Online Education and the Challenge of Motivation
Getting an online education is both a very thrilling proposition and a challenging one as well. It is quite exciting to learn through a very new and non-traditional form of education and it offers a set of new challenges that would compel individuals to really immerse themselves in what they are doing.
Unfortunately, even with an educational format as new as online education, the same old problems that plague students would usually crop up. The most common difficulty a student encounters is losing the motivation to continue studying. This feeling is further exacerbated by the unique environment that a student must contend with in an online education course. Being alone with no real classmates to act as real-time sounding boards and given the free rein to handle your time it becomes a challenge to really get into the groove of studying. Since online education classes are a new education format, it also does not possess many of the known support systems that we can find inside a traditional school structure. These support systems are what helps keep students motivated. The lack of social interaction can also be a significant contributing factor for online education students easily losing the motivation to study.
Losing motivation is quite difficult because it could become difficult to stay focused on what needs to be done. Losing the impetus to study will make it very difficult to prepare for exams or tests, complete assignments and finish projects. Motivation is what drives a person to study through the boredom, the tedium and the difficulties. Without motivation, the whole purpose of taking online education classes loses meaning. It would be just so easy to quit and stop taking the classes at the risk of losing the tuition paid for the online classes.
For those who may be worried that they may lose their motivation, the good news is that it can be restored or reinforced. Below are some tips given by many education experts as a way of keeping motivated.
* One way to stay motivated is to identify a goal and work towards its attainment. Try to focus on small goals that can be easily fulfilled. You can mark off a calendar with daily and weekly goals that you are required to accomplish. As you fulfill each goal cross it out with a pen. This process helps you build up your pride in your accomplishments.
* Try to talk to other people about what you are learning in your online classes. This process is usually done with your classmates in a traditional school system but because of the nature of online education, you really do not have classmates in the traditional sense. What you can do is talk to family members and friends about what you have learned in your online classes. One other thing you can do is to try to arrange a chat with your instructor so that you can have some time to discuss the subjects and/or curriculum with him.
* Try to be active in forums related to your course or classes. Even though there are no real physical ways of meeting fellow students in an online course most educational institutions that offer online education provide chatrooms or forums where you can chat with other people taking the same courses. These chatrooms or forums provide ample opportunity for different kinds of interactions with fellow students. You can use it to get to know other students personally and if you find one that lives near you, then you can probably arrange to meet with them regularly to discuss your subjects. You can set up online study groups that other students who taking the same course can use.
-Tim Arnold (Article here)