Online study success could be as simple as using the right motivation tactics
Every student starts their study journey with high hopes for success but if you haven’t studied online before, let alone while managing competing responsibilities, you might be wondering if you have what it takes to remain motivated and achieve your goals.
Have faith - now is not the time to doubt yourself. That’s because motivation is something that is largely within your own control and if you implement some of our tried and tested advice below, we’re confident that you’ll be able to increase your chances of online study success.
Create a sense of control
Getting into the driver’s seat and planning your study schedule is one of the best things to help keep your motivation high from day one. The flexibility that you found so alluring when choosing online study has the potential to work against you if you do not pre-plan your weeks according to your course structure.
A typical week could involve lectures, readings, tutorials, and assignments. It is up to you to decide how much time you devote and in what order you will complete each task, and how you will balance your existing commitments.
The creation of a study plan that takes all this into account should be seen as a commitment to yourself and your goals. Having a plan in place is far easier than trying to fit in study on the fly and reduces the chance of you falling behind from the outset.
This is a skill that we seldom apply in our personal or professional lives, but if it’s something that becomes a habit during your studies, it’s sure to make you think twice about carving out time to self-reflect in all areas of your life. Why? The benefits of self reflection are pretty straight-forward. Reviewing what did or didn’t work for you each week, affords you the opportunity to make quick and effective changes to your life, including your study routine.
For example, you may have originally planned to do a 30-minute study session at your work desk during your lunch breaks. In reality, you found that you were constantly distracted by work emails or colleagues. By taking the time to reflect on how you could ensure 30 minutes of uninterrupted time at your workplace, you could effectively gain another 2.5 hours of quality study time that you didn’t capitalise on in your first week of study. Self-reflection could lead to ideas such as booking yourself into a meeting room or finding an offsite location nearby.
Ask for feedback
Think about the majority of job interviews you’ve been to, where despite having the right qualifications and experience, you’re left wondering why you weren’t successful in getting the role. How will you know how to set yourself apart in the future if you don’t clearly understand why you weren’t successful in the first place?
The same can be said about your approach to study. Treat each interaction, quiz and assessment as an opportunity to understand why you’ve done well in certain areas, and what you need to do to improve your performance in other areas.
Our extra tip is not to wait until you’ve been assessed before requesting feedback. Talk to other students and academic staff about whether you have understood a particular concept correctly or are using the right approach to referencing for example.
Why limit yourself to one go-to study spot? A change of scenery could make all the difference to your day when you feel a motivation slump coming on. Whilst it’s important to have an inspiring but distraction-free space at home for the majority of your study, you can benefit greatly from visiting your favourite cafe on the weekend or finding an inviting green space at your local park. This simple change of environment and seeing the world around you could be enough to remind you of your end goal and keep on the right track.
Deep down each of us has our very own personal reasons for why we decided to study in the first place. Remember those original conversations you had with your Enrolment Advisor or with your Student Success Advisor? What hopes and goals did you share with them when they were helping you determine if this program was right for you and how they could help set you up for success? There is nothing more motivating than your own intrinsic reasons for wanting to take this important next step in your life. Despite the challenges you may face, including a lack of motivation, you are more than capable of making your goals a reality when they mean so much to you.
Motivation doesn’t need to start and stop with you. In fact, it’s likely to last longer when you recruit some allies and communicate your journey with them regularly. We’re talking about forming a study-based relationship with your peers, lecturers, academic staff and of course, don’t forget to access the Student Success Team on 1300 296 648.
Another “collaboration” that you might not have thought about is getting your family, friends, and employer on your side. The more people that you share your study intentions and goals with, the more likely they will do everything in their power to make sure you succeed.