Appropriate Email Etiquette in the Online Classroom

An online classroom provides a unique way to interact with your instructor and peers. You may feel comfortable enough with them to joke around, and you may even think you can address your professor more as a peer than an authority figure. However, the written word is often misunderstood, and you still are the student, not another professor.  You can run the risk of misrepresenting yourself through email and on discussion boards if you aren’t careful. Here are some tips for email etiquette in the online classroom:

Email Etiquette in the Online Classroom

  1. Always address your professor with respect: Consider your professor to be your boss, and address her with the same level of respect. NEVER address your professor by her first name unless you have received explicit permission to do so (heads up, you won’t). Use appropriate language, i.e. no slang or swear words. Your written word is the only way your instructor knows you. Make a good impression.
  2. Don’t sound angry: When you’re upset about a grade or comment your professor made, it’s natural to feel angry and defensive. Use email to your advantage though. Your professor can’t see your emotions here, so this is a chance to demonstrate your maturity and respect even in the midst of your internal anger. Instead of making accusations, ask for clarification as to why you earned the grade or comment in question. Approaching a conflict respectfully and with a congenial tone will go a long way. Remember, your words are the only way your professor knows you. Just like number 1, make a good impression through email.
  3. Never EVER make a threat: Sometimes we forget that emails are permanent. If you have a true problem with a professor, seek help from another source like your academic advisor. Your professor will take your words seriously, which can result in serious consequences for you. Don’t even joke about a threat. Just. Dont.
  4. Avoid jokes among peers: Online discussion boards are the online equivalent to a classroom discussion. The main difference is inside a classroom, everyone is participating at the same time and can understand your attitude and tone when you make a particular statement. Your peers can feed off of your instructor to determine whether or not you are being appropriate. Abide by the blanket rule to not tell jokes and you’ll be fine.
  5. Respect your professor’s time: Just because you’re up and writing a paper at 11:00 on a Tuesday night does not mean your professor is also awake and ready to answer her emails. Sending her a second message at 2 am will not make her answer your question any sooner. In fact, you may get the opposite result. Abide by the virtual office hours she has set up, and allow an appropriate amount of time to pass before re-sending her your question. A good rule of thumb is up to 24 hours on a weekday and 48 hours on a weekend, unless your professor has stated otherwise. Remember, as an online professor she is serving hundreds of students. In order to keep an appropriate work/life balance, she will have to set boundaries. Observe and respect these boundaries.

Taking online classes can be a rewarding experience, especially for students who can’t otherwise fit college classes into their schedule. Contact us if you have further questions on how to maintain an appropriate email relationship with your peers and professors.

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face Treating This Disease?

Ebola has been a biological bogeyman for decades, but it’s only recently that the disease has made its way into the United States. With fewer than 10 cases and only a single fatality it could be argued that the response to the disease was proper. However, could that fatality have been avoided? And what problems are physicians facing trying to treat this disease in what is supposedly one of the best health care systems in the world?

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?

Ebola is a deadly condition whose symptoms bear a resemblance to influenza (fever, coughing, weakness, vomiting, etc.) until bruising and bleeding starts. Fortunately Ebola is transmitted by close, personal contact (including contact with a patient’s bodily fluids) which means that it’s much more difficult to spread than an airborne virus. When examined from the outside Ebola should be a fairly simple disease to contain and control, and once it’s contained the treatment should be routine.

Should be is the key phrase here.

Ebola 101: What Challenges Do Physicians Face?The primary challenge that physicians face treating Ebola is actually containing it. The disease first has to be identified, and patient placed in isolation, and then physicians need to ascertain that no one else caught the disease from the patient. Given the fear associated with Ebola people may be unlikely to come forward if they were exposed, and this can lead to problems with the disease’s spread.

Another issue that physicians often face is the lack of training and proper protocol regarding Ebola. Whether it’s due to a lack of proper equipment (full body suits that will protect the doctor from a patient’s fluids are a primary concern, and they’re also something of a rarity), or simply not having a plan that’s been communicated to everyone on staff there are often breaches that result in the disease spreading to others when it shouldn’t. Part of the issue is funding, and part of it is experience since those who aren’t familiar with the CDC’s protocols for personal protection may find they make mistakes when they try to follow the guidelines.

Overcoming These Challenges

These challenges are not going to vanish overnight, which is why physicians must take necessary steps to overcome them. Making sure proper equipment is in place is a necessity, and making sure that staff can use that equipment through classes and drilling is also a necessity.

Another necessity is making sure that the protocols put in place are easy to follow, and that they work. That’s where Avidity Medical Design comes into the picture. With years of experience in the healthcare industry, and a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology, Avidity Medical Design can develop curriculum to train your staff on guidelines and strategies for treating patients with the Ebola virus. This comprehensive training is ideal for physicians, as well as nurses and other healthcare practitioners, who must address the demands of treating patients with the Ebola virus.

