How to Collaborate With Other Students Remotely

The ongoing pandemic has significantly changed and is continuously changing the medical field. Physicians and health professionals are needed now more than ever. Medical educators have had to shift to online curricula. The transition to virtual classes has led to challenges and frustrations for many of us.  

If you’re a medical student struggling with this kind of set-up, you are not alone. Here are some actionable tips to help you collaborate and work together with other students even if you’re limited to remote studying.

How to Work With Other Students Remotely

Set clear goals and deliverables.

The key to effective and successful remote studying is making sure everyone is aligned from the beginning. This means that you need to set clear goals and well-documented deliverables.

Create (and regularly update) a master document that contains measurable goals, members’ names, roles and responsibilities, and deadlines. During discussions, be clear about the message you’re trying to get across. Likewise, actively listen to your fellow students when they’re sharing something. Ask questions to see if everyone understood you or if something is unclear to you.

Remember, it’s important to keep things organized and consistent to help people stay on track and accountable.

Schedule video calls.

Communication norms differ between individuals. Some like short and instant messaging through Messenger or WhatsApp. Others like long and detailed replies through emails or voice notes.

However, in a time when everyone’s stuck indoors or by themselves, video calls make studying together more authentic and personal. Choose a platform to rely on, like Zoom or Google Meet. Go with something everyone’s comfortable using, so you can all conveniently get on a call and see each other.

students on video call

Similarly, schedule group online consultations with your medical instructors.  You can also do practice case presentations where your lecturer provides real-time feedback.

Essentially, having this interactive remote learning can improve your communication skills and study habits.

Do regular accountability check-ins.

Sometimes, it’s hard to stay motivated and focused on your own. To help one another stay on course, it’s helpful to have regular accountability check-ins.

Whether it’s weekly or monthly, take time to see how everyone’s doing. Use this opportunity to ask for help on lessons you’re having difficulties with. Offer assistance to fellow students who might be struggling with some topics. Discuss where you are in your individual tasks and make adjustments to your timelines as needed.

Importantly, check in with how everyone is doing beyond school matters. Everyone could be dealing with something in some way, so knowing that they’ve got a support system makes a difference.

Play your part.

Create a routine and stick to it. Maintain a conducive study environment at home. Keep a tidy workspace with natural light, organize your notes and reminders, and limit equipment or distractions. Make sure you also take breaks to stretch out in between studying.

Likewise, always attend your online classes and discussion sessions. Stay updated with the content uploaded by your school – recorded lectures, reading materials, course requirements, or virtual cases. Maximize the webinars and other resources offered by your institution that can help ease your studying.

Remember, keeping healthy and productive habits will help you perform your best and contribute value to the group.

Celebrate wins.

You all aced that course paper? Go on a virtual pizza party! Nailed the group case presentation? Treat each other to a game night with wine. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, as long as you do reward yourselves and celebrate your hard work.

Creating online celebrations helps strengthen your relationships as friends and study mates. Plus, it sets the foundation for better remote collaboration in the future.

There really is no way of anticipating what lies ahead. As medical students, powering through your education in these unprecedented times and under challenging circumstances will shape you to become well-rounded physicians in the future. That’s why it’s beneficial that you collaborate and work together — even remotely — in tackling the challenges of medical school.

If you need any guidance, C.H.H.A is here for you. Contact us today.

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