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Distance Learning: How To Keep Motivation High When You Are An Online Learner?

Online studies give you significant advantages over traditional learning. Study costs are lower, you can establish an adequate learning rhythm, and it allows you the comfort of the home environment. That’s why surveys revealed that by 2019 more than 50% of all courses will be conducted online. This is the trend that has been growing steadily in the last five years. However, traditional learning has an important social component, which is very difficult to replace with modern study tools. There are no facial expressions, new acquaintances, face-to-face talks, nonverbal communication, and all those little details that make “real life” learning more interesting. That’s why online students sometimes can’t keep motivation high and need advice how to deal with it & also need to know when to use online training. In this article, we will give you the most efficient tips on how to successfully build your distance learning motivation. Get to know your course Most of the online trainees who lack motivation don’t really understand what their studies are all about. They are under prepared and giving up is most common among this type of distance learners. If you decide to join online courses, make sure to read the syllabus carefully and understand each segment of your studies. The syllabus will provide you with the course essentials and prepare you for the coming assignments. Once you know what you are dealing with, there will be no unpleasant surprises to slow you down and undermine motivation. Planning and scheduling As always, good plans make a half of work done already. Keep in mind that you should schedule all activities on a weekly basis. That way, things become much simpler, as you will not forget due dates and weekly activities. Furthermore, you will focus on smaller goals. If you only pay attention to all the work required throughout the entire course, you will probably lose motivation. A study calendar will keep you on the right track, and you will be glad to see how you get the job completed step by step. Join the online learning community Despite the advantages of distance learning, you will sometimes feel alienated studying far away from your peers. In this case, what technology is taking away from you, technology will give back. You can join an online community of course attendees, which is a very common solution in all eLearning platforms. It will help you exchange opinions about your studies or to share learning experiences with each other. Online communities also serve to open specific topics, such as where to find additional learning materials, statistical analysis of the subject, etc. With this kind of support group, you will not feel alone and under-motivated. Use online tools to strengthen focus When you are all alone in the room, relying only on your mental strength and endurance, these virtues can’t last forever. Sooner than later you will find yourself texting messages, playing one of those addictive online games, or simply exploring Instagram profiles. This could slow you down big time, so you can take advantage of online tools that encourage focus and concentration. These web browser extensions discourage procrastination by blocking any undesired content. There are tools like Personal Blocklist, Simple Blocker or Stay Focusd, to name but a few. Grammarly will help you proofread assignments in case you don’t have enough time for it, while experts at Assignment Masters can suggest professional support with the most difficult tasks. Ask mentor for help The best way to learn something is to ask someone. And who can answer your inquiries better than your instructor? After all, it is their job. Distance learning can seem inappropriate for communication with the mentor, but don’t be shy to break the silence and ask for advice. Online learning is a relatively new thing and people are still getting used to it. However, the number of online students is growing rapidly, so now almost 30% of all students in the US take one or more distance education courses. Online learning is obviously becoming a big deal and there is no reason not to accept helpful practices. One of these practices is to ask your mentor for help, so don’t hesitate to do so. Chart the progress It is important to establish a work schedule but it is even more important to keep your motivation high by keeping records of your progress. Each goal you fulfill takes you a little closer to the overall success, so make a nice chart to see how the achievements are building up. This is a genuine motivation booster because you will always be able to remind yourself what you have already accomplished so far. Keep the ultimate goal in mind Yes, you enrolled online courses to gain knowledge and obtain a certificate but what is your ultimate goal? If you start feeling the lack of motivation, always visualize the final goal ahead of you. It can be a better position in your company, bigger salary, self-esteem boost, etc. This approach always adds to your mental power and gives you new will to continue working. Give your assignments a few minutes more All the advice mentioned above make a fabulous cornerstone for your online learning motivation. However, you will for sure deal with moments when you want to give up for that day and leave an important part of your studies unfinished. Whenever you feel like doing so, just give your learning five more minutes! It sounds negligible, but only a few minutes is usually more than enough to regain focus and continue working. And before you even notice, you will see than an hour or two have passed in the meantime. From our personal experience, this is by far the most important motivation booster! Conclusion People are really good at making excuses but students are experts in that regard, especially distance learners. There are many reasons to slow down online studies or even abandon it completely, so we made a list of the most valuable suggestions on how to keep the motivation high for online learning. If you follow these steps carefully, don’t worry about the outcome. Keeping the high-level motivation is not different than anything else you do – practice makes it perfect!
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Distance Learning: How To Keep Motivation High When You Are An Online Learner?

