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How do you make the most use of e-learning?

For many of us nowadays, Zoom has become synonymous with school.

As COVID-19 forced school closures across the city, we have also had to quickly adapt to online learning full-time.

Now with a year passed, let’s hear from our medical students what they have learnt by trial-and-error, and see how they have tried to adapt to this educational shift.

Alfred Lau (MBBS I)

A medical student studying with his headphones on

The fact that e-learning videos can be paused, replayed, slowed down or sped up at your heart’s content is simply phenomenal. I for one watch the e-learning videos two to three times for each lecture: once to get a quick grasp of the subject, then once more for making detailed notes, and one last time to review if I’ve missed anything. Yes, it does take a bit more time than conventional lectures, but you could easily compensate for that by adjusting the playback speed (and you save the time for transport as well).

Another great tool is the discussion forum provided, where other students could ask questions and you could actively engage in the discussion as well. After all, trying to teach what you have learnt is one of the best ways of understanding the topic even more. Don’t leave questions at the back of your mind, because you never know when that will grow into a gaping hole in your map of knowledge.

Morain Li (MBBS II)

4 medical students from Hong Kong zooming in a study group session
Morain, bottom right corner

It hasn’t been easy for me to adapt to the new e-learning format as it differs greatly from all my previous learning experiences. Despite all the difficulties I’ve faced, the thing I enjoy most about e-learning is that I can have full control over the pace of my own learning. It has been really hard for me to stay highly focused and productive all the time, especially when I am learning remotely at home with lots of distractions present.

The e-learning format allows for flexibility in planning my own learning pace, getting most things done within a period when I am most productive. From time to time, I can also actively revisit the topics that I am not familiar with. Therefore, I am not completely following the Faculty’s timetable of e-learning sets, and instead I set my own learning plans.

Anson Cheung (MBBS I)

A Hong Kong Medical student staring at the monitor with his lab coat on

HKU provides numerous e-learning resources to facilitate our learning, including Clinical Key, Pubmed, and not to mention a vast array of databases available via HKU Library; there really is no limit to what I can gain from these e-learning resources. Other recommended readings by professors and lecturers are also helpful in furthering my understanding of the subject.

Recently, I have been spending a lot of time on the Complete Anatomy app, which is an important e-learning resource that helps me understand the three-dimensional structure of the human body, especially when time for dissection class is limited.

Vanessa Ip (MBBS II)

A chinese young girl smiling and posing in front of a river and the hills behind her

When I am facing conceptual difficulties which I cannot solve through online materials or reference books etc., I will use the forum function where I can ask questions and clarify any concepts or materials. Through this method, not only would my questions be answered directly by professors, it also provides an opportunity to spark discussions among the year group. I think this method is better than emailing the professors directly because the questions that we ask could be relevant to our peers as well.

Sometimes, I also engage in other discussions which also helps me fill in any knowledge gaps and encourage me to read about the topic. I also find the multiple-choice questions provided at the end of the e-learning series helpful in consolidating my knowledge and to check for any gaps in my understanding.

Justin Ng (MBBS I)

Screen capture of Medical Student on Zoom; left is his study notes and a boy on the right

There are lots of meaningful interactions when my professors and fellow classmates actively participate in the discussions on the Moodle thread. I would also take my chances to ask any follow-up questions for a better understanding of the lecture materials. The same cannot be achieved by live Zoom lectures since the time for discussions is limited and it becomes more difficult to raise questions when they only pop up after lectures.

These students are top recipients of the Moodle Badge reward system (Semester 1 2020/21) on the Moodle Online Forum for the MBBS Programme at HKUMed.

The Moodle Online Forum is a platform for MBBS students to discuss lecture contents with peers, seniors, and teachers in an asynchronous manner. As means of acknowledging those who have played a huge role in creating a supportive online learning environment, and encouraging students’ participation and generation of high-quality discussions on Moodle, the Moodle Badge reward system was established.

The long-term goal for the platform is to build a mutually supportive learning community among students through cultivating a collaborative culture of knowledge sharing, raising awareness for support and resources available to students throughout their studies, and improving online wellbeing.



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