Like most universities throughout the world, many are being forced to switch to online education once lockdown had been announced. It certainly took a lot to get used to, particularly when all students had to utilize the apps that they had never even heard of in the past (Like video calling apps such as Zoom). Here are some of the ways in which digital learning is advancing the medical field and the lives of medical students everywhere.
A case-by-case basis of pre-recorded lectures
Since many of the professors are physicians, they are not able to hold lectures with students on Zoom. Students are rather allowed access to the previous year’s lecture recordings. This can be considered as suitable to follow the course at a student’s pace, instead of having to sit in for four lectures straight and then exit the lecture room feeling even more confused about the course material than before.
Although, a point to remember can be that a significant advantage lies in the overall quality of the videotapes. Lecturers need to remember to turn the microphones on as students have experienced issues with accessing the audio from the video. The additional dedication also has to be taken into account as there are no lecturers to personally check if students are covering all the course material.
Some of the disadvantages that students felt they experienced include missing out on the general environment of a lecture. Seated in a theatre with a couple of hundred other pupils who are learning and growing together really helps to make other students feel supported in their journey in the medical profession.
Students look forward to seeing their colleagues for the reason that it feels good to have a conversation with other medical students and socialize with each other.
Anatomy without cadavers
Anatomy is an exception to lectures. During the course of study, students can still get to have a conventional anatomy lecture which is followed by a hands-on assessment. Due to the covid 19 pandemic, the anatomy staff has to provide a few videos for students to view and learn from. Students are also provided with an anatomy app on their tablets or phones which helps them to explore to get an understanding of the ideas involved in the course material.
Students sometimes find that this cannot work in their favor at all for me due to the fact that the certain modules they have to complete include complex systems like the locomotor system, which basically involves just about a million separate muscles. Working with cadavers involved helped students to consolidate what had been lectured about at lectures, and many of them feel as though they are now clutching at wafer-thin air while working through content that is online.
Tutorials: Which One’s are Cancelled?
Most of the tutorials linked to microscopy and pathologies are being cancelled. The only lessons that are going to be continuous are problem-based learning (PBL) sessions. In PBL, students are divided into groups for the entire semester and are provided case studies to analyze the study and discuss findings. These sessions are organized twice a week, as normal, over Zoom with a facilitator. Students usually look forward to these sessions due to the fact that it felt pleasant to have a conversation with other medical students and catch up with one another.
An additional advantage of online learning is the rise in the exam-revision lessons not just coordinated by the pupils at the university but associations outside too. Although many of the students are only present at the university-arranged lessons, there is useful information provided at the others as well.
How to stay focused while studying online
Studying gives students something useful to do each day.
Students find it extremely tough to encourage themselves to continue working while studying online.
Adopting software that can assist students in making a schedule for themselves, will help them to count down the days prior to the test day and spread a study plan out as equally as possible.
During times like Covid-19, studying gives students something positive to do each day. Many medical students are always on their feet and it can feel horrible if they have not achieved something for the day. Students being able to view a lecture, take down notes, and attempt to study the course material can make them feel great about themselves.
How were exams conducted?
Most of the time, the exams will be multiple-choice questions with a few extremely short answer questions (VSAQs), and they are done in digital format, on pcs. The only transformation in this regard is that students are granted access to the portal on their own portable computers or home laptops. The exams are open book, which suggests that students are permitted to glance through their notes or presentation slides. Students are, however, not permitted to talk about the question with their colleagues. (So, basically, they are not allowed to arrange a call on a house party and write the examinations with each other.)
In a Nutshell
Even though certain factors of medical school works really well online, such as the USMLE prep course and the exams, Students still miss the benefits of good old fashioned face to face lectures and study sessions.
This post has been sponsored by Incify.
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