382
Distance Learning: How To Keep Motivation High When You Are An Online Learner?

Online studies give you significant advantages over traditional learning. Study costs are lower, you can establish an adequate learning rhythm, and it allows you the comfort of the home environment. That’s why surveys revealed that by 2019 more than 50% of all courses will be conducted online. This is the trend that has been growing steadily in the last five years.

However, traditional learning has an important social component, which is very difficult to replace with modern study tools. There are no facial expressions, new acquaintances, face-to-face talks, nonverbal communication, and all those little details that make “real life” learning more interesting. That’s why online students sometimes can’t keep motivation high and need advice how to deal with it & also need to know when to use online training. In this article, we will give you the most efficient tips on how to successfully build your distance learning motivation.

Get to know your course

Most of the online trainees who lack motivation don’t really understand what their studies are all about. They are under prepared and giving up is most common among this type of distance learners. If you decide to join online courses, make sure to read the syllabus carefully and understand each segment of your studies. The syllabus will provide you with the course essentials and prepare you for the coming assignments. Once you know what you are dealing with, there will be no unpleasant surprises to slow you down and undermine motivation.

Planning and scheduling

As always, good plans make a half of work done already. Keep in mind that you should schedule all activities on a weekly basis. That way, things become much simpler, as you will not forget due dates and weekly activities. Furthermore, you will focus on smaller goals. If you only pay attention to all the work required throughout the entire course, you will probably lose motivation. A study calendar will keep you on the right track, and you will be glad to see how you get the job completed step by step.

Join the online learning community

Despite the advantages of distance learning, you will sometimes feel alienated studying far away from your peers. In this case, what technology is taking away from you, technology will give back. You can join an online community of course attendees, which is a very common solution in all eLearning platforms. It will help you exchange opinions about your studies or to share learning experiences with each other. Online communities also serve to open specific topics, such as where to find additional learning materials, statistical analysis of the subject, etc. With this kind of support group, you will not feel alone and under-motivated.

Use online tools to strengthen focus

When you are all alone in the room, relying only on your mental strength and endurance, these virtues can’t last forever. Sooner than later you will find yourself texting messages, playing one of those addictive online games, or simply exploring Instagram profiles. This could slow you down big time, so you can take advantage of online tools that encourage focus and concentration. These web browser extensions discourage procrastination by blocking any undesired content. There are tools like Personal Blocklist, Simple Blocker or Stay Focusd, to name but a few. Grammarly will help you proofread assignments in case you don’t have enough time for it, while experts at Assignment Masters can suggest professional support with the most difficult tasks.

Ask mentor for help

The best way to learn something is to ask someone. And who can answer your inquiries better than your instructor? After all, it is their job. Distance learning can seem inappropriate for communication with the mentor, but don’t be shy to break the silence and ask for advice. Online learning is a relatively new thing and people are still getting used to it. However, the number of online students is growing rapidly, so now almost 30% of all students in the US take one or more distance education courses. Online learning is obviously becoming a big deal and there is no reason not to accept helpful practices. One of these practices is to ask your mentor for help, so don’t hesitate to do so.

Chart the progress

It is important to establish a work schedule but it is even more important to keep your motivation high by keeping records of your progress. Each goal you fulfill takes you a little closer to the overall success, so make a nice chart to see how the achievements are building up. This is a genuine motivation booster because you will always be able to remind yourself what you have already accomplished so far.

Keep the ultimate goal in mind

Yes, you enrolled online courses to gain knowledge and obtain a certificate but what is your ultimate goal? If you start feeling the lack of motivation, always visualize the final goal ahead of you. It can be a better position in your company, bigger salary, self-esteem boost, etc. This approach always adds to your mental power and gives you new will to continue working.

Give your assignments a few minutes more

All the advice mentioned above make a fabulous cornerstone for your online learning motivation. However, you will for sure deal with moments when you want to give up for that day and leave an important part of your studies unfinished. Whenever you feel like doing so, just give your learning five more minutes! It sounds negligible, but only a few minutes is usually more than enough to regain focus and continue working. And before you even notice, you will see than an hour or two have passed in the meantime. From our personal experience, this is by far the most important motivation booster!

