The pandemic has pushed much of our day-to-day lives to our screens: we’re tuning in to virtual music festivals, streaming live Pilates workouts, and sharing family dinners over Zoom.
Our classrooms, too, have assumed a primarily digital existence. Although already a strong staple of the pre-pandemic world, online learning is now the most effective way to continue our studies while weathering strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
But where online learning blesses us with convenience and flexibility, so too does it test our self discipline.
Whether you are enrolled in a childcare course with Amazing Education and completing your qualification through our online learning platform, or have signed up to an online course of any kind, here are our 4 top tips on how to stay motivated when studying online.
1. Organise study to suit your schedule
When you create your own study schedule, be realistic. Don’t underestimate how much time it takes you to, for example, care for your kids, care for yourself, fulfil your work commitments, or complete general life admin.
Equally so, don’t overestimate how much time you need to study. It can be tempting to think that you can only be truly productive when you have hours of uninterrupted study time stretched out in front of you, but often that’s a fantasy. Even if you do have loads of free time, you’ll probably find a way to convince yourself that some of that time is better spent organising your wardrobe or something until - poof - all that free time has disappeared faster than you can say: “I think I need more shoes.”
Think of your study as a series of shorter sprints, rather than a marathon. Even if you schedule just ten minutes to study here and there, twenty minutes a day equates to more than two hours per week! Every minute counts.
As our Childcare Trainer and Assessor Penbe says: “The benefit of Amazing Education and Training now that we’re online is that your study is really flexible. You can do your assessments anywhere: on your phone, tablet, wherever you are. Instead of spending 10 minutes on Facebook, you can answer a few questions. Every free moment is an opportunity to get closer to completing your qualification!”
2. Remember: don’t do it perfectly, just do it now
Try to adopt a healthy, realistic mindset about your approach to study. When you acknowledge it’s not necessary, let alone possible, to be perfect, you will find that you are less likely to procrastinate and more likely to sit down and finish your tasks.
Often, the resistance to study is fuelled by self-doubt or fear, even if we don’t realise it.
So, give yourself permission to make a “sloppy” start. You can always come back to your work later to improve it if you need to. You’ll be surprised at the great things that flow when you start without restricting or editing yourself. Even if they don’t, you can be satisfied knowing that you sat down and tried, anyway, and that, the next time you do, you won’t be facing that dreaded blank page.
As American author Shannon Hale said: “I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shovelling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
3. Ask for feedback or support
Understandably, the course you choose to take will influence your learning journey.
If you start a course that offers minimal contact or personalised feedback, you may struggle to complete it on your own, especially when you encounter challenges. And challenges are inevitable in any great learning experience: they ooze opportunities for growth, development and understanding.
That’s why students at Amazing Education receive unlimited one-on-one support with our dedicated, highly experienced trainers, who take the time to understand every student’s learning journey, strengths, and career aspirations.
Amazing students can contact their trainers for support when they need it. Though our regular, face-to-face trainer visits are paused during COVID-19 lockdowns to keep our communities safe, our students can continue to get tailored support every step of the way through our easy-to-use online learning platform Cloud Assess or even Zoom.
4. Take regular, nourishing breaks
If you are studying for longer than 30 minutes at a time, remember to take breaks. We don’t mean doom scrolling the news for ten minutes. We mean getting away from your computer, making yourself a cup of tea, meditating, going for a stroll around the block, or annoying your work-from-home partner, that kind of thing. (They probably need a break too, anyway.)
If you have any questions about studying or working in Early Childhood Education and Care, please get in touch or give us a call on 1300 707 058.