How truly inspired learning brings your medical training to life

Online healthcare courses are the norm for today’s budding medical students. Most students dread the boring, two-dimensional, rote learning of “online courses.” Online healthcare courses don’t have to take the inspiration out of learning. At Avidity, our courses are designed to engage and inspire you! What happened to hands-on anatomy, the engaging questions and answers in pathology or epidemiology? None of these topics are cut and dry – and that is what makes the study and practice of medicine so fascinating.

In a field that is constantly evolving and innovation, the way we learn and transfer that learning into the real world should bejust as exciting. Welcome to Avidity Medical Design, where we bring your online healthcare courses to vivid, vibrant life. Our courses are so uniquely engaging, so completely inspired, they smooth out the inevitable transition from book learning to on-the-spot clinical experience.

How do we do it? Here’s some insight into how to transfer your online training directly to the medical office:

how to transfer your training to the medical officeThe right tools for the job

The world of online healthcare course design is a lot bigger than most people realize. Why shouldn’t we be usingDreamweaver, Captivate, and Sharepoint in addition to introducing the standard medical software? Sheila D. McCray, MS, CCS, CCS-P, principal of Avidity Medical Design, holds certifications in all these applications and more. She brings her vast experience in medical coding and software design to bear in Avidity’s online health courses.

Captivating visuals of anatomy and biological processes brilliantly animated come to life before your eyes. Because Sheila holds a Master’s in Instructional and Performance Technology, the courses she designs for Avidity illuminate medical billing, coding, and statistics like you’ve never seen them before.

An engaged learner is a real-world doer

Because our online courses aim to engage all your senses, and to present information in new, innovative ways, you graduate with an internalized understanding of real-world, clinical applications of all your learning. It is not enough to memorize by rote. Medical offices are anything but predictable, rote, and routine! Avidity’s online healthcare courses transfer your engaged learning directly to your new medical career, doing what you love.

The more engaged you are with the material, the easier it is to transfer your training to the medical office. Contact us to get started with the most exciting online healthcare courses today!

The Role of Instagram for Students in the Online Classroom

instagram and the online classroomWhen people think of Instagram in the classroom they typically think of problems students have goofing off on social media and sharing pictures and video when they should be paying attention to what the teacher is talking about. When it comes to online learning and the digital classroom though, Instagram might be a useful tool instead of a useless distraction.

Instagram and the Online Classroom

For those of you not familiar with Instagram as a service, it’s a social media platform that specializes in sharing pictures and video both among Instagram users and within other social media platforms. For those whose entire classroom experience takes place over the Internet, the ability to quickly share images and video with classmates can be a necessity. Instructors may also find the video-sharing capabilities of Instagram to be beneficial for making announcements and for getting lectures into a student’s news feed.

The real power of Instagram isn’t the speed with which this media can be shared though; it’s that Instagram posts across different platforms. This means that someone can post an image or video once, and it will shoot across several different social media websites. This can be extremely useful for teachers, or for group projects when someone wants to make sure everyone sees an update, but that person doesn’t want to post and re-post the same content a dozen times.

Any technology that allows for faster, more streamlined communication across great distances is going to find a use in the online classroom. The key to Instagram is to use it to enhance the learning experience. For more information about social media and its place in the online classroom simply contact us today!

Tips For How to Get a Healthcare Internship in the Online Classroom

The normal course of events in college is that you go to class, get your degree, and get a job. Some fields are less likely to hire fresh graduates though, which is why it’s often a good idea to complete an internship. Since it’s now possible to take your classes and get your degree online, it’s also possible for you to get an online internship.

How to Get a Healthcare Internship in the Online Classroomhow to get a healthcare internship in the online classroom

Tip #1: Use Your Network

One of the biggest advantages of attending college is the network it provides. You have teachers, classmates, and even support staff at the school to help you find jobs as well as internships. If you’re looking for an online healthcare internship then you should touch base with all of these outlets and ask if they can help you find one. Sometimes your teacher will be able to recommend you to one right off the bat, ending your search almost as soon as it’s begun.

Tip #2: Check Your Email and Newsletters

Businesses offering online internships will often contact colleges who will try to relay the openings to students. That’s why it’s important to check the student announcements and to see if there are newsletters or email lists you can subscribe to through school. Often these will help you find leads.

