How to Work With Your Classmates in Discussion Groups For Your Online Classes

Online classes are different from traditional courses in a variety of ways. Their schedules are more flexible, you don’t have to be in a physical classroom, and work is handed in via email instead of passed to the front of the room. Online classes are still How to Work With Your Classmates in Discussion Groupsthe same in many ways though, and one of them is that students should get together to discuss the material they’re all trying to learn. One of the most common ways this happens is to create online discussion groups either in a forum-style setting, chat room, or via a Skype connection so that students who can’t get together physically can still talk.

Before you decide to try to work with your classmates online though, you need to make sure you’re ready to deal with any drama or problems that might ensue.

How to Work With Your Classmates in Discussion Groups

Tip #1: Establish Some Rules (And Enforce Them)

In order to make sure everyone in a group is on the same page it’s important to create a list of rules for everyone to abide by. These rules will help keep discussions on track, and they can help everyone feel secure. For instance a discussion group might install a rule that says “respect other members and their wishes,” or “this is a place for discussion and learning. If you can’t be civil you’ll be asked to leave.” Once the rules are established make sure you have a moderator who can take action to enforce those rules.

Tip #2: Try To Avoid Miscommunication

In any group setting it’s almost a given that someone is going to say something that will be misinterpreted. Rather than jumping all over someone or getting snarky though it’s a much better idea to ask what that person meant. If you can keep a civil discourse then you’ll get much clearer communication, and be able to learn more about both the subject matter and your fellow students at the same time.

Tip #3: Figure Out What You Want

When you join a discussion group for your online classes you need to know what you want out of the deal. Are you looking to socialize with your classmates to help feel more like a traditional class setting? Are you confused about the material and need help learning it? Do you want to help others by offering your own insight? You need to know what you’re expecting before you join so that you can figure out whether or not this group is going to meet your needs. If not then you either need to try to change the group, or find one that’s more suited to what you require.

For more information about online classes and how to succeed in them simply contact us today!

Anatomy and Physiology in the Online Classroom

Why Is It Important to Learn Anatomy and Physiology?

A very wise farmer once said, “Before you do anything, you gotta dig a hole. Then you can fill that hole with the foundation you need to build anything you choose to build.” (Wm Hugh Smith Sr.). This statement is especially true when it comes to taking an Anatomy and Physiology course online.

why it is important to learn anatomy and physiologyThink of taking an Anatomy and Physiology class as digging a hole and building a foundation for the healthcare classes that come later. Although there may be other healthcare classes that may seem like more fun, skipping an Anatomy and Physiology class can short circuit your medical knowledge and stunt your career growth in the healthcare field. This is one reason why Anatomy and Physiology classes are mandatory for all healthcare students.

Anatomy and Physiology introduces you to the basic concepts and fundamental medical terms used throughout the healthcare industry. It helps you understand how parts of the body work alone and together to keep us alive. It also shows you what these parts look like when they are healthy and unhealthy, and when something goes wrong with a certain part of the body. Think of the parts of the body as a rubber band that stretches in many different directions. If the rubber band pops, you have to understand what caused it to pop and what needs to be done to fix it.

Armed with more than just a basic understanding of the human body and the ways in which it should work, a healthcare professional can more readily identify what may be working correctly and what may be working incorrectly. It becomes much easier to spot these differences when you understand what you are seeing. Once you are able to identify the problem it becomes easier to treat.

With Anatomy and Physiology as your basic foundation, you gain a solid understanding of the human body and how it works, as well as the terminology used to describe the human body. With this level of knowledge, you won’t just be able to do your job, you will be able to do your job well because you be able to make the right decisions from a healthcare standpoint, regardless of the nature of your job in the medical field. This enhances your reputation as a healthcare professional.

Enrolling in online classes is a good way to learn the fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology because  you can schedule your study time around family and work responsibilities. Contact us for more information on the benefits of learning Anatomy and Physiology in the online classroom!

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!

woman speaking with doctor in doctor's office

Why Medical Terminology Is So Important To Learn

Medical terminology is important if you work in the healthcare field. It is the basis for all that you will do. It is used to describe symptoms, diagnoses, tests that need to be ordered and ran, and special medical equipment. The terminology is spoken and written in charts so you must learn to say, spell, and read medical terms.

medical terminology

Medical terminology is important for many reasons.

  • It allows all healthcare workers to communicate in one language.
  • You will use it every day when you work in the healthcare field.
  • If you have to get your medical dictionary out every time you get asked to do something, you will be wasting valuable time. Nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals do not have time to waste, especially in an emergency situation.
  • One small mistake can make a big difference. You could give the wrong medication or just give the right medication the wrong way. It can be the difference between ordering the right test or the wrong one! You need to understand medical terms
  • Common abbreviations are used in patient records. This helps doctors and nurses write quickly and efficiently in the records so that they can be onto the next patient. It also allows you to read and understand the records quickly.

If you want to do a great job in the health care field, you need to learn medical terminology and understand it! You do not want to have to reach for a medical dictionary every time you are told to do something. If you are unsure, it is better to check your dictionary than get something wrong. However, with a basic understanding of medical terminology, you will be able to communicate quickly and efficiently with other healthcare professionals.

If you are interested in learning more about medical terminology, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. For more information on this course, click here.

Contact us whether you need a full course or a refresher course on medical terminology!

How To Improve Employee Workplace Performance

An article recently published in the Journal of Organizational Psychology states that research found that employees do, in fact, draw support from their subordinates, and each employee can play an important role in the supportive environment of the workplace. The study also revealed a positive relationship between support and job performance, meaning the more supported employees felt in the workplace, the better they were at their job. The following are a few tips on ways in which you can improve employee workplace performance within your organization.

employee workplace performanceEncourage communication

In this regard, you need to be open-minded and encourage expression of ideas and suggestions without criticizing any part of it. Hold frequent staff meetings, provide suggestion boxes, or conduct surveys. Communicate clear goals and objectives to your employees, while maintaining an open-door policy.

Positive work environment

Keep the workplace setting clean and nice looking to promote a cheerful attitude. Little things such as natural light and personal space for each employee will help in creating a positive work environment. And don’t forget to keep things fun. For example, acknowledge an employee’s birthday by having the team sing happy birthday or putting up a sign in the office.

Show appreciation

Acknowledge achievements and offer words of encouragement, such as ‘nice job.’ This will make an employee feel as if they matter in a way that gives their work a sense of purpose. When things go well at your organization, always extend credit to your staff.

Provide effective training

Employees can be helped to improve their skills through in-house development and on-the-job training. Allow your employees to attend seminars and workshops, or enroll in an online eLearning course. Also, keep in mind that training is not a one time event, but rather a continuous activity.

Job performance and the employees’ level of happiness impact the potential of success for an organization.With both an appropriate performance management system and a positive approach to influencing people that increases happiness, an organization’s key results can more likely be achieved and sustained. Be sure to keep the above tips in mind when working towards improving employee performance in the workplace.

For more information, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at Avidity Medical Design 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.

e-learning

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.