During the first two months of every Fall semester my calendar is filled with consultations with School of Nursing students. Consults this year focused on distinguished majors BSN students, P.hD. students, and MSN students working on research projects or group evidence-based practice assignments.
Before COVID-19, a typical consultation took place in-person, in my office or in one of our conference rooms. The students would watch me as I walked them through the steps of both performing a literature search and storing content in a citation manager. Students would then leave and apply what they learned from me to their own search. If there were knowledge gaps, follow-up consultations were scheduled to answer specific questions.
During the pandemic, my consultation model transitioned from office-based teaching to Zoom-based coaching. Learning is instant and dynamic, as I have them share their screen as I coach them through the research process. Knowledge retention is much greater and I can quickly address any issues that arise while the students are learning how to develop a search query, apply database limits, learn how inclusion/exclusion criterium are applied to a literature search, and how to export citations to a citation manager. The number of follow-up consultation have been reduced and I am able to gain a better understanding of where students, as a whole, encounter difficulties.
Zoom-based consultations also allow for greater ease of scheduling: I can meet with students at times that are more convenient to them, sometimes falling outside the traditional Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. timeframe. Graduate level evidence-based practice groups have especially benefited from Zoom consultations. In the past, it was difficult find a time that allowed for all project members to physically gather in the Library for a consultation at the same time. Instead, the group was often represented by only one or two members, which meant that many weren’t able to take advantage of the instruction. Now, having moved consultations online, it’s very rare that all team members don't attend.
The national pandemic brought about increased anxiety due to face-to-face restrictions for UVA students. As a Ph.D. nursing student, Dan Wilson from the Health Sciences Library provided uninterrupted Zoom library services that allowed for the continuation of research projects that required personalized services vital for up-and-coming nurse scientist. - Marie Campbell-Statler
Finally, I feel more engaged with the students over Zoom than I did when consultations took place in my office. There are fewer distractions and both coach and student seem more relaxed in their own environment, away from the classroom and clinical settings.
From my perspective, there is overwhelming evidence to continue using Zoom as a primary consultation platform post-pandemic. I will always offer an onsite option, but I’ll be surprised if the percentage of Zoom consultations ever falls below 90%.
If you need a Zoom consult with Dan, you may fill out the Ask Us form, or email him: firstname.lastname@example.org
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