Tips #3: Spruce Up Your Resume

It’s important to make yourself look good on paper since this will help you land an internship. Contact the student writing center, your professor, or even other classmates to get advice on how you should structure your resume. This is important for getting an online internship, so you need to start strong.

Tip #4: Ask About Online Options (Even if None Are Listed)

It is important to remember that you may find the perfect internship, but it may not necessarily not be an online one. Don’t be afraid to email the program and ask if the internship is an online internship, or to double-check with your academic advisor just to make sure.

Keep in mind that the goal of your internship is to help you gain experience and sharpen your skills in the field that you choose. An internship gives you the opportunity to prove that you are a hard worker and a self-starter, who is willing to learn. For more tips on how to get a good internship, contact us today!

The Many Benefits of YouTube in Healthcare eLearning

The human body hasn’t changed all that much in thousands of years. What has changed is our level of knowledge about it, and the tools we use to educate ourselves on what is going on inside all of us. While there’s nothing wrong with reading text books and examining medical diagrams (if that method is the one that cements the facts you need in your mind) there are a lot of useful tools available at the touch of a button. One of those tools is YouTube.

The Benefits of YouTube in Healthcare eLearning

The Benefits of YouTube in Healthcare eLearningYouTube is the go-to location for everything from adorable cat videos to people failing at parkour and bike ramping, but the site is also replete with videos on anatomy, surgery, proper technique for delivering CPR, and hundreds of other useful healthcare facts. These videos are typically easy to find, and because of the nature of YouTube they’re free to access aside from the cost in time of watching an ad or two. Also thanks to the advances in technology and mobile devices you can watch these videos on your phone, on a tablet, on your laptop, or even on an old-fashioned desktop machine.

YouTube has revolutionized the way we think about video, and it has made things that once would have been expensive or difficult to find easy to locate and free to watch. Not only that but due to the impact of social media it’s possible to quickly and easily share YouTube videos with classmates, instructors, and even friends who might just have a passing interest in the field. You can watch these videos over and over again without any costs until you have absorbed them completely.

The Future of eLearning?

The Internet has made it possible for students to connect and share information in ways that would never have been possible before. It’s also rendered the traditional classroom unnecessary for a number of different subjects. Students who choose to embrace elearning need access to all the tools they can get, and YouTube is quickly becoming one of the best sources of useful, actionable information they could ask for.

For more information on elearning in healthcare simply contact us today!

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Success in the Online Classroom

We make resolutions every year to tackle a variety of different issues–weight loss, improved health, better performance at work… Resolutions are made to help improve areas of difficulty or struggle. Online schooling requires a degree of discipline that can be difficult to maintain. So why not try making New Year’s resolutions for online success? Check out these ten resolutions for success in your online classroom:

new years resolutions for online success1. I will live by the syllabus. The syllabus is your most important tool in an online course. Most teachers create a very detailed syllabus that outlines each assignment. The syllabus will help you stay on track and complete assignments on time. The biggest mistake online students make is to simply skim the syllabus and then forget about it.

2. I will embrace my strengths. Let’s face it–highlighting big chunks of text and committing them to memory is not for everyone. Think outside the box when it’s time to study. Are you a visual learner? Does music help you study? Consider your strengths when developing a study plan. You are much more likely to retain information if it is presented in a way that you enjoy. Try this quiz to determine your learning style and learn helpful tips about studying.

3. I will learn how to use online tools. Thoroughly read through the instructor’s list of classroom tools. Become familiar with each tool by going through it extensively and learning exactly how it works. Taking a little extra time to explore these elements can be a lifesaver. You will use many of the same core tools for different courses and you will become proficient in their use over time.

4. I will become a master of time management. Many online students find that time management is one of their biggest challenges. Online courses are a great choice for students with a very busy lifestyle–they may have children and a full-time career, leaving little time for attending a traditional bricks-and-mortar school. The opportunity to attend class from your own home is very convenient, but it also requires strict discipline. Developing a plan to manage your time (and sticking to it) is essential for success in online classes. You have to create schedules to help juggle your daily commitments and prepare for unexpected occurrences that will affect your class time. For example, if your assignments are always due on Sundays, and your children have loads of activities on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you should plan to have assignments completed no later than Wednesday of each week. Download an app that allows access to your classroom discussions in case of emergencies that keep you away from your computer. Mobile access to your classroom can come in handy.

