Wellbeing Tips for Higher Education Lecturers adapting to Digital Learning
Updated: May 17, 2020
We are all spending a considerable amount of time online. As lecturers get used to the idea of working from home and in a digital capacity what methods can be undertaken to help with well being?
Build comfort breaks into lesson plans, the notion of delivering a four hour lecture goes out of the window when delivering online. Recommendations are no more than 75minutes. Use Flipped classroom learning techniques to engage with your students online.
Flipped classrooms require educators to reconstruct traditional classrooms by sending lectures home and providing more face-to-face time at school, and primary- through university-level lecturers are finding good reasons to try them out. The flipped classroom concept is small, simple and has shown positive results. The general idea is that students work at their own pace, receiving lectures at home via online video or podcasts and then devoting class time to more in-depth discussion and traditional “homework.” Live-streaming video provider Panopto outline the benefits in this post about 'The Classroom of the 21st Century'
Many of us are working for longer hours in front of a computer every day and unless precautions are taken to take enough breaks, it can lead to health issues. Build breaks into your daily routine. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) suggest that short, frequent breaks are better than less frequent longer breaks, so a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minutes is better than a 20 minute break every 3 hours. Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 - You can read more about this in the HSE's Working with Display Screen Equipment guide.
Ensure that you take regular breaks away from the screen. Use alarms to remind you to take a break. Here are some useful apps that can help you: Eyes Alarm - is an add-on for Firefox and Chrome that can help you with this. You can also use it as a break reminder to take some refreshments ie a glass of water and/or stretch. Eyes Alarm is user-friendly and has a few options that you can customise. When it is time for you to take a break, the add-on will display a notification on your desktop that informs you about it. Break Timer is an alternative as it allows you to set up customisable breaks and will remind you when to take them. Break Timer allows you to configure how often and how long your breaks should be.
To round up here are three evidence-based digital wellbeing tips for keeping your digital diet healthy during the coronavirus outbreak by Dr Paul Marsden - Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. University lecturer (UAL)
Find out more: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/get-involved
Keep well - JW-B