As of now, all of us biomedicine students are staying home – which means that the programme itself has changed in many ways to accommodate. If you’re curious about how the learning and teaching process has changed, then you’ve clicked on the right blog!
I’ll be talking about how labs, lectures, group work, and the changes in scheduling have worked out for me. We don’t know how the coming semester will proceed yet, but it’s good to reflect nonetheless 🙂
How are labs happening?
I’ve emphasized how much learning is hands on and in the labs here in the biomedicine programme at KI, so staying home has naturally impacted that. I rather miss being in the labs at KI – there were some really cool ones for the current genetics course that I would have loved to do.
The alternative so far has been to use Labster , which is a virtual lab in which you can do experiments. It’s almost like a video game. The time you spend is recorded, you can move around the lab, mix things, answer little quizzes, and so on.
While it doesn’t have the nitty-gritties of a real lab (stuff like making sure you don’t knock things over, waiting to use equipment, keeping track of incubation times, sanitizing your gloves with ethanol, etc), it is quite good for getting a feel for the procedure itself.
We’ve even written a lab report in full, almost exactly like a real lab. Of course, there is significantly less scope for error in this virtual environment so the discussion section contains significantly fewer accounts of something going spectacularly wrong!
Recordings vs live classes?
We’ve had a combination of pre-recorded and live online classes. I’ve quickly come to realize that there are benefits and drawbacks to each.
With recordings, you can replay, skip forward, and recap as many times as you want. With live lectures, you keep a pace and have the opportunity to interact live with your professors.
Why I sometimes prefer the recordings: You can take a break if you lose focus, replay if you mishear something, write better notes, and so on.
Why I sometimes prefer live lectures: You spend so much more time on the recording! I’ve often spent nearly double the amount of time that the lecture is supposed to take because I’d take breaks, google things on the spot, pause to take notes, etc. So live lectures really help you stay on track.
Also, I miss the more interactive style of lectures since I don’t really get to interact with my classmates during the lectures themselves (all our communications are saved for the class group chat). It helps with focus but the classes are a tad less fun
Ah yes, the boon and bane of assignments: group work. So far, group work coordination has gone quite well. As always, if the group is able to divide responsibilities and stick to a set timeline, all goes well.
My group works have involved creating a group chat, doing some planning over call, sharing a document (google docs/google slides work well), and then getting back together on call to practice and iron out little details.
Sticking to the schedule?
Lots of lectures are pre-recorded and there aren’t any more scheduled times for individual work, so there is significantly more flexibility in how much and when you study.
- Great for those of us who prefer studying in the evenings or have lectures spaced apart more and such.
- Terrible for procrastination, honestly. It’s easier to fall behind schedule and that spells trouble for exam time and assignment deadlines.
The final verdict
Distance learning is rather new for us, and any transition has its challenges. We have a lot of great technology that eases the way, and that’s a huge plus. And I think that there are some positive aspects that we can carry along even when things go back to normal!
I know that these are uncertain times, but remember that the dust will settle. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
Hello, Inika here. I’m a third-year Biomedicine bachelor’s student at KI. I'm from India and a little bit from Sweden. As a Digital Ambassador Blogger, I'll be writing about my programme, things happening in and around KI, and giving insights into university life.