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How to maintain your motivation in self-paced training?

Posted by Jenna Baskin on 19/01/2021
Jenna Baskin
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 Institute Blog post - Motivation

Self-paced learning is essentially a student-centred approach to training and development. It provides learners with all the tools and resources they need to learn at their own pace and choose the order and focus of their learning.

It is fast becoming the go-to method for students, especially those enrolled in online courses. In fact, many educators across Australia now prioritize self-directed learning for better learner engagement rates.

But learning independently comes with its problems, even for the brightest learners.

Table of Contents

  1. Set clear goals
  2. Create a routine and own your time
  3. Remain On Top Of Your Course
  4. Minimize Distractions
  5. Realize The Importance Of Your Training Course
  6. Focus On Increasing Your Productivity
  7. Fix Any Technical Issues
  8. In Conclusion

While everyone starts online learning courses with high motivation levels, it’s only natural to slow down after a while, especially when they don’t have anyone to answer to. It’s easy to get distracted when studying remotely and the lack of regular feedback can also damper a student’s enthusiasm.

Without face-to-face contact with a teacher, the learner might start to withdraw from the online classes, resulting in lower engagement and participation.

It can be challenging to stay on track with a self-paced online degree course, but it isn’t impossible. Below we’ve detailed some expert recommendations to help you stay motivated when learning at your own pace:

Set clear goals

The first step is to determine your learning objectives. Since you’ve chosen to study a self-paced course, the onus falls on you to decide the right success indicators for you.

There aren’t any instructors around to monitor your performance and offer punishment or rewards to motivate you. That’s why you must work on intrinsic motivation and keep alive your purpose for pursuing the specific training.

Institute Blog post - Motivation (1)Setting SMART goals can help you determine the “why” and make it a reality. You must be specific about what you want to achieve with the training course.

Be realistic about your learning habits and the targets you aim to achieve with this course, and then work your way up to boost your confidence. Also, make sure that your aim is relevant to your envisioned life.

Be as specific as possible. For example, it might be a good idea to plan out which lessons to complete by a set date and how you plan to ensure that you do it in the best way possible.

Write down each of these aims and hold yourself accountable to them. Next, track your progress and see if it aligns with your goals.

Learn to visualize the course's outcome to experience how it feels when you finally achieve your goals.


Create a routine and own your time

Start off by committing some time to the course and make a routine that works for you. Make sure you’ve minimized all the distractions before you get to study.

Institute Blog post - Motivation (2)To be successful with online study programs, you need to practice self-discipline. Your regular schedule should include dates for classes and quizzes, study time for each day, time for food and sleep, and even some portion of your day for physical activity.

This way, you will not forget due dates for online assignments or quizzes and plan for the rest of the day accordingly. Furthermore, a study schedule keeps you on the right track so that you feel motivated to achieve all your goals step by step. A set routine also enables you to leverage your productivity and channel it into learning more effectively.

While planning your time is essential, also give yourself some room for flexibility. After all, life is unpredictable, and it can get in the way of routine. The point of your daily schedule should be to harness your most productive times and get things done, despite any sudden hiccups.


Remain On Top Of Your Course

It is relatively uncommon for trainees to feel out of sync and experience a decline in their motivation levels when studying online. Do your best to remain updated with your course's latest developments and record them in your schedule.

Keep a to-do list to record all the tasks you have to do and aim to complete them. You will automatically experience a boost in your motivation levels once you start crossing tasks off the list.

Moreover, online study courses are specifically designed to help you balance your life and studies efficiently. But if you ever get behind on the course, you need to make up for the lost time, or the piled up tasks make you lose your focus.


Minimize Distractions

By now, you should know your learning objectives and possible outcomes. You also have a routine to follow, and we suggest you get into that schedule first thing.

Next, silence all unnecessary notifications on your phone and block all social media sites for the study hours. It is vital to avoid technology distractions and ensure everybody knows your class schedule to not disturb you while you study online.

But eliminating distractions does not mean that you continue learning without taking breaks. To help your mind process the information, take a break after every half hour. This way, you’ll return to the self-paced learning environment refreshed and ready to study.


Realize The Importance Of Your Training Course

If the training course helps you earn a license or a diploma that enables you to apply for a new job or prove your skill sets, you need to complete the course quickly.

Institute Blog post - Motivation (3)Determine if the course offers you the knowledge to develop your practical skills. Answering these questions will remind you why you need to make the necessary efforts to complete the course and enjoy the opportunities that come with it.

Identify the benefits that the training course can offer you that justify your time and money investment. It is also important to note that performing on the job while partaking in online classes is deemed necessary by most employers.


Focus On Increasing Your Productivity

Most of the learners experience a spike in their motivation levels when they feel more productive. Rather than taking a monotonous approach to getting through the online training program, you need to observe different ways to increase your productivity.

Institute Blog post - Motivation (4)Observe your learning style and pace to craft an approach for effective learning. For example, notice when you can study with more focus. Some people like to learn at night when there are minimal to no distractions, while others prefer to learn early in the morning.

Moreover, observe if you learn better with visual tools or you prefer text-based resources. Even though you cannot change the form of your course material, you can tweak it to align with your learning style.

Determine the approach that works best for high productivity and makes you feel more motivated to follow the study program.


Fix Any Technical Issues

How can you hope to concentrate on learning if the internet keeps lagging, leaving you unable to watch instructor videos? This and other technical issues also add to your frustrations and results in a decrease in engagement that disrupts the learning experience.

Ensure that you have a reliable internet connection with non-stop connectivity, a computer or laptop with appropriate capabilities, a working headphone, and a camera if necessary.

Moreover, you need to know where you can get technical support for any glitches or connectivity issues you may not be able to resolve yourself.


In Conclusion

Self-paced training is a convenient strategy to advance your skill-sets and remain updated with the latest developments in your niche. However, understand that it takes discipline and self-direction to follow the course while ensuring that you stay motivated as the program progresses.

Understand that you are learning new skills and positioning yourself to get new opportunities. Set a straightforward learning routine and take frequent breaks to maximize your learning potential.

Also, sign up for the interesting and well-thought-out online courses that keep you engaged throughout the learning experience.

We offer some exciting learning opportunities in a variety of fields. Check out our courses or sign up for an online training program that enables you to be more productive.

Let us take you one step closer to your dream role or career. We're different to be better.

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By Jenna Baskin

Jenna Baskin is the CEO of MCI and has over 11 years’ experience in the training and education space. She was responsible for the creation of the MCI's online consumer division, the MCI Institute, and the transition of the organisation into the digital learning landscape. This includes platform partnerships across North America, unique content development, and the introduction of virtual reality learning methodologies.