Conclusion

People are really good at making excuses but students are experts in that regard, especially distance learners. There are many reasons to slow down online studies or even abandon it completely, so we made a list of the most valuable suggestions on how to keep the motivation high for online learning. If you follow these steps carefully, don’t worry about the outcome. Keeping the high-level motivation is not different than anything else you do – practice makes it perfect!

Mary

Mary Jane Kleim

Blog Author

Mary Kleim is a creative writer. She is working on several online projects and writing blog posts as guest blogger and stuff writer.

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1 comments

Alicia H.G. 23 Jun 2017

Thank you)I like this post. I realized why I have low productivity.I explore Instagram or Facebook profiles( So it's time to take advantage of online tools that encourage focus and concentration.

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Online Learning – Research Shows Everyone Is Doing It (Almost)

Online learning is no longer a “new” thing. It’s expected. It’s the first route to personal and professional education for people around the world, and in the United States, more than one in four college students take at least one online course. In total, half of all college students take all of their classes online. This data comes from the 2015 Survey of Online Learning Report by Babson Survey Research Group that was released earlier this year. Year over year, online learning among college students increased by 4% between 2014 and 2015, but the increase among professionals and companies was even greater. In fact, the compound growth rate for the global e learning industry was 10% over the past five years. Specifically, the global self-paced elearning industry generated revenues of $32.1 billion in 2010 according to a study by Ambient Insight. Fast forward to 2015, and the industry generated revenues of $49.9 billion with the total global elearning market generating $107 billion! Clearly, people are not only comfortable with online learning but they’re choosing it often. Online Learning’s Ongoing Popularity in the Professional Market It’s the professional market where online learning is expected to continue to grow the most rapidly in the coming years. Despite it’s existing popularity (77% of U.S. companies offer online corporate training to employees), there is room for growth. Consulting company Roland and Berger released a study in 2014 that reported the online corporate market for elearning products and services is expected to grow by 13% each year through 2017. Companies of all sizes are using online learning. The 2014 Training Industry Report from Training Magazine found that in 2014, large companies were more likely to use self-paced online or computer-led training (36%) than small (16.6%) or mid-sized (12.4%) companies, but large companies weren’t the only ones planning to invest in online learning during the following year. In 2015, 49.1% of small, mid-sized, and large companies reported that they planned to purchase some kind of online and/or mobile learning tools and systems. That means one out of two companies invested in online learning in 2015! Online Learning is the Norm in 2016 Add on all of the individuals who take online courses for self-improvement to the corporate numbers, and it’s clear that online learning is no longer “the way people will learn in the future.” It’s the way they’re learning right now. For many people, online learning has become the preferred method of learning. Today, learning truly is an anywhere, anytime activity. It provides the flexibility and convenience that students of all ages want combined with the “always on” way that they conduct their lives in 2016 thanks to the use of mobile devices and apps to manage all aspects of learning. Growth rates have slowed as the market becomes more mature — it seems like everyone has either taken some type of online course already or knows someone who has. However, there are still opportunities for more people to discover online learning. Furthermore, as more and more independent experts in a wide variety of industries begin leveraging online learning tools to deliver courses to global students, the industry will likely see another big jump in consumers (i.e., students) and revenues.
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9 Tips To Overcome Anxiety About The eLearning Environment

