Making the most of online education
1. Choose carefully – quantity doesn’t mean quality
Even if you are unable to practice right now, try to avoid a “wide net” sign-up approach due to the amount of content available. Spend time making a list of clinical challenges you’re facing and/or a vision of where you’d like to improve your knowledge and skill set. If the webinar you’re considering will address either of these, then attend it. Additionally, reconsider re-watching subjects you’re familiar with and would like to advance your understanding.
2. Phone a friend
Just like when you’re doing a workout, watching webinars with someone else completes the experience and holds you accountable. Accountability is key: there’ll be no cancelling 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. This is especially important when you are dealing with the current unforeseen circumstances. Talk to your peers and colleagues about what education they’re enjoying and what they are finding useful.
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 CPD. Sign in 5 minutes early, have a notepad and pen on hand, ensure your internet connection is strong, fill up your water bottle or coffee cup, and 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.