to the experience: she polled members of her prospective audience in advance to determine how she can best serve them during the hour they will have together during the live webinar.
“My rationale for this is that if you engage them before the presentation, they are more interested and attentive,” she explained in her pre-webinar proposal. “I always do this with my in-person classes, even if it is just asking a few questions that everyone responds to during introductions. Then I tailor some of my material to address those concerns and issues directly; it makes it much more relevant to the attendees.”
The interactive experience for all involved should be strong. She will present background material, best practices, and scenarios, then let people “raise their hands and speak to the scenario.” Participants will also be able to use the normal chat function during the session, and Kelli intends to “summarize what we all discussed and learned from each other” and ask if participants are interested in continuing the discussion beyond the confines of a one-hour session.
It’s not revolutionary, but it is inclusive, and it takes us yet another positive step toward creating online communities of learning in a way which should inspire learners and trainers alike.
approach to presentations