Doing any kind of learning online might be a completely new concept to you. You’re used to using a textbook, jotting notes in class and writing papers on mandatory subjects. E-learning is a featured education, on the other hand, offers something completely new and accessible, requiring only your computer and a few hours of your time a day. There’s only one problem – you can’t make yourself start. It’s easy to understand why e-learning might seem intimidating or impractical in some ways. Nothing can replace a living person that talks to you and approves or disapproves your current progress. You’ll be surprised to hear there are multiple benefits to using an e-learning environment as opposed to sitting in a classroom. Let’s take a look at some of the tips, tricks, and reasons you don’t have to be anxious about the e-learning environment but get excited and jump right to it instead. Ask yourself the important questions Like anything in life, diving into e-learning takes dedication and commitment. While being reluctant about it at first might seem like a sensible thing, you need to ask yourself why you are considering it at all in the first place. You might be far away from your nearest college or university. You might want to learn a very niche and hard-to-come-by skill that no one around you knows about. Or, the courses that are offered in your local vicinity are just outside your pay range. All of these questions are valid and they are the first thing you should consider when you think about e-learning. What makes this type of learning popular is its accessibility. It’s cheaper and easier to attend and complete certain courses, classes or certifications online rather than go through the trouble of doing it in person. Who are you going to get that sweet certificate if the instructor is half a world away from you? Anxiety is a concept that drives us down any time we want to achieve something new and bigger than anything before. Thinking about what makes you use e-learning in the first place is one of the best tips you can get and it will surely jump-start your battle with anxiety. Talk to your friends and family The best motivators we have are the ones who are closest to us. Talk to people you trust and those who make you feel safe. They know you like no one else, and they will always be there for you. Confronting them with the wish of learning online will help you in a huge way because they will want to participate in your learning process and help out. Even though you are learning online and sitting in front of a computer, someone can always check on you from time to time or even sit next to you for a little while. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and your closest ones will be familiar with your struggle if you are honest with them. Make sure to talk to someone and consult a friendly face before you give up on e-learning without even giving it a shot. It’s impossible to fail One of the great things about e-learning is that it’s impossible to fail. Unlike regular school, e-learning is built around your schedule and activity, meaning that you take everything at your own pace. The lessons, courses, and materials all revolve around your mood – if you don’t feel like it, you can just do it in three hours or tomorrow. There is no way to fail like in a regular school, and understanding this fact will be a huge step in overcoming any anxiety that you might feel towards this type of learning. Create a personal schedule In case someone told you specifically when to use e-learning, make sure that you take their advice and adapt it to your own way of life. You know your schedule and activities more than anyone else, so it’s important to adapt this new hobby to your life. Anxiety strikes when we least expect it, and there’s no reason to toss your whole life aside just because a new obligation or a hobby has emerged. Use sticky notes, a personal planner or even an alarm clock – whatever works best for you. Try to schedule e-learning sessions where you will give learning a chance and do nothing else in the meantime. Try doing this a couple of times a week and then increasing the sessions if you feel comfortable and ready for more knowledge. E-learning is very useful and easy to handle when spaced out correctly, so make sure that you don’t overdo it but also dedicate some serious time to it – create a balance. You’ll soon realize that you’re not even thinking about anxiety and that e-learning has become a helpful part of your personal schedule. Find your favorite platform Assuming that you will use e-learning for something other than theuniversity, finding the best platform out there matters greatly. There are countless online platforms ranging from professional course providers that will teach you valuable skills in hours to those less so. Knowing how to tell the difference between them will be a matter of experience since you will have to take the risk-free approach and browse through some of them. Keep tabs on the ones you like and ignore the ones you don’t. Try taking a couple of lessons to make sure that something is good for you before committing to serious e-learning. For example, using paper writing platforms will help you greatly if you need to get writing done in a professional way. Some of the writing service reviews will tell you exactly what to look for. This is a great way to find out which services and platforms are worth your time and you should check them out if that’s what you are looking for. Take breaks regularly You might be thinking about your e-learning anxiety, but you will start to love it more and more by now. 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It may seem crazy when you see it on paper, but it will do wonders when you actually go through with it. It will not only boost your further productivity but make sure you forget anything about anxiety that you might have felt before you started using e-learning environment. Contact the online staff Contacting someone you’ve never met might seem like a ridiculous idea, but asking for professional help is a great idea if you have any doubts about e-learning. Whatever platform you chose as your learning playground, there is bound to be online support present. This means that you can always contact someone who is running the site and ask anything you are uncertain of. The staff will always be happy to help you and you can also do this if you feel anxious about a deal or an option you are offered online. There’s no shame in asking, so make sure that you use this option whenever you feel uncomfortable, lost or desperate for first-hand information. 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5 Options For Developing Your Team’s Skills

