Webinars are a useful educational delivery method for specific situations and customers. A webinar can allow access to an in-depth presentation for customers unable to attend a live event, and can eliminate the travel and costs of conducting a shorter face-to-face workshop or course.

Webinars are initially aired live, hosted by one or more instructors. They give attendees a way to learn from and interact with the instructor from the comfort of their own computer. During the live airing, attendees can ask questions in real-time. Webinar preparation and presentations closely resemble that for giving a live lecture, such as developing a presentation, but presenters must consider the online audience. Since live webinars do allow for Q&A, it is beneficial to have someone act as moderator who can screen, record, and pass questions accordingly. Webinars can be recorded and shared with participants afterwards, and/or published to the web. Customers are required to register for an Extension webinar event, and in some cases the registration may require a fee.

How to Request a Webinar Event

If you would like to hold a webinar that is not already part of a regularly scheduled series, first complete and submit the Communications and Marketing Request form. Consult with your team, ADP, and marketing strategist as you consider and plan for the following details:

  • Will the webinar be free or paid for?
  • Will people external to Penn State Extension (such as from industry or government) be presenting?
  • What level of marketing support do you need?
  • Will the webinar be made available to participants afterwards?
  • Will the webinar be published publicly to the web?

A Marketing Strategy Specialist or Team Marketing Coordinator will respond and help you plan through your webinar offering and marketing strategy:

  • Decide if the recorded webinar has value to customers that did not attend.
  • Decide if the content is easily accessed in the webinar format, or needs to be transformed in to another product (Learn Now video, Online Course, Article).
  • Consider whether the experience is valuable enough to be part of a broader marketing campaign or strategy.
  • Determine if a recorded webinar should be actively promoted and marketed as a product.

Publish the Webinar Event to the Extension Website

  • If the webinar will be a free event, follow the procedure for creating an event page in Plone and setting up registration. See Plone Self Management for events.
  • If the webinar will be a paid event, follow the procedure for requesting an event in Cvent. See Cvent Request Process.

Both options will ask you to complete an Audience Request to initiate the marketing and publicity for your webinar event.

Plan Your Webinar Presentation

Just like a live lecture event or workshop, a webinar typically delivers a PowerPoint presentation. Please use the following guidelines when designing a webinar Presentation.

PowerPoint Template

Use the standard Penn State Extension template for all webinar presentations. See PowerPoint Templates to download Extension and 4-H branded templates. Use the 16x9 or Learn Now PowerPoint template; this size is best captured as a widescreen format video.

When designing your PowerPoint, use large enough fonts and images so an audience watching your presentation on a small laptop or tablet will be able to read and view it easily.

Extension Branding and Webinar Title Slide

In addition to using the Extension PowerPoint template, use a title slide that clearly displays the Extension logo and identifies the title of the webinar along with the presenter's name, title and affiliation.

Please use an Extension-branded title slide even for webinar presentations that may be created and delivered by a non-PSU individual or institution. It's important to indicate Extension branding and identification on the title slide for all webinars hosted on our site.

During a live webinar, the Title slide should be the first item displayed when users log into a webinar and when the recording begins.

Copyright and Credits

Penn State University is responsible for the copyright and crediting of all digital content published to its web pages and online platforms. This includes webinars and the images and content used in them.

Penn State expects us all to provide attribution for using a quote, statistic, data, image, or graphic that comes from another source by including the appropriate credits (citations).

When creating your Webinar presentation, include attributions for all content, images, and graphics that are not your own. You can include credits in small font at the bottom of each slide, or on a single "Credits" page at the end of the presentation. For further information on searching for, using, and crediting digital images, see the Copyright and Image Use Guidelines.

External presenters also must provide appropriate credits in their presentations. Because Penn State is hosting the webinar on our website, Penn State becomes responsible for the content. See Webinar Copyright Image Guidelines for a downloadable PDF to share with the presenters.

If you need assistance with your webinar PowerPoint presentation, including image credits, please see your Team Marketing Coordinator.

Hosting and Recording a Webinar

Penn State Extension uses Zoom, Penn State's webinar conferencing tool for hosting and recording webinars, and Kaltura, Penn State's cloud-based video management platform, for accessing and managing the video recording of your webinar.

Go to Penn State's Conferencing and Media Management site for detailed information about using Zoom for webinars, including account setup information, documentation and training, and quick-start guides.

For assistance in setting up and managing a Zoom webinar event or recording, please contact Penn State Ag Sciences IT or fill out their Help Request form.

Best practices for webinars

  • Keep presentations to an hour or less.
  • Use a moderator to handle questions, comments and engage the online audience.

Webinar Recording: Important details.

Per Pennsylvania wiretapping law, you must inform participants if you plan on recording the session. Also, discussion of High-risk or Restricted data (as defined in AD95) is not permitted while recording.

When recording, choose Record to the Cloud to save your recorded webinar to the Kaltura video management platform. This is important for later sharing the completed webinar with the Digital Education team for publication to the website.

Access Your Webinar Recording

Recorded webinars are automatically stored in your Kaltura video and media storage space at Penn State. You can access the recording afterwards by logging in to your Kaltura Media Space.

For the process of publishing your webinar to the Penn State Extension website or sharing with attendees, see Penn State Extension Webinars - Processing a Webinar Recording for the Extension Website.