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Making the most of online learning

It is a confusing time for everyone at the moment, and the transition from in-person lectures
to online learning may make some people nervous, or apprehensive about what is
happening with regards to their studies. In this piece, I will explain ways to help reduce
anxiousness relating to online learning, as well as methods which helped me cope with the
transition.

When the university announced that they would be moving to online learning, I was anxious
because I didn’t know what to expect. However, my university was very helpful and emailed us during lockdown with information about what would be happening.

The majority of my lectures are online using Microsoft Teams, which is a very useful platform that lecturers use to deliver their presentation. Microsoft Teams allows students to speak with their lecturers, run through the lecture, and to have any questions they may have answered. Initially, I was nervous to try this as I had been accustomed to in-person learning, although there wasn’t anything to be nervous about. I have found that I have more time to do my university work, whilst having online lectures as I don’t have to travel into university, which would take one hour of my study time away. The lecturers also tend to put their lectures in a pdf format on My Studies, for students to review before the lecture. It allowed me to understand the topic being covered more, and to prepare questions for the lecturer. Because I had already reviewed the material, this also helped me feel less stressed, because I had more of an understanding of what was being discussed.

Furthermore, at the beginning of online learning, the lecturers advised that if anyone had any
questions they could email them for answers. Most of my modules have a module handbook explaining how semester one and two will be delivered remotely, with most of our exams and coursework being online submissions. For my course (Biomedical Science) I also have one day where I complete my laboratory sessions in university in a small group of 12, with social distancing implemented. Depending on the course, there may be some slight differences in delivery, however this is what it is like for Biomedical Science students.

One thing which helped reduce my anxiety towards online learning was finding out all the information to do with my course: lecture delivery style, course structure, exam and coursework submissions and laboratory session.

Another tip I have tried to follow is reviewing my lectures before the lecture, so that I can
prepare my notes and ask any questions. The library also has many e-textbooks to read for
further reading which is often requested in first or second year to broaden your understanding of a topic.

Online learning is nothing to be worried about. Although it is different to in-person
lectures, it is very easy to understand and the university provides a lot of support for any
queries about online learning.

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Victoria Jarvis • 13th November 2020


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