The human brain is not the same, no matter what the chemical compounds are. Some people are tactile learners, others auditory learners, and many still are visual learners. Even with these different subsets having multiple approaches gives the mind new ways to focus and remember.
This is critical in subjects that require memorization, like healthcare. Doctors and nurses alike need to approach their learning through multiple senses. This occurs naturally on the job, but when learning in an academic environment, it can be done with a few digital tools:
A Nursing Degree Designed for Working Nurses
Online degrees are not made equally, which is why one of the biggest components to any leaners success is not the university but rather the structure of the degree itself. Online degrees must take advantage of the available tools to provide a multi-media approach that mimics the tried and true methods of the classroom.
At a minimum, the degree must be designed to be completed by working nurses; otherwise, its entire basis is not sound. Online nurse practitioner programs focus on the theory, but many try to include on-campus immersion to provide students with hands-on teaching that simply cannot yet be mimicked through digital tools. However, in the future, the possibility of haptic sense gloves and VR might make this more accessible.
When selecting an online nursing degree, reviewing and comparing the structure of the degree is paramount. You need to be able to commit to the responsibilities to gain the most out of the degree.
Note-Taking with a Visual Focus
When completing your online degree, note-taking is going to be your secret weapon. You need to translate what you learn into ways you can best understand it. This applies to absolutely everyone.
For those who learn visually, these note-taking ideas are going to help the most:
Don’t be afraid to just search online for videos explaining something that you need to learn. People on YouTube and similar video sites come from a wide variety of backgrounds, meaning nurses and other healthcare practitioners are also creating videos that help explain complex concepts in visual form.
You will want to double-check the information, just to be sure, but these visual tools are going to be wonderful for those who remember and learn through visual cues. You can even embed them into your notes so that you have access to them when studying.
The same applies to diagrams. You can find them on scientific sites, in journals themselves, or just online through the image search. Paste them into your notes so that you have the visual diagram right next to the text explanation.
You can actually associate information with certain images if you combine the two. If you need to know something about a part of the body, put an image of that body part next to the information, for instance. You will be able to better associate the information with the visual cue this way because the image acts as a short cut to the information you are looking for in your brain.
Audio Notes for On-the-Go Revision
It can be hard to complete an online degree if you learn through auditory cues. After all, a lot of your degree is going to be through text, not in a lecture hall, and definitely not with other classmates where you can all discuss and learn from one another.
Some online degrees will host online video components using tools like Zoom, but it can be hard to get everyone together due to your work. This means even if there are conference calls, it is rare that you will get the same people and be able to build rapport.
Thankfully there are many different tools you can use to create audio revision notes for you to use on your own time.
· Taking Your Own Notes
You can create your own voice notes and save them to your music app. Create a playlist of these voice notes so that you can listen to them on your commute, while you work out, are on a walk, or even when you are getting ready in the morning. If there is something that you need to be memorized and you want to combine studying with any other activity, this is the way to do it.
· Transforming Text to Voice
Accessibility tools are going to be your friend here, especially if your drive or your commute doesn’t allow you to sit and read. So long as the PDF text is not an image, computers can often translate PDFs and online text into speech. The speech will be strange and not fluid like a human talking, but once you get used to it, text-to-voice features are going to become one of the secret weapons in your arsenal.
· Working with Select Students
There is nothing stopping you from starting your own study group. In fact, you absolutely should. Get in touch with others who are doing the same degree as you and who ideally started around the same time. Start a study group and host conference calls by scheduling together and working it out in advance. Smaller groups are going to be useful here, as it will be easier to organize for everyone to join in.
This way, you can go over what you have learned together and ask questions to your peers. If you all have a question, you can collectively ask it to the educating staff instead of bombarding them with the same question over and over.
Digital learning takes away several elements from the traditional school setting, which means visual tools are going to be your best friend to improve memorization and understanding. From using digital note-takers to including visuals and videos in with your notes to taking advantage of all the multi-media elements, there are a lot of ways that students and learning institutions can diversify the learning modules to engage with more learners.
Don’t be afraid to try out different tactics as well. You never know what might help you if you don’t try, and you may just be surprised at how many of the above tactics will help you succeed in your nursing career.