Distance Learning: 10 Ways To Keep Your Motivation High

Distance Learning: 10 Ways To Keep Your Motivation High
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Summary: While eLearning provides a convenient way to acquire knowledge, the lack of face-to-face and personal interaction poses a great challenge in sustaining interest in the course or program. This article provides 10 pragmatic ways for students to remain engaged in distance learning and complete their online course.

How To Keep Your Motivation High In Distance Learning

Distance learning has a lot going for it in the present state of technology. It is affordable, flexible, and available on demand. It is the perfect learning venue for adult learners and students anywhere with a reliable Internet connection, and the fastest way for eLearning organizations to disseminate learning.

However, it does have its challenges, one of the biggest of which is to motivate students to complete the course. According to this article, the lack of face-to-face contact makes it hard for course designers to anticipate at what point the students start to get bored, and the anonymity of distance learning makes students feel free to slack off whenever they feel like it.

If you find yourself nodding in reluctant agreement, then you need to take steps to keep your motivation high for your own benefit. You can’t just rely on Instructional Designers to do everything for you. Here are 10 ways to help yourself in distance learning.

1. Create or join a community of like-minded people. 

Aside from giving you all the freedom to slack off, distance learning cuts you off from other students, making you feel isolated. You can get around this by joining a forum or blog open for all course takers. Most eLearning platforms will provide this. If that is not the case, you can create your own group on Skype or similar platform, and invite everyone to join. You can help each other get over the tough parts, or simply exchange a friendly word or two.

2. Post your progress on your social networks. 

Share your result via social networks

Share your result via social networks

Your social networks are useful for something else than documenting what you ate for breakfast or your latest pet peeve. You can use them to give you a bit of ego boost when you accomplish something, or get encouragement when you are at the end of your rope. Share your progress with your friends and family and you are sure to get their support. You might even inspire some of them to do what you’re doing!

3. Keep your eye on the ball. 

Whenever you feel too lazy to do your work or too frustrated with your progress to go on, think about why you signed up for the course in the first place. Was it to acquire a new skill that can help you in your current job? Was it to get certification to qualify you for another one? Was it for personal development, maybe a new hobby? Whatever your reasons, it is important to remind yourself of them to motivate you to go on. It would be a shame to waste any investment in money and time you might have already put into it so far and not derive any benefit from it.

4. Make online tools work for you. 

When you are studying at home, the lack of supervision can make following the path hard going. The temptation to procrastinate and spend hours on online games or social networks can derail your efforts significantly. Use site blocking plugins like StayFocusd (Chrome only) to limit time spent on time-wasting sites. If you want to block them completely, or you don’t use Chrome, try Cold Turkey. Some people have a hard time organizing the work. Try FocusBooster, an app to help you concentrate on one task at a time. If you are having a hard time getting your ducks in a row when doing writing assignments, you can use Grammarly to help you proofread and edit your work, or AssignmentMasters to give you some guidance.

5. Get dressed. 

Get dressed for distant learning

Get dressed for distant learning

The funny thing about motivation is sometimes it’s all in the ambiance. If you are feeling lazy, trying to work in your pyjamas is not going to help. It makes it so much easier just to tumble right back into bed. Take a shower, get dressed, and have breakfast. Being in “work” mode can help you get going.

6. Be realistic. 

Nothing can kill motivation more than the prospect of taking on the impossible. If you schedule too many classes or commit to big goals you cannot attain, you will feel overwhelmed. You don’t seem to get anything done, or done right, and you fell tired before you even get started. Most people give up at this point. Look through your schedule and only keep on what you can reasonably handle in the available time.

7. Allow breaks. 

You will feel more motivated when you are not suffering from burn out. When your brain no longer seems to be functioning, or you feel drained, you need to take a break. Get up for at least five minutes and move around. Stretch your back and move your shoulders to relieve bunched up muscles. You will feel better when you get back to work.

8. Eat and sleep properly. 

Focus on productivity to keep study motivation

Focus on productivity to keep study motivation

You can’t function if you’re running on fumes. Get the right kind of sleep and eat healthy meals regularly. No one can keep going without either of these things. Make sure you give yourself enough time to give your body what it needs, so that your brain can function well.

9. Focus on productivity. 

Most people feel more motivated when they feel they are being productive. The problem is, most people stick to doing things a certain way because they are used to it, even if it does not bring out the best in you. You can tweak your productivity by analyzing what works for you. For example, if you find the Pomodoro Technique helpful, then you can use on of these apps. However, if you are the type that doesn’t like to get up until a task is done, then these will not work for you. Check out these clever productivity apps, they might work for you. You should figure out not only how you work, but also when. Some people naturally work better at night, while others get heavy-eyed as soon as darkness falls. Since it is distance learning, you can make these changes in your work processes. You might also find that changing your location motivates you to concentrate better. Some people are conditioned to drop everything once they step into their homes, so making the adjustment might be a little iffy. You can try working in the library or a coffee shop, and see if you feel more motivated. Having other people around may also help.

10. Find your learning style. 

Find your learning style

Find your learning style

Finally, you might be surprised to learn there is more than one learning style. It isn’t about the quantity but the quality. Some people learn better using visual tools, while others prefer text . Still others learn better when they can hear the lesson, while others prefer a hands-on approach. While you may not be able to control the form of your course material, you can help yourself learn the material faster if you modify it for your learning style. For example, If you prefer aural messages, and your course material is in text form, you can use text to speech software to convert it to your preferred media.

Distance learning is a great way to conveniently earn a degree or acquire a new skill. However, you need discipline to stay the course. You can acquire the habit by keeping your motivation up. These tactics can help you succeed in your distance learning, and set the tone for future efforts.