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Online Education and The Challenge of Motivation

Completing an online education program can be difficult and fun. Although completing college or learning new skills in a non-traditional way can be funner than traditional learning, it does pose some different challenges.

Among the challenges of online learning is losing motivation. Since students usually complete online education programs from their homes away from classrooms and fellow classmates, it can be difficult to remain motivated to study. Likewise, because online education programs are non-traditional learning formats, students do not have access to support resources available to those enrolled in traditional programs. Students frequently stay on track and remain motivated because of these support resources. Many students also lose motivation when they do not have the opportunity to interact with fellow students struggling to learn the same course material, and many students completing online education programs have little or no interaction with their peers.

Motivation loss can make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to complete any education program. Unmotivated students struggle completing reading assignments and studying for tests.

Motivation is often the driving force that keeps students constantly working hard when subject matter becomes monotonous and boring. Since students must be motivated to successfully complete online education programs, those lacking it will more than likely not successfully complete the program. As a result, unmotivated students enrolled in online programs are better off delaying their education and re-enrolling when they're more motivated.

Students struggling with motivation should not become too discouraged. There are many strategies that can be utilized to regain motivation, including the following tips:
  • Remain motivated by developing goals and following specific steps to attain them. It is best to set small goals that can be attained. One effective strategy is to write small goals on specific days of a calendar. Once you have achieved the goal, cross the day off on the calendar. Goal achievement is a great way to build self-confidence and remain motivated.

  • Make an effort to communicate with other people enrolled in the same online class as you. Many programs provide students access to message boards where comments and questions can be posted. If possible, exchange e-mails with other people enrolled in the course. If you cannot communicate with others taking the same class, speak with family members or friends about course material you're studying. It is also helpful to regularly communicate with the course instructor. This will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions or discuss course material.

  • Take advantage of forums and chatrooms pertaining to the course you are enrolled in. Students enrolled in online courses usually have access to online forums. Since this is the easiest way to communicate with fellow classmates, it's useful to take advantage of online forums. Students can encourage their classmates, ask questions, and arrange study sessions with other students living nearby in online forums. Many students use these forums to arrange online study sessions with other students.
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