Having used videos as study aids while in medical school I assumed these online lectures would be something similar. However, while they had the same essence they came with their own set of challenges. Some benefits of having these lectures in the virtual format enabled me to ask and answer more questions via the chat function. Normally, unless I was called upon I would hesitate to ask and answer questions in a big classroom. However, the virtual format helped reduce the feeling of judgment. Furthermore, I found that if I was unsure of something a lecturer stated, I felt more at ease to look up further information on the internet. Furthermore, the time saved from commuting to the school was a huge bonus and provided me with extra time in my schedule.
However, there are some challenges associated with virtual lectures as well. The primary challenge is the ability to stay motivated through longer sessions. As there is not much engagement, at times I found my mind wandering and had to re-focus. This would be compounded by technological and internet connectivity issues.
Here are some tips and tricks that helped me combat these challenges. First, since staying motivated was an issue I would always ensure not to wear “lazy day” clothes. These include things such as sweats and pajamas. I found that the days when I was running late and watched a lecture in my sweats, I was much less motivated and engaged than those where I took the time and effort to dress up. Second, I ensured that my workplace did not have distractions and was in a bright room. I moved my desk and faced it closer to the window to allow the natural light to further motivate me. Finally, I took the time to look through my notes after the lecture and fill in any gaps as I knew if I did not complete this now it would be forgotten. Overall, even though I am an avid video watcher when it comes to studying, the transition to virtual learning was rocky. However, with some tweaks and ongoing trials and tribulations, I have found a routine that works best for me!