James at Lloud

Works and thoughts about digital communication & education

Synchronous Webcast Programs

While working at Promega Corporation as an online learning developer, our training team became aware that the asynchronous training we created, while being engaging and informative, was also extremely time-consuming to create.

I was given the task of designing a program for just-in-time learning which at the time were called ‘web meetings’.

Screen capture of Breeze Live computer screenOur asynchronous programs were created using a product named Macromedia Breeze for converting PowerPoint files to the online Flash format.  A component that Macromedia added to Breeze was called Breeze Training and it was a very rudimentary LMS which we found extremely useful for managing our asynchronous programs.  Macromedia also introduced a component of Breeze named Breeze Live which I  followed quite closely but did not yet have an application for which it could be used. Adobe purchased Macromedia and we continued using the Breeze product for asynchronous course development.  Our Macromedia, and then Adobe representative would call the converted material “breezos” which I found very funny. A good history of this product, now called Adobe Connect can be reviewed in this Wikipedia article.

Breeze Live was a clear choice to develop a synchronous program as it could interact with the existing Breeze Training database of users, content and training history.

I had two major components to develop for this effort.  The first component was to develop the technology aspects of the program for both the presenters and the participants in the program.  This included:

  • Negotiation of license for additional Breeze meeting component
  • Selection of video & audio input equipment
  • Selection of a location to conduct presentations
  • Procedure development and documentation for presenters
  • Procedure development and documentation for participants

The second component of the program was the development of logistical aspects. This included:

  • Project charter and overall training objectives
  • Procedure and tools to manage a schedule of topics
  • Procedures for orientation and conduct of the presentation
  • Procedure for obtaining Learning Measures that correspond to topic learning objectives
  • Reporting methods and templates

Around the same time that I was developing this training program, people in marketing were beginning to investigate customer ‘webinars’ on the internet using tools from other vendors.  In order to distinquish these in-house training activities I named the program “The Global Technical Services Webcast.”  This initial program was chartered to deliver regular and most recent product information to an audience of approximately 50 technical support scientists in 13 global locations.

In the future I hope to document more specific aspects of this program, but in summary this program was extremely successful, had high participation rates and engendered the creation of two additional webcast programs, one for Global Sales employees and another for non-employees in the Promega product distribution network. The Sales Webcast program included about 50 people and the Distributor Webcast program had nearly 120 people.

 


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About The Author

James Chris Lloyd

 
 Learning Technologist
 - Instructional Design
 - Media Production
 - Curricular Analysis
 - Communities of Practice
 - Virtual Environments
 
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