There’s no doubt that every area of our existence was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also profoundly altered the way we approach education. As a result, millions of medical students around the world have started learning online.
Because you chose to pursue a medical career, you are expected to be fully committed to your studies. The reason is simple. The lives of many people may depend on your judgement and skills to put the knowledge into practice.
Therefore, you need to adapt to distance learning and do it as efficiently as possible. This article will teach you some of the best practices to improve your online studying productivity.
How does online learning work?
During online learning, students and teachers communicate using various software. You need a stable and reliable Internet connection to participate in virtual classes.
How you study online often depends on the institution where you are studying. For example, it might have its own dedicated online portal with all of the materials you would ever need. Or maybe you use other online classrooms.
There is a clear benefit to online learning – since everything is digital, you always have access to it. You don’t have to carry heavy books with you every day. All you have to do is sit down at your home and join the virtual classroom. If you have homework, you can create a document, do your research via Google, and finish it much quicker than just using paper books.
It’s also more fun since watching videos, taking quizzes, and listening to audio lectures is now a part of your education.
Everyone approaches online learning differently, but you can still follow some of the best practices of other highly productive students.
Firstly you need to realise that even if you have access to Google, among other resources, online learning isn’t easier than offline learning. You still have to fully understand the material, attend classes, concentrate while studying and just fully commit yourself to the learning process.
This means that you need to be self-disciplined to avoid distractions at home. You need to learn how to use various software and interfaces. And, of course, complete your assignments on time.
If you aren’t willing to adapt and stay disciplined during online learning, you will probably have a tough time.
This may sound a bit hard, but you can make your studying more efficient.
Create a study schedule
In order to improve yourself and make the most of your online lectures, you need to build a study schedule. There is no right or wrong way to do so.
A good study plan will keep you on track with your progress. You shouldn’t feel pressure. It’s okay if you stick to your schedule 80% of the time. The other 20% are for unexpected situations or just if you need more time to relax than usual.
Here are some steps that you can follow to manage your time wisely:
● Study calendar
You can use an electronic or paper planner. Make sure to include your lectures, readings, assignments that need to be completed and important deadlines.
● Use to-do lists
During your online medical education, the to-do lists will be your best friend. They can assist you in studying more effectively and completing tasks more quickly. You also get the satisfaction of checking each thing off your list as you finish it.
● Set time limits
Overworking yourself isn’t productive. All you do is tire yourself. You must always incorporate rest in your studying.
Study for 30 minutes with a 5-minute break. Or 50 minutes with a 10-minute break.
And during your break, try to stand up, stretch, and walk around a little bit. A bit of physical activity is always re-energising.
We highly recommend creating a semester-based study schedule and trying different time management strategies, such as Pomodoro Technique, Rapid Planning Method (RPM), and Time Blocking Method.
Being organised will help you stay disciplined and protect your physical and mental well-being.
This is crucial for international students studying medicine abroad. If you already began your medical journey, you know the challenges of living in a foreign country, cultural shock, the excitement of independence, and meeting new friends. If you are still considering studying medicine or dentistry in Europe, you should know the importance of being organised.
Keeping in mind the amount of information that you will have to learn and the importance of your successful studies, we recommend you a couple of minimus that you can implement in your daily life:
● Sleep for at least six hours a night
Sleeping helps us form memories, repair tissues, release proper amounts of hormones, strengthen our immune systems, remove toxins, etc. It is an essential part of our well-being. So sometimes, instead of studying until late, get some good sleep and begin studying again in the morning. You will feel more energised and find that you memorise various subjects and topics much more effortlessly.
● Eat at least two meals per day
Your body needs energy, and to get it, you must eat. Some of the foods you should include in your diet are dark chocolate, dark leafy greens, meat, eggs, various vegetables, and fruits.
● Be physically active for at least 20-30 minutes
A short workout, fitness routine, yoga, or even some jogging can significantly improve the way you feel. Even as we (people) get older, exercising helps our brains stay in good shape.
● Do something that makes you smile
Don’t forget to rest. Play a video game, watch your favourite series, or relax with friends. Do what makes you happy and give you positive energy.
Set your goals
Medical students who have a long-term goal in mind for their study and profession consider university as only the first step toward realizing their ambition. Each course is viewed as a component of a larger whole that will benefit them in the future.
Defining a long-term goal generally leads to the creation of a thorough plan with intermediate and short-term objectives. This method will assist you in making better judgments about your future. Working through small goals and achieving them will keep you motivated and inspired, and you will soon be able to fulfil your dream.
Create a dedicated study place
Every student needs to have some dedicated space to study. Human minds build associations with various places. For example, you sleep in your bedroom, and you eat in your kitchen. Are you going to study there? No. You will just get either sleepy or hungry.
This is why you need to have your own small studying space. When you sit there, your brain will automatically switch to your learning mode, and you will be much more focused.
As you will be learning online, you will probably spend a lot of time there. So you might as well make it a pleasant experience. Here are few tips to improve your studying space:
● Remove distractions
Let everyone in your family know that you are taking an online class. Ask them not to bother you during your classes so that you can focus on your medical subjects. Additionally, it’s a good idea to turn off your phone and TV as they can be very distracting. And if you do get distracted, it will probably be hard for you to return to studying.
● Keep your lights on
A dark room can be very depressing or even claustrophobic. It will also lead to eye strain and fatigue. So if you sit in a dark space, just buy an inexpensive desk lamp.
Some students prefer studying in total silence, while others are more productive when there is background music. Find the best way for you. Experiment with how much sound you need around you to focus better.
Learning online may be new to you. However, it has many benefits that traditional studying doesn’t have. You can access the subject material from anywhere globally as long as you have a good internet connection.
To study efficiently at home, you will need to discipline yourself. And with online learning, it’s a must. Because of this, you will learn various skills like time management to help yourself stay disciplined.
Later in your life, you will find out that learning online is an experience that truly teaches you about various topics, skills, and study/working hacks that will help you throughout your life.
This post has been sponsored by Medlink Students
Digital Health Buzz! aims to be the destination of choice when it comes to what’s happening in the digital health world. We are not about news and views, but informative articles and thoughts to apply in your business.