I’d love to always be able to choose the right people for my projects but in practice that rarely happens. My teams are made up of the people I inherit, or the people who are available. And that’s not a bad thing: my colleagues are always enthusiastic. But sometimes the people that you work with don’t have the right skills to do the precise job that you need right now. When that happens, we need to quickly improve the skills in the team to get them to where they need to be. Then they can contribute more effectively and overall you’ll get more done in the right way. Here are 5 ways that you can develop the skills in your team. 1. Workshadowing Workshadowing is where you put someone who needs to brush up their skills alongside someone who already has those skills. The learner gets to see how their colleague does things in real life, plus they are exposed to experiences that they might not get in their existing role. It’s a good way to let people get on-the-job learning without having to pay for training. Of course, it does cost you something, as the person who is being workshadowed will probably spend longer completing their tasks when they have someone following them about. They’ll also need to be patient and able to cope with the multitude of questions. In itself, workshadowing might not be enough. It’s good for seeing how tasks are done and for gaining exposure, but unless it’s paired with a formal knowledge transfer then it’s really just about dipping your toes in the water of the topic. People tend to only workshadow for a short period of time so there’s a limit to how much you can improve someone’s skills in that window. Pros: Workshadowing is super easy to set up and virtually free. Cons: You need to find someone with the right skills, the time to pass them on and an attitude that makes them a good teacher. 2. Mentoring Mentoring has the same approach of pairing an experienced person with someone less experienced. But the arrangement is more formal, and instead of simply observing what the more experienced person is doing, the mentee (the person being mentored) can get more advice and help by asking questions, normally within a more formal framework. Pairs meet regularly to talk about issues that the less experienced person is having. Think of it as ‘taking someone under your wing’ or a bit like a buddy scheme. Another benefit is that the mentor can introduce their mentee to others in their network: not only are you getting access to their experience and their brain but also the practical resources that they can offer through connections. Pros: Being a mentor is a good career opportunity for your more senior staff as it helps them develop a range of leadership skills. It’s relatively easy to set up but does take some time to match people to good mentors. Cons: Mentoring works best when there is a semi-formal or formal framework in place with the support of the wider organization. Without this, an informal relationship is likely to fall apart due to the pressures of having to do the day job. You need both parties to commit to finding time to take part in mentoring, and be committed to the success of their pairing. When pairs have a personality clash, the relationship and the benefits you were expecting from mentoring, become diluted. 3. Coaching Coaching is different from training in that coaching is less about offering advice and more about helping others find their own solutions in a way that is going to be most effective for them. It’s less about ‘when I do that I do it like this’ and more ‘how could you do it and be successful’? There’s a huge skill in coaching which is why coaches normally have formal training and accreditation. If there are people in your team who need support with the softer skills of management and leadership then this is a powerful option, but if they need to be directed in how to complete their work, or they are starting from scratch, coaching might not be the best tool for improving their skills. Pros: Coaching is hugely powerful and confidence-boosting. Cons: Coaching takes time to implement because you’ll either have to train staff internally to act as coaches (it’s different to mentoring) or buy in resources to offer the coaching service to you. 4. Training You were wondering when I’d get to training, weren’t you? Training is the option most people think about first when they consider how to improve the skills of their team. You’ve got lots of training options: • Running courses in-house by experienced internal resources • Bringing a trainer in to the company to teach on your premises • Sending the relevant team members to classroom courses • Online training, which could be self-directed or trainer-led (read more about when to use online training) And I’m sure as technology develops we’ll see even more options and hybrids blending these different options to make a course delivery method that works perfectly for your team. Training isn’t a quick fix because you need to take what you have learned and apply it to your day-to-day activities so there is that transition period when you return from your course. Training does have to be clearly matched to the needs of the person receiving the training. There’s no point, for example, of sending someone on a general IT management course when actually what they need is ITIL® Foundation. Pros: Training is perfect when you need your team to get accredited in a particular skill. It’s a fast way to improve their competence. Cons: Training is probably the most expensive of all these options (although coaching can be pretty pricey too). You need to make sure that they have the time to apply and use their new skills in the workplace otherwise you’ll find they quickly go back to their old ways of working. 5. Supporting Their Learning When someone is keen to learn independently, your role as a manager might just be to support their efforts. Many ambitious people across IT and project management are prepared to study for and take certification and professional development courses through their own motivation and you should encourage this and support as necessary. Support could, of course, be financial, such as helping with course costs, fees, and training materials. It could also be practical, such as offering time off for study or exams. You can also help your team members take on more self-directed learning in a more direct way, by giving them time to work on their professional development inside working hours and providing them with the resources they need, such as books or websites on the topic. Pros: Self-directed learning is the most hands-off for the manager and is very cheap to implement. Cons: Finding reputable sources for self-directed learning ccan be hard. There are plenty of websites with tutorials, checklists and videos that will help you learn about almost anything, but you need to be confident in the material and the quality of the trainer. Self-directed learning relies heavily on the motivation of individuals. People may be keen to study and improve their skills, but are they developing in areas where you really need them to? As you can see, there are lots of options for boosting the skills in your team, and this list has probably given you other ideas too. Think carefully about what is right for your team and the skills that they need to develop. And if you choose training as a possible way forward, check out the Knowledgehut online training catalogue to see what you could study today
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