Skip to Main Content

The Digital Student

Learning in webinars

The best way to learn from a recorded lecture 

Before you watch the recording

Firstly choose when and where you are going to watch the recording.  Did you know that your brain is at its most receptive two hours after you wake up (Hull University, 2020) Although it might be tempting to watch the recording in bed, it is usually best to sit at a table or desk so you can easily take notes. 


working in bed iconWorking space icon





Now is also the time to have a quick read of your notes from the previous lecture and do any preparatory reading outlined in your reading list or by your lecturer. 

During the recording 

Limit distractions 

To keep you focused

  • Ask the people you live with not to disturb you during the recording

  • Turn off the notifications on the device you are using so you are tempted to look at incoming emails, updates etc

  • Put your phone in another room


Making notes during the recording is important to your learning, it keeps your active and engagement with what is being said. Here a few handy tips for making notes in a recorded session that you might not of considered. 

You can paused the recording at any point to allow you to look something up of make more detailed notes

You can take screen shots. this can be very handy to capture any slides used

Make use of time stamps. If you feel an important point is being made then make a note of the time in the recording so you can go back to it if needed. 

Take breaks

If you have a number of recordings to watch make sure to take a break in between. Get up, stretch your legs and give your eyes a break from looking at a screen. 

The day after

One of the best ways to consolidate your learning is to revisit your notes the next day, but don't just read through them, be active. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Highlight key points and phrases

Convert any written notes into a mind map

Condense your writing into bullet points

Use different coloured pens to annotate your notes

Try any methods that gets your to actively engage with what you have written. 

How to get the most from your webinars and online lectures

Learning in an online lecture or webinar has some distinct differences from learning in a classroom. It’s very easy to become a viewer, similar to when you watch a film or tv program but it is important to remain engaged and participate when appropriate. The level of participation may vary.

undefined Check your tech. Check the link you have been sent to join the meeting, do you need to download anything? Check your microphone and camera. If you are using your camera, check your background. Find a suitable location at a table or desk. Although your bed might be comfy, is it the best place to study?

undefined Be prepared. Have all the equipment you need to take notes, whether that be pen and paper or electronically. If the session is being recorded them you have to option to make notes later at a later date so you can fully concentrate on the session live.

undefinedBe patient. Sometimes there can be a time lag between participants. If you ask a question in the chat box or use the raise hand button, it might take the presenter a moments to see it.

undefinedParticipate. Be ready ask or answer questions, do group work or take part in a quiz. Although you are watching a screen you are not a passive viewer you should be an active member of the session. 


Video and microphone 

You may be asked to turn off your camera and microphone for sessions that have lots of people in them, this is to avoid any distractions from the main speaker.  
In Microsoft Teams you can turn your microphone or camera off by clicking on the appropriate buttons at the top of the call screen (if you're are using an iPad and the buttons don’t appear, simply tap the bottom half of your screen).

Teams call menu

If you need to ask a question or communicate something to the group you can use the chat function or the raise hand button. 
Raise hand

In Microsoft Teams you can access the raise hand button by clicking on the Raise button in the call menu. 

Teams menu Raise

Chat box

The chat box appears in the chat menu as a speech bubble.
Teams menu chat

You might be required to ask or answer questions, participate in group discussions or to answer polls or quizzes so it’s important to be ready to participate.