5. I will participate in discussion. Discussion questions and participation are often a large part of your final grade in an online course. Since you are not attending a class in person, your contributions to discussions are the only way an instructor can gauge your participation. Treat these discussions as important as assignments, and be sure to respond with thought-provoking messages–avoid quick replies such as “I agree” or “I disagree”.

6. I will be ambitious. Online learning is challenging, and requires patience, stamina, and ambition. You must stay motivated in order to be successful. The last thing you want to do after a long day at work is to sit in front of the computer screen again–this is a difficulty that many students face. It is important to think often about the outcome of your online learning. You may be working toward obtaining a degree so you can finally find a job you truly love. Your degree might mean more income to ease financial stress. Think about your long-term goals whenever you feel yourself losing motivation.

7. I will not be afraid to ask for help. Some people don’t like to ask for help. They see it as a sign of weakness, or they are afraid of looking unintelligent. You will have to ask for help when you are attending online school. You will need help both in your courses and at home–everyone does. There will be some assignments that you just don’t understand, and you can ask your instructor or classmates for help. There will be times when you need to ask a family member to step up and help you with something around the house so that you can meet a deadline for class. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak–it makes you smart.

8. I will learn effective online communication. Online communication is quite different from face-to-face communication, and most people don’t realize this until they take an online course. Face-to-face communication involves more than just spoken words. You are able to read body language and facial expressions, which are both quite helpful in understanding someone’s message. Online communication relies mostly on words (although in some cases emoticons are used). This is very important to remember, because people may not be able to pick up on things like sarcasm or playful tones. Your messages must be very clear and concise and always avoid ambiguous wording.

9. I will not overburden myself. Online courses often require even more time than a traditional college course, so it is important to start slowly. Try one or two courses when you begin online schooling, until you become accustomed to it. You may decide that you can handle more, but you’ll probably find that one or two courses at once fits in well with your schedule.

10. I will create a “study” spot for myself. Most people have a specific environment that enables concentration and fosters creativity. Create a specific “study” spot in your home. You may be able to better concentrate in a quiet atmosphere, or you may find too much quiet distracting. Consider your personal preferences, and find a spot that works best for you.

Attending school online is challenging, and it is often difficult to stay motivated and avoid stress. Online learning is also very rewarding, and skills learned online can be immediately applied to the real world. Please contact us for more information regarding online classroom success.

Completing Homework in the Online Classroom

One of the biggest differences between online and on-campus classroom dynamic is person-to-person contact. While we are not face-to-face with the instructor, oftentimes we can actually have more contact with the instructor. We are less likely to respond in a classroom setting, whereas online, it is a requirement and the instructor schedules in time to grade exams and essays, as well as read each student’s post, including their responses. So the instructor actually gets a better view into a student’s individual personality and a good feel for the overall comprehension within the class group. This can be immeasurable in knowing how to complete homework assignments in the online environment

how to complete homework assignments in  the online environmentOnline courses run on a weekly schedule, whether it is 8 or 16 weeks. For example, class will begin on a Monday and end on Sunday. The first day of class will begin with an introduction from the students and instructor. This is the time to let the instructor and other students in the class know who you are geographically, what your major is, how long you’ve been in school, etc. It also gives you a chance to show a little side of your personality. It’s not a bio, just an introduction. If you are unsure when you first start, there will probably be one or two students who are familiar enough to start the general posts. Just read through those and fill in your own information in your own way. This is an excellent way to gain a good rapport with your instructor as well as the other students. He/she will understand that you are engaged.

Most online universities run the schedule to the left (or the right) of the screen when you are “in” your class. Instructors will post or dictate what the week’s lesson is, including whatever readings, websites, research, etc. that needs to be done in order to fulfill the week’s requirement. You will have until Wednesday or Thursday to respond. Additionally, you will need to respond to at least two other students who have posted. The instructor expects these to be well thought out answers, and your response will be included in your grade, so consider them part of the weekly assessment.

