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!

Why e-Learning Is So Important In The Healthcare Field

cloud computing for the healthcare sectorEveryone is really busy these days, especially people who work in the healthcare field. However, as a professional, you may need to take classes for many reasons. You might want to advance in your career or simply keep up with continuing education so your knowledge stays up to date. Finding time to fit it all in can be extremely difficult. Because of this healthcare e-learning is becoming more popular and necessary for the following reasons.

  • Online classes are extremely flexible. Usually, you do not have to show up for classes. Instead, you can log on and take them when you have time. This helps when you have to work late or have been up all night with a sick patient.
  • You won’t have to miss work (or weekend time) to take classes. Often, especially with continuing education classes, you would have to miss a whole day of work or spend your entire weekend at a conference. Instead, with online classes, you can work whenever you have some free time.
  • Online classes can be done wherever you have a computer and access to the internet. Everybody has times when they are waiting around, especially people who are on call. If you are able to bring your computer, you can work on your schoolwork while waiting for the next emergency to come in.
  • Online classes can be cheaper than taking classes at a college or conference. The price is often a little cheaper because they don’t need to find a classroom and a designated teacher.   You also do not need to purchase as many textbooks. Instead, teachers will give you links to the websites that you need. You also will not waste gas money on a long drive.

Healthcare e-learning is becoming really popular. It allows extremely busy individuals to fit classes into their busy schedule, whether they work late every night or not. You won’t have to miss any work or lose some of your family weekend time. One of the best parts of online learning is that you can fit the classes in wherever you have a computer and the internet. You can even do it while you are on call!

Contact us to help with your online learning today!

What’s On The Horizon: 3 Important Trends In E-Learning For 2014

The Internet has ushered in an era of prosperity that is unmatched in modern human history. There has never been a time when the common man has been endowed with so much power to change the world through hard work and imagination.

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we do things. This is especially true in the field of education. The traditional brick and mortar classrooms are slowing becoming extinct as digital structures take its place.

This transformation is still in its embryonic stage but is rapidly becoming the norm. More and more people are ready for changes in the way they learn and acquire knowledge.

There are lasting trends that are emerging as fundamental truths in the e-learning arena for the foreseeable future.

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Online Learning Is Becoming More Social

We all learned as grade school students that humans are social creatures that thrive on social interaction.

We want to learn from each other’s experiences and gain perspective through other people’s points of view. This is the essence of learning in its most basic form. The fact that this natural function of human behavior has migrated to the digital world isn’t surprising.

What is surprising is that educators are finally catching on to this fact. E-learning courses that allow students to discover knowledge and insights and share it with their contemporaries have more successful students.

Fostering enhanced collaboration between educator and student is a trend that will continue to evolve.

Learning Isn’t Linear and Never Has Been

Conventional wisdom tells us the A+B=C and is so just because this is the way that it has always been taught. Rote learning techniques for thousands of years has been used as an efficient tool to educate millions of people around the world with great success.

While this is a testament to the enduring spirit of man to streamline the transmission of knowledge, the truth is learning has never been linear. Throughout human history knowledge has been gained and re-discovered in a non-linear fashion. This pattern holds true today in our hyper-connected world.

E-learners today spend time jumping from website to website looking for keywords, scanning articles and not even finishing a paragraph. In fact the average attention span of the average Internet user in 2014 was around 8 seconds!

E-learning courses that are data rich and easy digestible are becoming the norm in today e-learning environments. Incorporating content that is short and interesting is imperative to keeping students actively engaged in the course material.

Visuals Are On The Rise

Infographics, charts, photos and videos are quickly replacing text-based instructions. Visual presentation of information is easy to understand and is more appealing to students. Science lends credence to our predisposition towards visual information. Here are a few interesting facts about visual learning:

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
  • Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text
  • Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour

Click here for more information on visual learning.

The Internet, learning and how we mesh the two together will continue to shift as student learning styles and preferences change. The one constant is that the people will never stop wanting to learn.

If you have any questions about these trends or need help with incorporating some of these trends into your courses please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Getting Continuing Education Credit with Healthcare e-Learning

healthcare e-learningDoctors, EMTs, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners are constantly evolving from a professional standpoint, as medical procedures become more advanced. The value of continuing education cannot be denied; however, the busy professional lifestyle of individuals in the medical field sometimes makes continuing education classes difficult. To meet the demands of busy healthcare professionals, healthcare e-Learning has risen to the challenge. Healthcare e-Learning has become the most efficient way to provide continuing education to medical staff because online professional development training allows professionals to train in their spare time from the comfort of their own homes, rather than commuting back and forth to campus to adhere to an inflexible class schedule.

