Not long ago, online learning was seen as sophisticated and accessible to only a few. That has now changed with students from all levels and backgrounds being involved in one form or another. What was once futuristic is now mainstream. Online learning has fundamentally changed the way students learn. Classroom-based face-to-face instruction has been replaced by technology now offering students interactive experiences that present course material in new and innovative ways.
With the shift in the way students learn comes a shift in how they learn. They are no longer involved in the face-to-face classroom dynamic with teachers and other classmates, but often have to work in isolation. Working alone can be difficult for some students as they no longer have the classroom routine and can lose the motivation to study. Therefore, it is important that students and online schools are aware of what role motivation plays in online studies.
In general, motivation speaks to the students’ approach, or desire to learn. Each student will have their own desire, drive, or motivation to study depending on their goals and aspirations. It’s important that these are well understood so that they can make the most of their opportunities.
There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is an inner desire to do a task because of personal satisfaction, such as a desire to learn, a desire for growth, or to achieve a personal goal of getting into college or university. Extrinsic motivation on the other hand is a desire to do a task in order to reap a reward, whether it’s money, praise or fame.
In general, students who sign up for online study are intrinsically motivated to achieve a personal goal, perhaps in the form of achieving a certain grade to either graduate or gain entry to post-secondary education. There could also be an element of extrinsic motivation with a possibility of financial compensation based on a student’s performance such as qualifying for a scholarship or some other material benefit. However, the difficulty comes with sustaining the motivation as the online course progresses when students inevitably encounter competing pressures on their time or their performance falls below their expectations.
Staying motivated is perhaps the most important element in student success; without it, the desire to succeed will not be there and the likelihood of their not completing the course would be high.
There are a number of tips to help students stay motivated and these are:
The way in which students approach an online course will go a long way to maintaining their motivation throughout the course. A positive attitude is a key element in student success, and although they may be studying in isolation, they need to remember they are not alone. Apex Academy Online teachers are available to help and guide students through the course material as, and when needed. The courses have been designed to take students through the material step-by-step in a way that is interactive and engaging. If students encounter any difficulties, as long as they stay positive and reach out to the teacher for support, there’s no reason why the difficulty cannot be overcome. Teachers are there to help and support students on their journey through the course and the more students engage with the teacher and other online students, the easier the journey becomes.
Selecting the right course may not be as obvious as it first appears. Students need to consider whether they have the necessary prerequisites to take the course and how important the course is in achieving their overall objective. Course selection can become problematic especially when considering elective courses, so it is important that students consider their interest in the subject area along with whether or not it’s needed to realize their end goal. To help students navigate this sometimes-difficult situation, Apex Academy Online guidance counsellors are available to discuss and advise students as to the options available to them, helping them along the road to success.
Just like classroom study, at home study requires routine in order to deliver maximum benefit. Apex Academy Online offers self-directed asynchronous courses which means that students are free to study whenever and wherever they want. It may take students a while to adapt to the new way of working, so it’s important that they pace themselves and not try to do too much at once. It is recommended that students take short breaks at regular intervals to help them reflect and assimilate the course material. Continual, uninterrupted study sessions can be stressful and counter-productive when it comes to retaining information in their long-term memory, so students are encouraged release stress by using tactics such as regularly getting up and moving around to re-focus their energy.
Just as important as a student’s study time, is where they study. Ideally, students should try and create a cozy corner for their studies; a dedicated space that becomes their classroom in the house. The space should be set up so that distractions are minimized to allow them to focus on the task at hand.
As the course progresses, students should celebrate their academic achievements and perhaps reward themselves when a goal is reached or a grade target met. Recognizing and acknowledging their successes helps students stay positive all the while, even if they face some difficulty along the way. Apex Academy Online understands the importance of regular and timely feedback in helping students maintain their motivation. Assignments, tests, and quizzes are marked and returned to students within 24 to 48 hours. This not only gives students rapid feedback, but also maintains the momentum to help students carry their success onto the next course module.