The HLABC Webcasting–Webconferencing Pilot Project
AbstractThe purpose of the Health Library Association of British Columbia (HLABC) Webcasting–Webconferencing Pilot Project was to assess the feasibility and value of using Web-based technologies to improve access to continuing education (CE) events and meetings, particularly for our association's rural and remote members. By offering online access to CE events and other Chapter activities, we aimed to facilitate professional development and networking opportunities for our members by enabling those who have previously been unable to attend CE events and meetings to participate online. From June 2010 through May 2011, HLABC offered web access (via WebEx Meeting Centre) to all of our association's events. To assess value and feasibility, we conducted post-event surveys and a whole membership final project evaluation. The overwhelming majority of respondents were enthusiastic about the project's ability to increase event access. Lessons learned from the project include the need for sufficient IT troubleshooting time as well as ways to change meeting culture to better include online attendees within a primarily face-to-face event. An unanticipated benefit to the project was the ability to spontaneously create collaborative new programming, such as an online journal club. At the end of the pilot project, our association resolved to adopt Web delivery as an ongoing strategy, raising member dues a small amount to partly defray the cost of the technology.
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