Depending on the university, you can look ahead and get a feel for the work coming your way. Most syllabi will cover most of it. Don’t rely on the syllabus alone. Instructors generally add vital information at the beginning of the week through their own post.

In most classes there will be some sort of assessment at the end of each week, be it an online exam, amount of online homework completed, or an essay. Sometimes, in addition to posts, there are other activities that involve other students, who will be depending on you for part of their grade, whether it is helping with research or in submitting the final project.

Most times the instructor will not overwhelm you with material, but sometimes, particularly in upper level courses, there is a lot of material to cover and comprehend for overall comprehension. Some classes, such as mathematics, have online homework that gives you instant feedback. It is also included in your final grade. This is especially useful for students struggling to understand a concept, but it can also throw you behind if you get caught up in one particular section. Email your instructor, another student in your class or the university’s student services if you have any problems.

Falling behind in one class will also jeopardize any other classes you are in so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself mentally. Accept ahead of time that this can happen and prepare physically to thwart any hills coming your way. Mostly this means just being present, in class, in activities and in reading the material assigned.

Commit yourself openly for the first couple weeks until you can get a feel for completing expectations. Measure your homework against any other classes you have as well as your own personal schedule. Keep in mind, of course, that the class itself will become more demanding as the course progresses. Most students will find that they fare better in their own major classes. Consider balancing one in your major and one outside requirement so that you don’t have two classes that bog you down.

Again, instructors aren’t usually trying to overwhelm you, but sometimes there is a lot of reading and research involved. Making sure you have enough time to complete the requirements and comprehend the lessons for the week will most assuredly help you pass the class. For more information contact us.

How to Deal With Conflicts With Your Online Instructor (And Maintain A Positive Relationship)

Online instruction is becoming more and more popular as a form of education, and why not? Students pay less for the courses, they have more flexibility on their time, there’s no need to show up to a physical classroom, and as long as students have an Internet connection they can get the lessons they need. Some things never change though, and one of those things is conflict between students and instructors.

Fortunately for students though it’s often possible to resolve conflict with an instructor by taking measured, reasonable steps.

how to deal with conflicts with your online instructorHow to Deal With Conflicts With Your Online Instructor

Step One: Remove Emotion, Define the Conflict

The first step to resolving conflict with your online instructor is to take a deep breath, and relax. Conflict by its very nature can lead to hot tempers and angry demands, so it’s best to take a day or so and make sure you can think through the conflict before you do anything you might regret. Once you’ve calmed down examine the situation on its facts; is there a conflict here? If there is, can you define what it is? Maybe it’s the way your instructor graded your essay, or you need to get an extension on a project due to extenuating circumstances, but make sure you can define it simply.

Step Two: Contact Your Instructor And Arrange A Meeting

Online instructors, just like physical ones, will have office hours or days when it’s best to contact them (you’ll find the information in your syllabus). Email or call your professor and ask if you can schedule a meeting at a given time or on a given day. If a face-to-face meeting is possible that’s typically the best option, but if you can Skype or discuss things over a phone call that’s often better than discussing your situation purely through text since there’s facial expression, tone of voice, etc. to help convey meaning.

Step 3: Lay Out The Situation and Your Problems With It

When you have your meeting lay out the situation as you see it, and the difficulties you’re currently facing. Don’t make accusations or try to lay blame, but instead try to reach across the aisle and communicate openly. If you don’t understand something then ask for clarification. Once you’ve laid out the situation as you see it, ask if what you’re seeing is accurate, and give your instructor time to explain his or her side of things.

Step 4: Discuss Possible Solutions

Once the problem has been laid out the next step is to discuss methods that can be taken to solve it. If you feel that your grade on an essay wasn’t as high as deserved an instructor might be willing to consider your points and alter the final grade. Alternatively the instructor might suggest that he or she review your next paper to ensure that you get the grade you want. It’s important to work with your instructor to find a solution that’s fair and reasonable.

If you go through all of these steps you’ll be able to bring your concerns to your instructor, and hopefully find solutions to fix the problem as it exists. There’s no guarantee that it will work, but if you’re respectful, honest, and open about the issues you’re having then you’re much more likely to get them resolved than if you aren’t.

For more information on dealing with online courses and conflicts simply contact us today!