It is less than a month now until medical school begins again, and the strange-ness that is online learning will continue. At the University of Manchester, we are lucky that not much of our classes are set to be online and instead, due to the nature of the course, we will be returning to the medical school for most teaching.
That being said, online learning will be present, as it will for most students across the UK, in one form or another for the foreseeable.
As such, I thought today I would make a short post about some of the tips I have to ensure online learning at medical school is a success for those students about to embark on their adventure.
- Make sure you stick to a timetable every day, even when your classes that day are online. It is so easy to get out of a routine while working at home, but in medical school a routine is one of the most important things. With the sheer volume of content to get through, you have to learn manage your time well and being in a routine makes it 100% easier.
- Don’t just work, work, work. Yes, online learning and social distancing rules can make socialising difficult, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. You are at medical school for many years, and so you need a good support system (inside and outside of being a medic). Make the most of online social events your university and medical school put on, make friends on social media with your course mates and put yourself out there.
- Make time to practice clinical skills and communication skills at home. It is likely that you will be in university for these sessions, but as you might not be on campus for all days of the week, you will need to learn to work on these key attributes in the comfort of your home on friends, family and housemates.
This is by no means an extensive list of tips I have for online learning, but it is a starting point for those that are starting medical school this year. I am no expert in online learning, and nor would I pretend to be.
Like you all, I am new to this way of living and I know that I will continue to learn and adapt this academic year as rules and circumstances change around us.
Make time to settle in more this academic year. Check in on those around you, and make time to look after yourself.
Keep staying safe and we will get through this!