How to make the most of online education: 5 easy steps to stay in the zone
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 CPD but mightn’t absorb any new information.
So, the London Vet Show team (literally the professionals when it comes to organising engaging CPD) have put together some easy tips to help you stay focused when learning online.
- 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 “scattergun” 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 university, but your time is precious so try to only watch webinars that will teach you something new.
- Phone a friend
Just like going to the cinema, watching webinars with someone else completes the experience. 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. Talk to your peers and vet friends about what education they’re enjoying and find something that neither of you has seen before. Then book it is like a (somewhat) nerdy date night.
- 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 10 minutes early, place your phone out of reach, 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 (joking…just do your best to ensure minimal disruptions). Googling the presenter will give you extra insight into their knowledge and help you shape additional questions.
- 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 mind frame. Your desk could be cluttered with to-dos and other distractions, so allocate a new space as your learning hub. Use headphones if you can and ensure your inbox or any other windows on your desktop are shut.
- 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 London Vet Show last year. We host the world’s best veterinary educators on the biggest veterinary stage in Europe - so our recordings are guaranteed to teach you something new in an exciting format.