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Distance Learning: Tips to Stay Motivated in Your Online Program

A guy smiling at his desk

Many students choose distance learning for its flexibility, convenience, and immediacy. However, it's not uncommon for first-time online students to feel unmotivated since they don't have to attend in-person classes on a regular basis. Here's how to keep motivation high in online courses.

Make Connections With Classmates

Online learners may have to make a more conscious effort to connect with their classmates, reaching out through online forums, emails, or social media groups. These connections are vital, because they add a layer of accountability to the course. You're much more likely to slack in a course if no one is watching, but if you have friends who are succeeding, it's likely to keep your motivation levels elevated.

Don't Always Work From Home

Online learning appeals to many with tight schedules who can't always commute to a campus. However, doing all of your classwork at home in your pajamas can lead to quickly plummeting motivation levels. When possible, get out of the house to work from a coffee shop, university library, or just a friend's house. If that's not possible, at the very least change out of pajamas and into day clothes to avoid getting sleepy and unmotivated.

Stay Active and Healthy

On a similar note, it's important for online learners to stay active to avoid drooping motivation levels associated with working from home. A recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, of the 1.2 million adults surveyed, people who exercised regularly reported fewer days of bad mental health. To feel the full effects, try to work some physical activity into every day, in addition to sleeping regularly and eating a healthy diet. It's impossible for your brain to be at its full capacity without taking care of your body.

Try Multiple Learning Styles

Sometimes, taking notes from a laptop screen just isn't getting the job done. When you hit a slump, try out multiple learning styles and test taking tips until one sticks. This may just mean hand-writing notes instead of typing them, studying with a friend instead of alone, or even using good old-fashioned flashcards. By keeping your learning styles varied, monotony and demotivation will stay at bay.

At the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, we know that online learning and in-person learning each have their own challenges and benefits. That's why we offer personalized advising for all of our students, as well as an array of online resources. If you are interested in pursuing your degree entirely online or through a combination of online and on-campus courses, explore SoPA's flexible online learning programs.

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