Monday, January 11, 2010

By Mary Jackson

One of the main attractions of pursuing distance learning education is the ability to continuing working, and earning a paycheck, while going to school. With the best of both worlds, students do not have to attend classes on campus. In addition, they have the flexibility to study at a personal pace and during the time best suited to their schedule. No wonder obtaining an online degree is enticing more people to further their education.

However, distance learning education is not without certain challenges. Traditional students are spurred on by the interaction with others and attending the lectures. Without a lot of discipline and intrinsic motivation, distance learners can easily get sidetracked by life and fail to keep up with the coursework needed to pass the class. Enjoy the benefits, but do not forget the responsibilities.

Therefore, how can distance learning students then overcome this challenge? One habit that a student must adopt is good time management. There is only 24 hours in a day and it is up to us to utilize our time in the best way possible. Set up a daily or weekly plan for yourself and ensure that you set aside time for your studies daily. If you have a family, let them know about your schedule so that they know when you should not be disturbed. Divide your time appropriately between your work, your family and your studies. Of course, discipline is important here as any schedule will not do any good if it is not followed.

Getting yourself motivated is also essential towards distance learning education success. One of the ways to do this is to stay in contact with your classmates. With the internet today, it is often easy to stay in touch through email, instant messenger as well as internet phone. Discussing projects or assignments with your teammates will help you stay on track and keeps you and your teammates accountable for one another.

In addition to peer contact, rewarding personal education goals is an excellent way to stay motivated and succeed in obtaining the distance learning education that you need. Write particular course milestones on a calendar, and then celebrate the achievement. For example, after completing a major project, do something nice for yourself. Then, cross out each accomplishment. With a sense of personal satisfaction, it will keep you motivated to face the next educational hurdle.

Additionally, it is ever essential for a distance learning student to set up a quiet place for study away from home life distractions, such as the television, phone calls or other family members. Organize an off-limits study area or lock yourself in a quiet room to ensure optimum focus. Apart from that, a good chair, a strong table and adequate space are also essential elements in creating a conducive environment.

In short, successful completion of a distance learning education is totally dependent on good study habits and the determination of the individual to reach the pre-determined goal. Like any degree program, it takes old fashioned hard work, discipline, and the intrinsic motivation to succeed.

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