Learning with a Twist

Alex Harker is a student in Mayo Clinic’s medical laboratory science class of 2017.

I have been interested in medical laboratory science (MLS) since I was in high school. Everything I read while in high school and the classes I took while at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse had me set on making this a career.

The experience here at Mayo Clinic in the MLS program has only solidified this feeling. However, it is worth noting that this is not your typical college course. The program here really emphasizes the "reverse classroom" technique. For those unfamiliar, this term means that one will read about the lesson the night before and come to class the next day and perform a laboratory assignment based on that reading.

I came into the program experiencing nothing like this before, so I wasn’t sure how this learning strategy would work for me.

After completing our didactic schedule, many of my peers would agree with me that this learning technique is fantastic and is very beneficial to the overall learning experience.

However, to maximize this benefit, time management is vital. Simply reading the lesson at the last minute does not cut it.

Whether it helps you to take notes as you go, doing a re-read, or fill out a study guide, this style of learning is a classic example of getting out what you put into it.

In order to achieve that goal, time management is key. I spent nearly the entire classroom portion of the program working part-time. This forced me to perfect my time-management skills so that I was still able to process and understand the new material despite the extra commitment of a job. Even if you don’t find yourself in a scenario where you are working while attending school, the time-management aspect of the program is vital and, if you are successful in that, you will enjoy your time learning in this program and have plenty of success.

Alex Harker

Alex Harker

Alex Harker is a student in Mayo Clinic’s medical laboratory science (MLS) program. He was born in southern Wisconsin and is completing his clinical laboratory science degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Alex enjoys watching football and basketball, drinking coffee, and hiking.