Continuing Education During Uncertainty

Resources to help faculty adapt to distance education so you can keep students engaged and on track
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Go the Distance With Online Learning

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, millions of students worldwide have seen their education interrupted. Academic institutions are now making necessary arrangements to move their curriculums online so that students can fulfill their academic goals.  

We know that there is a lot of uncertainty about how long the COVID-19 crisis will last and the impact that it will have on our community. In addition, this has become challenging for medical schools to provide preclinical and clinical training while also keeping their students, faculty, and patients safe. Therefore, many programs have temporarily suspended classes and clinical rotations and are adopting distance, online-based learning. Adapting to a distance learning environment can be challenging for your students as they may have difficulty staying engaged with lectures and assignments and are unable to see clinical patients.

How can UWorld help during this trying time? Our question bank (QBank) learning platform has thousands of questions that teach high-yield concepts to help prepare them not only for their USMLE Step 1 and 2 examinations, but to be used as a supplement to their coursework to help prepare them for clinical practice. Our team of physicians writes and updates content daily in order to provide the most up-to-date practice guidelines and realistic clinical scenarios to help students master important content.

By using the UWorld QBank, your students can still stay actively engaged in their online learning and continue to develop their medical knowledge. By studying this way, students can learn information more readily and remember the scenarios for the future.

Our faculty portal allows you to keep track of student progress throughout the QBank, see their performance, and identify any areas of weakness to help your students better prepare throughout the year for their examinations and the USMLE.

As school systems continue to pivot to distance learning, several instructors and students may find switching to online education challenging. That’s why we’ve put together this page on distance learning, which we will be updating regularly with even more helpful resources.

What Is Distance Learning?

Four characteristics distinguish distance learning. First, distance learning is by definition carried out through institutions; it is not self-study or a nonacademic learning environment. The institutions may or may not offer traditional classroom-based instruction as well, but they are eligible for accreditation by the same agencies as those employing traditional methods.

Second, geographic separation is inherent in distance learning, and time may also separate students and teachers. Accessibility and convenience are important advantages of this mode of education. Well-designed programs can also bridge intellectual, cultural, and social differences between students.

Third, interactive telecommunications connect individuals within a learning group and with the teacher. Most often, electronic communications, such as e-mail, are used, but traditional forms of communication, such as the postal system, may also play a role. Whatever the medium, interaction is essential to distance education, as it is to any education. The connections of learners, teachers, and instructional resources become less dependent on physical proximity as communications systems become more sophisticated and widely available; consequently, the Internet, mobile phones, and e-mail have contributed to the rapid growth of distance learning.

Finally, distance education, like any education, establishes a learning group, sometimes called a learning community, which is composed of students, a teacher, and instructional resources—i.e., the books, audio, video, and graphic displays that allow the student to access the content of instruction.

What Are the Advantages of Distance Learning?

Provides Students With Ongoing Access to Key Resources

Today’s students want learning tools that fit their busy lifestyles. And with COVID-19 confining them to their homes, digital exam prep means students can access learning resources when it’s convenient for them. This accommodates their need for flexibility as well as today’s circumstances, thus improving overall confidence that they can continue their education.

Content Can Be Revisited Over and Over

With online learning, students can access the content an unlimited number of times. This is especially important when students need to focus on weaker subjects. Repetition gives students the practice they need to master new skills by improving speed, increasing confidence, and strengthening the connection in the brain.

Efficient Delivery of Information

Compared to the traditional classroom teaching method or self-study using printed textbooks, eLearning has relatively quick delivery cycles. This indicates that you reduce the time students require to learn 25%-60% as compared to traditional learning requirements.

Here’s Why:

  • Students can start lessons quickly and wrap up in a single learning session.
  • Students can study at their own pace instead of following the speed of a given study group.
  • Saves you and students time as you don’t need to travel to a training/lecture venue. You may instruct and students may learn from the comfort of home.
  • Students can choose to study specific and relevant areas of the learning material without focusing on each and every area (skip certain areas they don’t need or want to learn).

Real-Time Content Updates

eLearning makes sure your students are in sync with modern and contemporary thinking. This enables them to access content as soon as you publish it.


eLearning reduces significant training time and costs associated with trainers, travel, course materials, and accommodation.

Provides Students With Timely Feedback

Using eLearning, you can give your students real-time feedback during an online training course. With everything connected online, you can also receive up-to-date analyses on student progress.

Easily Translatable and Scalable

Online training resources are often available in multiple languages thanks to built-in translation software. Also, instead of trying to find classroom space to learn, all your students need is access to a computer or mobile phone.

