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How to persevere through an online course

If you’re studying online, chances are you may hit a bit of a wall and find it tough to concentrate.

Safeera Sarjoo
10th June 2016
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Making the decision to study online is a difficult one in the first instance. You’re removed from a natural classroom environment and have to adopt an independent approach to your work. However sometimes this can wane and you may find yourself distracted with other things that takes away precious study time.

Unlike going to school and having that structure in place, it’s up to you to define your own routine and manage your time when it comes to taking an online course. We know how difficult this can be, especially with pitfalls like social media looming at the touch of a button. So to keep you motivated, here are a few pointers to help you persevere with that online course.

Remember why you started

There are usually a handful of reasons why you opted for an online course in the first place. Maybe you have other responsibilities that wouldn’t allow you to attend a college or university. Perhaps the course content itself is something no other brick and mortar establishment offered. Whatever your reason for starting this course, it’s worth remembering this when you feel yourself getting distracted. Think about your end goal and where you hope this particular course will get you in the long run.

Read around your course

Taking the time to read around your course can help you get a head start and even simplify parts of the course that may seem complex for you. It’s also worth connecting and networking with people in the field and using forums and online discussion boards where you can meet other people perhaps doing the same course. Not only can this help your understanding but it also bridges that social gap a college or university provides. If there’s someone within the field that you admire, why not read about their journey and use that as a source of inspiration.

Talk about it

Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement to keep us on the straight and narrow. Never underestimate how far a few kind words can go. Family, friends and even work colleagues are there for support so don’t be afraid to ask them for it. You may even be surprised at what they have to say about your efforts.

Block out time to study

Unlike crunch time during university where all your nights and free time is dedicated to producing the best dissertation, online study is flexible so you’re able to accommodate other commitments. You don’t need to give up your social life in order to complete an online course but it’s a good idea to be quite strict and block out a couple of hours to ensure you stay up to date. Don’t make any plans during this time and perhaps take your studying to a space that you know you’ll work best in. For some it’s the silence of a library. For others they prefer the background noise a coffee shop brings.

Break it down

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of course content you’ll be covering, so why not break it down into lists that you can work through? One of the best ways to stay productive at work is to list your tasks down and tackle the most difficult job at the start of the day. Why not apply this same logic to your studies in order to stay productive in this area too? If lists aren’t your thing, then why not create a visual board of the tasks and reading you need to do per day.


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