Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dr. Gilbert’s Tips for Online Learning

Timothy Gilbert, Ed.D., assistant dean of accreditation and planning at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently facilitated a Wellness Chat with USA medical students via Zoom. He provided some tips for getting the most out of online instruction.

“Managing our own self-discipline is the single biggest obstacle to success online,” Gilbert said. “Simply saying, ‘today I’m going to study’ is frequently not enough. To combat that lack of time management, you need a schedule.”


Create a schedule.
  • Use a calendar model (right) or checkbox model (above). 
  • Hard to stick to? Add more detail. 
  • Be realistic and schedule breaks. 
Know and manage your distractions.
  • Electronics/social media 
  • Friends and family
  • Refrigerator (plan your meals and snacks)
Manage your environment.
  • Keep your study space – physical and virtual – well organized. 
  • Ensure you have reliable connectivity, especially if you are planning to change your physical location. 
  • Back up often. 
  • Use reliable external resources that you know work. Ensure your subscriptions are up to date. Avoid using too many.
Keep in contact.
Peers
  • Zoom is available for free.
  • E-study buddy. Can be really helpful if you are a procrastinator.
  • Study/review groups – be cautious.
Faculty
  • Be intentional with contact/questions. No opportunity for casual encounters, so make your point clear.
  • Pay attention to stated objectives. 
Prepare for tests.
  • Add links to resources. 
  • Add good notes you have made.
  • Identify slides that are likely question targets.
Stay well.
Sleep
  • Stay on a regular cycle.
  • Shoot for 7 hours.
Exercise
  • Aim for 60-90 minutes/day.
  • Participate in online exercise sessions.
  • Get outside. 
  • Be creative.
Nutrition/hydration
  • Remember, bad habits come easy.
  • Consider online meal kits.
  • Drink lots of water.

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