Information Is Easy to Grasp

Studies show that eLearning improves scores on certifications, tests, or other types of evaluation. Using eLearning, a higher number of students are achieving ‘pass’ or ‘mastery’ level. Studies also show that eLearning helps increase the retention of information for a longer time.

Guarantees a Risk-Free Environment for Students

eLearning solutions allow students to fail in a safe environment. One of the major drawbacks of instructor-led group training is that some students will avoid contributing to the lesson. This is often due to the fear of failure.

Better Retention On Specific Topics With Multimedia

With gamification, videos, and other interactive content, eLearning can increase engagement with and retention of key information. This is especially true for specific, concise topics such as new software training, compliance procedures, or reference guides students can access on-the-go.

Just-In-Time Accessibility for Global Students

Speaking of on-the-go, one of the greatest benefits of eLearning is that it’s available 24/7 for an increasingly global and remote workforce. And with stay-at-home orders currently in effect in the U.S. and other parts of the world, students get to access training on their own time, no matter where they are.

Consistent and Scalable

eLearning ensures that students will receive the same high-quality instruction, no matter where in the world they are. This is also true no matter what application they use to access the learning resources.

Eco-Friendly Way of Learning

eLearning is a paperless way of learning that contributes positively to the environment. Research has found that distance-based learning programs consumed around 90% less power. They also generated 85% less amount of CO2 emissions as compared to traditional campus-based courses. With eLearning, there is no need to cut trees for paper.

As you can see, eLearning has many advantages compared to traditional learning methods. At UWorld, we’ve long bought into eLearning and believe in its positive impact on education. During this uniquely difficult time that compels students to continue learning from home, we feel that we are positioned to be a go-to-resource that sustains your efforts to keep your students engaged and on the right track.

Distance Learning With UWorld

At UWorld, our products are already suited for distance learning as they are built with an all-digital interface, including mobile app functionality. Below are some of our product features that align with online learning modalities.

Thousands of Practical Questions

We recognize that there is no substitute for seeing patients in-person in a clinical setting but our questions are clinically relevant, with concepts simulating real-life clinical scenarios that test high-yield basic science concepts. Our content is created by practicing physicians with extensive experience and our Qbank is continuously updated to maintain high standards of excellence. And with each QBank featuring an exam-like software interface and questions at or above exam-level difficulty, students can get a feel for the actual exams. 

In-Depth Explanations

Our unparalleled explanations provide a detailed understanding of important preclinical and clinical concepts and minimize the need for memorization. The explanations teach students the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed on the USMLE Step exams. Plus vivid illustrations help students retain and better understand the concepts. 

Faculty Portal

Currently, our faculty portal enables you to monitor student progress to identify relative strengths and weaknesses and see peer-to-peer comparisons. Later this year, we will launch a learning platform that will enable you to assign questions that correlate with any type of lecture you develop. As soon as we have a demo ready, we will let you know and update this page accordingly. 

Advanced Note-Taking Functionality

Technology has made note-taking when using online learning platforms more seamless than ever. Using digital flashcards, students can create their own study sets for quick review. They can also flag/highlight questions so they can easily review them later.


Step 1 & Step 2 

Our Step 1 and Step 2 self-assessments closely replicate the experience of the actual exams to help students prepare and boost their confidence on test day. By completing these self-assessments successfully, your students will know when they are ready to take the exam.

  • Similar to NBME®, each exam consists of 4 blocks of 40 multiple-choice questions that span multiple subjects and are distinct from the regular QBank
  • The detailed explanations are accompanied by vivid illustrations and charts that are easy to understand and remember
  • Know your relative ranking as compared to other users who have already taken our self-assessments
  • After completing each self-assessment, receive an approximate 3-digit USMLE score based on UWorld historical data

Step 3

Our Step 3 Computer-based Case Simulations (Step 3 CCS) are an integral part of the exam and are designed to evaluate your ability to diagnose, treat, and monitor simulated patients in an interactive setting. A familiarity with the interface is crucial to help you improve your score on this section of the exam. Review with the first and only interactive Step 3 CCS software.

  • Read through 40+ classic Step 3 CCS cases that cover high-yield topics in multiple specialties
  • Practice using 50+ interactive cases in an interface that closely mimic the cases you are likely to see on the actual exam
  • Boost your confidence on exam day with an interface that uses free-text order entry features similar to those on the official exam
  • Assess your understanding with comprehensive explanations that include tips on the recommended clinical approach, optimal scoring features, and clock management

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