Avidity Medical Design designs courses for busy healthcare professionals. Courses include:

  • Medical Coding: Courses in medical coding include ICD-10 coding, CPT coding, and other health information management courses that directly pertain to medical coding.
  • Medical Transcription: Courses in medical transcription include practicum courses that help transcriptionists sharpen their skills in medical language interpretation and voice recognition editing.
  • Medical Claims Processing: Courses in medical claims processing train medical claims examiners to accurately apply Medicare and Medicaid guidelines, as well as guidelines for third-party administrators, to challenging claims processing situations.

Avidity Medical Design offers courses for busy medical professionals in the comfort of their homes and on their own timetable. Instructional and motivational design strategies solidify course content and keep doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other healthcare workers on the intellectual forefront of their fields.  Contact us to see how our unique e-Learning courses can help keep your healthcare professionals on track with continuing education and professional development.

The Evolution of e-Learning: What Does It Mean for Your Students?

The teaching machine was the invention of Harvard Psychologist, B.F. Skinner who wrote his stimulus-response theory of human learning in the 1950s. Based on the early research of Pavolv, Skinner’s notion of the human brain was that it was composed of neural bonds he called S-R bonds. A stimulus causes a behavioral response and that pairing is permanently locked in or becomes a permanent neural structure when it is followed by a reward.

In 1954, Skinner was designing mechanical teaching machines that presented information then posed multiple choice questions. The student responded by choosing an answer. If correct, the student was rewarded with a “correct” or some such “positive reinforcement” and was allowed to proceed.

e-learningPresent day e-Learning uses much more sophisticated presentation tools than those available in Skinner’s time. Principles of learning used in course design now incorporate much more sophisticated new concepts of how learning works. Many new teaching methodologies are based on neurophysiology studies and concepts that have evolved out of information processing technology. However, the technical advances apply more to the presentation of course materials than to the assessment of student learning and progress.

The e-Learning software still calls for use of the multiple choice format for assessing learning acquisition. If the course designer wants to incorporate long answer responses such as essays into the assessment of student knowledge acquisition, intervention of a human scorer is still necessary.

In spite of those limitations, e-Learning is ideal for training mature learners, especially in the fact-based healthcare fields and the exact sciences. Detailed information can be presented in vivid graphic and animated form to students. The software can be expertly programmed to account for rates of acquisition of information. Lessons can be presented in a range of visual, auditory and mixed formats that can incorporate a world of available materials.

Knowledge acquisition and progress can be adequately assessed and feedback to the student can be presented to sizable numbers of learners in many locations. Studies have shown coursework delivered with minimal face-to-face contact with teachers is not less effective than face-to-face courses.

Please contact us with comments or questions.

Fostering Virtual Community Enriches Healthcare e-Learning

Healthcare e-Learning can be a solitary and sometimes lonely undertaking. Helping students get to know one another, and form a community, can be beneficial during and after the class. Even if students work in the same building, they may not know each other. Taking a course together can be a bonding experience.

For some e-learners it can be particularly motivating to have a group of friends online to share insights and experiences. When the course is over, these relationships can help reinforce what was learned during the course.

Some students study together live, at scheduled times. Others go at their own pace, on their own schedule. Here are ways to build virtual communities, which address the needs of both types of learners.

healthcare e-learning

Virtual community can help make online learning more fun

Virtual Student Lounge — Having a space where people can gather informally, to discuss material or other topics, fosters community. Facebook groups and Google hangouts are popular options, as are online forums. If the technology is available, create a space within the e-learning portal.

Student Profiles — Invite students to create on-line profiles. Encourage them to include hobbies and interests, so students can discover what they share in common. Short videos, posted on YouTube, are a highly engaging ways for students to introduce themselves to the rest of the community.

Planned Group Activities — Give people a reason to gather online, to discuss a particular topic or work on a group project.

Live Activities – When students are online at the same time, there are ways to increase a sense of community. Among them:

Sidebar — Allow comments and questions during part, or all, of the presentation.

Video “Hellos” – Make time during the classes for everyone to turn on their cameras and say hello to each other.

Breakout Spaces – Where appropriate, create opportunities for small groups to gather in video chat rooms to discuss material.

Motivate Self-Paced Learners — Have regular email communication with students, even if these are automatic emails sent when students reach milestones in the course.

Other ways to make students feel they are part of a community are virtual “office hours” with teachers or knowledgeable leaders, and the opportunity to give feedback, either during the course or at the end.

Everyone’s time is limited. E-learners need to feel, first and foremost, that the course they are taking has value and will ultimately benefit their lives. Community activities associated with e-Learning should be well organized and clearly presented, so students feel these are also good uses of their time.

Avidity Medical Design specializes in the design of engaging, e-learning curriculums for health-related topics. We tailor presentations to the specific needs of our educational and corporate clients. To learn more, including ways to build online learning communities for your students, please contact us.