Graduating from Webinars to Online Courses

Webinars and Online Courses

Here at WBT Systems we attend many trade shows every year and as a result we get a chance to talk to a lot of you who work at various associations. This gives us an excellent insight into the direction and goals for your association. Since we are an association LMS provider one of the first questions we ask at trade shows is “Are you currently offering training courses and continuing education programs to your members?” Many times the answer is kind of a tentative ‘yes’, with an explanation that the association is offering webinars from time to time.  The person answering our question, in many cases, seems to be embarrassed that this is all they have at the time.   This isn’t anything to be embarrassed about since it seems that webinars and conference calls are where many associations first dip their toe into the ‘training waters’.


Why not Webinars

Webinars and conference calls are great places to start in providing your members with training.  It certainly gives them added value for their membership dollars.  However, there are some drawbacks to webinars and conference calls:

  • Difficulty in tracking attendance and participation;
  • Lack of recorded training history for individual members;
  • Evaluating level of engagement with training material is challenging;
  • Members cannot assess their achievement of learning objectives.

By implementing an LMS, such as TopClass, into your association’s e-learning offering you can take those same webinars and develop  them into true, interactive learning experiences for your members.  Graduating from webinars to online course offerings will provide a more engaging and rewarding elearning experience for association members.

For instance say you are setting up a webinar; if you deliver it through the LMS platform, you can surround the session with pre-work, post work, tests, quizzes, and even surveys with little extra effort.  As a matter of fact, you can even take recorded sessions and use them as content for additional online offerings in the LMS.

Take as an example the following setup for a training program:

  1. Pre-work: Answer a short survey to establish baseline level of understanding;
  2. Webinar: Live stream or embedded pre-recorded session accessed through the LMS;
  3. Quiz: Answer a selection of questions about the webinar content;
  4. Read a report on the webinar topic, displayed through LMS platform or available for download;
  5. Post work: Answer a short survey to display the learning achieved by completing the training;
  6. Download a certificate of completion;
  7. Discussion Forum: Enable an interactive discussion to continue during and after the training.


Reap the Rewards of Enhanced eLearning

The real beauty in using an LMS is that you can easily expand your existing offerings, create new forms of training, (online, testing programs, instructor led classroom sessions, instructor led virtual classes, blended learning, etc.).  In the end you will be able to provide your members with a well-rounded catalog of course offerings, a clear record of training history, and even certificates of completion.

Since you have already mastered the ability to set up and manage webinars the jump to an LMS is very simple, and has clear benefits to enhance the elearning experience for association members.  In the end, you will probably be wondering why you didn’t make the move sooner.


Want to learn more about how an LMS can benefit your association? Find out "Why an Association LMS is Special".


Why not contact one of our TopClass LMS advisors, who will be happy to guide you through the benefits of using an LMS to create and deliver engaging online courses.


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