How to Get the Most Out of Online Education: 5 Easy Steps to Stay in the Zone
One of the positive things we can take away from the COVID-19 pandemic is the amount of education that you can now access from the comfort of your home.'
But with a smorgasbord of veterinary webinars available, many of them free and covering a huge range of topics, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. You may end up biting off more than you can chew by signing up for several hours of CE, and it can be hard to stay focused.
So, the Vet Shows US team (literally the professionals when it comes to organizing engaging CE) have put together some easy tips to help you stay focused when learning online.
1. Choose carefully ' quantity doesn't mean quality
Even if you're furloughed and using this time to gather as much veterinary information as you can, avoid a 'wide net' sign-up approach. Spend time making a list of clinical challenges you've faced and/or a vision of where you'd like to take your veterinary career. If the webinar you're considering will address either of these, then attend it. Additionally, reconsider re-watching subjects you're always drawn to. It might make you feel good to know all the answers in school, but your time is precious, so try to only watch webinars that will teach you something new.
2. Phone a friend
Just like going to the movies, watching webinars with someone else completes the experience. Accountability is key: there'll be no canceling at the last minute if you're not in the mood. You'll feel more confident participating and you'll have someone to bounce ideas off and share notes with. Talk to your peers and vet friends about what education they're enjoying and find something that neither of you have seen before. Then, book it in like the best nerdy date night ever.
3. Sign in early and prepare
Don't leave it until one minute before the webinar begins to open the link. Treat the webinar like you would any other type of CE. Sign in 10 minutes early, have a notepad and pen on hand, ensure your internet connection is strong, fill up your water bottle or coffee cup, and chain the kids up (joking'just do your best to ensure minimal disruptions). Googling the presenter will give you extra insight into their knowledge and help you think of additional questions.
4. Use physical cues to change your state of mind
Speaking of minimal disruptions, it can be useful to move away from your usual at-home or office workspace to switch into a knowledge-receptive mindset. Your desk could be cluttered with to-dos and other distractions, so allocate a new space as your own personal learning hub. Use headphones if you can and ensure your inbox or any other windows on your desktop are shut.
5. Participate and have fun
If you're watching a live webinar, don't be a fence-sitter. Get involved'share your thoughts, raise your hand, answer polls. Great presenters have the best audiences. Remember, the person presenting can't read your body language or hear your reactions, so by participating you're giving real-time feedback that will lift the presenter and thus give you a more engaging experience.
Speaking of great audiences'.
Still don't know where to start when it comes to webinars? Check out Vet Show Academy, where you'll find recordings of popular sessions from the global Vet Shows last year. We host the world's best veterinary educators on the biggest veterinary stage in the US'so our recordings are guaranteed to teach you something new in an exciting format.