How can you stay motivated when learning moves online? In the classroom, you have a teacher to engage you in the subject and other students to socialize with. When it’s just you and your laptop, you’ll need to take charge of your experience.
Fortunately, you have plenty of role models to learn from.
Even before the pandemic, more than 6 million students were enrolled in distance education and at least 77% of US corporations have incorporated it into their programs, according to the Online Learning Consortium.
Find a balance that will enable you to continue your education while fulfilling your other responsibilities. Try this formula for making learning effective and fun.
- Set goals. Keep your purpose firmly in mind. Remember your main objectives, whether you want to finish a degree you started years ago or increase your appreciation for art.
- Plan your week. Block out time for your most important activities. Tackle demanding tasks during the hours when you’re usually at peak performance.
- Establish routines. Cutting down on daily decisions can make you more efficient. Adopt habits like doing your assigned readings one hour before bedtime.
- Limit distractions. Focus your attention on your studies. Keep your phone and TV turned off during school hours.
- Start small. Baby steps build momentum and make big projects seem less overwhelming. Break your work down into specific measurable tasks. You might spend a morning outlining your research paper or summarizing your notes.
- Dress up. Putting on pants will probably make you more productive. Comb your hair even when you’re alone and off camera.
- Perform reviews. Work on your study skills. Ongoing reviews of your class materials will help you to remember what you’ve studied and may help you earn higher grades.
- Take tests. Research shows that practice tests are one of the most effective ways to learn. Your teacher may provide them, or you can write your own.
- Create priorities. Respect your limits. If you’re adding coursework on top of your other responsibilities, give yourself adequate time for sleep and other essentials. Scratch some other items off your to do list if possible.
- Connect with others. You can still enjoy a sense of community while studying online. Ask your teacher about their communication preferences so you can stay in touch and ask questions. Participate in student chat rooms and virtual study groups.
- Decorate your space. Designate an area for your school activities with aesthetics and ergonomics in mind. Display your favorite photos or a green plant. Ensure that you can maintain correct posture while reading and typing.
- Reward yourself. Give yourself incentives to excel. Maybe you’ll want to order sushi for dinner each time you get an A. Maybe you’d like to spend an hour reading novels for each hour you spend solving math problems.
- Play games. Make your assignments more entertaining. Challenge your classmates to some friendly competition. Invent funny sentences and songs that help you to memorize dates and names.
- Take breaks. Building adequate downtime into each day will help you to reduce stress and achieve more. Take a ten-minute break each hour. Extend your lunch hour so you can go for a walk or lift weights.
- Share support. Ask your family and friends for the help you need. If your kids are attending school online, do your homework together. If your coworkers are signed up for the same course, stick around for a virtual happy hour or coffee date afterwards.
Earn a degree online or use your time at home to deepen your knowledge about any subjects that interest you. Being able to motivate yourself will help you to persevere and succeed at online learning.