Flinders Northern Territory Medical Program students based in Darwin are quite used to online lectures as they attend some classes in their pre-clinical years via video-conference from Adelaide.
The major difference during COVID-19 was that instead of being in a room with their classmates, students were in their study at home. ‘Although the constant access to the fridge and cups of tea was appreciated, I did miss seeing my peers regularly’ says Rhiannon Oakhill, representative for Flinders Medical Student Society NT.
‘More stressful than online learning and something I think all students struggled with, was not knowing when we would return to face-to-face learning, when classes could be made up, or what the new assessment structure would be like’, she explains. However, Flinders University communicated frequently with their students and were very receptive to feedback and concerns.
Medical placements continued during COVID-19 and students appreciated the regularity and structure they provided, as well as the opportunity to see some of their peers and people outside their household.
Not having their usual pursuits outside of medicine that keep them feeling good, there were numerous books read, and countless video calls with friends and family. Darwin has recently begun to reopen so students have been able to return to most things.
‘If anything, it has been a great exercise in adaptability’, says Rhiannon.