For more information on how Avidity Medical Design can help you simply contact us today!

3 Ways to Study for Online Classes

With online courses, students have the flexibility of taking their class whenever they want, wherever they want. But with so much flexibility, how do students stay on top of everything?

how to study when taking online coursesBecause online classes don’t consist of a physical classroom and in-person teacher, studying for them may require even more discipline and organization than a regular class would. Students, rather than the teacher, will have to be the ones reminding themselves of when an assignment is due or when a midterm will be.

To help you stay on top of your online classes, here are three study tips that will keep you productive.

1. Create a study schedule for yourself

Because online classes are more flexible, creating a study schedule will help students stay on track. One way to do this is to look at your syllabus and put any due dates onto your calendar. After that, schedule days to study for that exam. What’s more, blocking out time for studying can help you schedule time for work  and family as well.

2. Log into your class daily

One way to stay on top of your online classes is to make sure you’re always updated on it. One way to do this is to log into your online class on a daily basis and see if there are any new messages from the teacher or if any assignments have been rescheduled. Knowing that you’re always checking in will make your online class less overwhelming.

3. Communicate with your teacher on a regular basis, especially if you are struggling

It can be intimidating to ask a teacher for help sometimes, but getting direct help from them is always better than getting stressed out from not knowing what to do. This being said, it’s always a good idea to check in regularly with a teacher to see if you’re on the right track.

If you want to learn about more tips on studying for online classes, visit our website and/or contact us.

How to Minimize Distractions During Your Study Time When Taking Courses Online

Taking online courses sounds like a great idea at first glance. There’s no need to go to a physical location, you can study and complete your work when it’s convenient for you, and the courses are by and large less expensive than traditional courses are. The problem many students realize is that study time becomes even more important when there’s no class time.

That’s why it’s important to minimize all possible distractions so you can get the most out of your study time.how to minimize distractions during your study time

How to Minimize Distractions During Your Study Time

In order to avoid distractions you need to have answers to all of the basic questions before you sit down to work. Who, What, When, Where, How (we know why you’re studying, so you get that answer for free).

– Who: Are you studying alone, or with someone else? Some students work best in solitude, while others work well with someone to keep them on task.

– What: What are you studying? Pick a given thing to study in a session and study that. Maybe it’s a review of chapters 1-3, or just a discussion of the last lesson, but you need to know what you’re studying in order to stay focused.

– When: Different times of day come with different distractions. Late night studying is ideal for some students because it means there’s quiet and roommates or children are asleep. Early mornings might be better, particularly if there are fewer demands on your attention. Once you’ve selected a time make sure you stick to it as best as possible, and inform people who might need to get hold of you that you’re not to be interrupted during this time if it isn’t an emergency.

– Where: Your location is a prime consideration when it comes to distractions. Studying in a familiar place like your bedroom might sound like a good idea but are you surrounded by too many distractions? Your TV with recorded episodes of your favorite show, friends and family stopping by to chat, and worst of all your bed constantly tempting you with a nap. Often it’s a good idea to pick a location where you have nothing else to focus on, such as the library. If leaving home isn’t an option then picking a spot like the basement or the kitchen where there are fewer distractions is a smart idea.

– How: Different people learn in different ways, and it’s important to know how you learn best before you start studying. If you’re the kind of student who can just crack open a book and read that’s great, but if that approach is going to bore you then you’re going to fade quickly and your attention is going to wander. Do you need a video that shows you examples of what you’re studying to focus? Do you need silence or loud music to concentrate? Do you need to take breaks every 20 minutes or so, or are you the sort of student who if you lose your momentum will never get it back? You need to know what works best for you before you get set up.

Tips For Distraction Minimization

If you have answers to the above questions then you have the broad strokes of what you need to do to avoid distractions while you study. There are some specific things that can help if you find your attention wandering though.

– Turn Off Your Communicators: Studying is hard enough without people trying to get hold of you. As such you should close any chat or social media programs you have going that aren’t necessary, and you should turn off notifications on your phone. Leave text or the ringer on, but ignore the rest until you’re done.

– Shut Your Doors: An open door is an invitation to poke one’s head in and see what’s going on. Whether the doors are real (like your bedroom door) or metaphorical (your computer’s connection to the Internet) keep them closed until you’re done.

– Study in Small Doses: It’s a lot easier to study for half an hour or forty minutes a night for a week than it is to study for two hours a night for two days before a test. Your attention is less likely to wander if you just need to take a bite than if you try to eat the whole horse at once.

If you need more tips for making the most of your study time then contact us today!