APU Careers & Learning Online Learning

Self-Motivation in an Online Environment

motivation-online-learningBy Alex Petryck
Online Learning Tips, Guest Student Contributor

Thanks to the option of taking online courses a wide range of students can balance their education and their regular daily activities. Students can also create personal study programs; which is particularly useful if they have financial difficulties and have to work part-time while taking classes in order to pay for their tuition. Working adults can also combine the demands of study with their other commitments like family and career.

This type of flexibility is great when we look at the options these online programs create for many students that are eager to learn. While online learning puts everything in the hands of the student to organize and do each day it can sometimes lead to lost focus and struggles with motivation. You are the one who gets to decide when and how much to study, so staying motivated is the key to success. Here are few ideas that can help you keep focus while studying in an online environment:

  • Create a schedule you can stick to by listing your study times and other daily activities and rank them by importance. It’s better to figure out a schedule that works for you than to frustrate yourself with one that overwhelms you and you can’t commit to.
  • Set a no-distraction study space at your home that is bright and open, ideally with some large windows and a calming view that inspires and encourages you to accomplish what you need.
  • Don’t just set time for studying, but also appoint an ample amount of time for other things not related to working. Consider setting aside time for a prolonged weekend to relax, or spend quality time with your family.
  • Expand your reading to more than just the course material and also read books, articles and materials on other websites every day. This will help you incorporate what you’ve learned into real-life situations.
  • Organize yourself well to be more productive and efficient while studying and save yourself plenty of time. Make sure you have your class print-outs organized in folders, that way you can easily access all your programs on the computer. Also create a few reminders on your calender to keep you on point with what you need to do.
  • Tell your family, close friends and colleagues that you are taking classes at an online college or university so they can be considerate of your time, or possibly figure out ways in which they can support and encourage you with what you are doing.
  • Set goals for yourself and put them on your desk or computer to constantly remind you of what you want to achieve with your online course.
  • Ask questions and discuss your concerns with the instructors to motivate yourself into better understanding of the course material. You can even join the program’s social profile or get into your group of classmates and enrich these skills.
  • And, last but not least, research online for organizations related to the course you are taking and join their large networks of groups and individuals working in the same field as you.

About the Author:

Alex Petryck is a student currently enrolled in a business administration course with Dr. Irwin at American Public University. He enjoys traveling and will one day conquer Europe. Please follow him on twitter @AlexPetryck and visit his website. He also encourages other students to study and have fun.


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