One thing I didn't anticipate when taking on more hours was the effect on my eyes of the increased screen time. As a trained ophthalmic nurse perhaps this should have been obvious to me, especially as I know from previous experience that I sometimes get dry eyes doing my eMarking. But it took me by surprise and it is something I definitely need to address, especially as all my module materials are online and I'm going to be spending a lot of time staring at the screen. I'm glad that I've settled on my work days being Monday, Wednesday and Friday as this at least means I will get breaks in between (though Tuesday is my study day so will require some pc work).
So I need to make an action plan to minimise effects. I know the main problem with staring at a screen is dry eyes from not blinking so I'm going to buy some artificial tears as I know they have worked previously. I also need to get up and take regular breaks away from the screen (always good for me anyway). Next time I get my glasses updated I might get some extra screen coating too. I might also experiment with screen lighting and shading.
So, time for a break.
Many of us print stuff out to read away from the screen. Ideally every module should have a printable version of key material and available to all students, not just those with declared special needs. Some modules are better than others at providing this.
i suffer terribly from dry eyes , funny how your eyes water because they are dry. Artificial tears are a gods send.
Yeah reading from screens can be tiring. Turning down the screen brightness to a more comfortable less intense brightness helps me.
If you have a kindle, smartphone or tablet, you can download and install the OUAnywhere app, and then all the course materials and read from your kindle/smartphone/tablet screen; sometimes I find it easier reading from my smartphone screen, I think it's because the resolution is better and also swiping the pages with my fingers instead of scrolling with my mouse makes reading feel a bit easier. I also turn the brightness down on my phone, I dont' like bright screens unless they're really necessary, like when watching a movie from a distance or something.
The other thing I find helps my eyes is to take regular breaks from the computer screen, and also look away from it every so often. I sometimes divide my study time up into 25 minute chunks. Where I'll study solidly for 25 minutes and then I'll take a break away from the screen and do something else for 10-15 minutes, during that time away from the screen I can mull over what I've been studying a bit, after a wee break I then go back and study again for another 25 minutes. I find studying like this is a lot easier on my eyes. It's the prolonged sessions in front of a screen which are hard, I try to avoid those as much as possible.
Thanks for all your comments. I'm definitely making an effort to take breaks away from the screen and will try reading on my kindle and tablet instead. My pc screen is already fairly reduced brightness.