The Selfish Online Learner

When you’re juggling different demands on your time, there comes a point when you have to prioritise study. It’s when you say forget what other people want, I’m doing private, uninterrupted study. A good online learner has traits that include literacy skills, persistence, motivation – and selfishness!

There’s something about studying online that makes it easy for people, including yourself as the student, to forget the importance of what you’re doing. That’s why being selfish can make a big difference to study outcomes.

Most distance learners study at home on a computer that is used for more than study. This blurs the lines between academic and leisure pursuits. Other people think you’re available at all times. And it’s all too easy to switch from study to less important things.

Selfishness is Good

Selfishness is good for online learners. It allows you to set aside the time you need to succeed. You block out potential distractions and focus on academic goals. Other people learn that your study takes priority over whatever demands they want to place on your time and attention.

Selfishness for an online learner is greed for knowledge and academic success. It has parallels with Gordon Gekko’s famous words on the subject:

Greed – for lack of a better word – is good. Greed is right. Greed works.

Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind.

 

Guiltless Study Time

Most online learners balance part-time study with work and/or family. They’re studying online because they’re busy! So there’s an issue with time management from the start.

Guiltless study is essential for a great distance learning experience. It’s painful and distracting to constantly have to justify study time. And it can be hard. Why is reading your assigned paper on international business or the fall of Rome more important than hanging out with your partner or friends? It’s more important because you want a degree and great career. You have to remember that.

It can help to make a conscious decision at the beginning of term that you will be selfish when it comes to study. You are committed to succeeding. Not only will you put in the required amount of time, but you won’t beat yourself up over the fallout. Other people just have to deal with the fact that you have limited time for them.

Boundaries

Private property, no trespassing sign.There is a difference between being a selfish online learner and a jerk. The key to softening the impact of your selfishness is to set boundaries. Let the people around you know that serious stuff is happening when you’re online.

Also divide study time and time spent on other things in a clear, consistent way. That helps other people adapt to your study timetable. There is less friction if other people understand what you’re doing and when you’re available.

Extra Time

Another aspect to being a selfish, successful online learner is to be generous with total computer time. Your laptop or desktop computer is required for more things than study. Some activities may be productive and some may represent down-time. But the reality is that every serious online student spends a lot of time on the computer. You don’t have to justify this to other people if you are achieving your academic goals.

According to Statista, the average adult person spends more than 3 hours per day online. And that’s without the demands of online courses.

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Five Things I Say To Career Women Who Tell Me They Might Want To Have A Baby

Recently there’s been a spate of internet discussion offering justifications for or against women becoming mothers as overworked graduate students versus as overworked post-docs versus as overworked pre-tenure professors versus as overworked decrepit old crones like the way I did it.  When I see this type of thing I am greatly affected.   I generally throw down my beer bottle and holler “Glory Halleluiah!  If it ain’t the ancient trope of Social Control Over Female Fertility all gussied up Academy-style!  What would us mangy old feminists do with ourselves if we didn’t have to get up off the couch every thirty minutes and lop another head off of that wretched Hydra?”  Yes, it is true that when women get each other alone, we sometimes talk about where babies come from.  Here’s five things that I say when the issue comes up.  Just like with the rest of this blog, just because I say it doesn’t mean I’m right.  Just like with the rest of my life, just because I might not be right isn’t going to keep me from saying it.
 

 

Five Things I Say To Career Women Who Tell Me They Might Want To Have A Baby

1. Having a kid is hard but it’s not any harder than a lot of the other stuff you are already doing.  In fact, it may be easier than some of the stuff you do every damn day.  Once your kid is born, you feed and water them and they keep doubling in size — a lot of that shit just goes on autopilot.  Pregnancy is the bad part, and I won’t lie to you.  The gestation my offspring sucked so hard that I don’t even have words to describe it.  But even so, there are women who enjoy being pregnant and go around all bursting with the cosmic power of fertility and whatnot, and I say more power to them.  Personally, I just laid around eating doughnuts and rejecting every single paper and proposal that came my way.  It just seemed fitting that everyone should be as miserable as I was.

2. Don’t fall for all that crap about how universally hard it is to get pregnant past 30 and get all freaked out that you’re running out of time.  Jeezus, look around you.  If it were all that super impossible to get knocked up there wouldn’t be so many goddam people in the world.  Never believe anyone who is trying to scare you into choosing one thing or another when it comes to your fertility.  As with everything else that’s important, only listen to people that you trust and respect, and even then make sure you decide for yourself.  You are the only person who can know what’s best for your life.

3. Don’t worry too much about whether you have the patience, maternal instincts, whatever, to be a “good mom” to your offspring.  Seriously, if you only remember one thing I say here, let it be this: You get special chemicals in your head that help you put up with their crap.  No one was more surprised to discover this stuff than me, and it’s just unreal.  I genuinely believe that every single stupid little thing my kid does makes for the world’s most interesting and fascinating watching.  I am also convinced that he is an angel beyond reproach.  Basically, my son could set fire to the dog and I would just take pictures and post them on Facebook as yet more charming proof of his irresistible precocity.  You will like the kid just fine, trust me.

4. Quality care is key.  I read (or I made up) an interview with Barbara Kingslover who writes genius books and also has like eighteen kids where someone asked her how she “does it all.”  She answered simply, “I write when my children are in someone else’s care.”  The bottom line is that some of the good work that you will do will need to be done while your kid is off being someone else’s problem.  The good news is that there are lots of women (and men) who can provide quality care: friends, relations and paid care-givers.  Some of these women in particular are absolute wizards when it comes to babies; they taught me amazing things like which end to put the diaper on.  The bad news is that quality care is f*cking expensive and if I had a solution for that one my retirement account would probably have more than eight dollars in it right now.  The other good news is that having a kid really does make you more efficient at work, and here’s why.  You can finally walk right past what used to be time-consuming hallway interactions remarking politely, “Listen Old Man, I’m not forking out $2k per month so I can come in here and listen to you gibber hatefully about how the ‘A-rabs’ have taken over Charles Street.”  Here’s another important thing: Babies aren’t really all that heavy at first and so you can take them with you almost everywhere you go.  Sure people might give you the stink eye sometimes, but they will usually stop short of calling security and having you escorted out.  I’ve learned that you can take a sleep-deprived toddler who has consumed nothing but Halloween candy for thirteen days into a faculty meeting and although he is hardly welcome, he will not prove himself to be the worst-behaved person in the room.  Oh by the way, in case it is news to someone, they eat from your boob and so do this whenever you want and wherever you want and if someone gives you a hard time tell them that I said “F*CK OFF.”

5. Take your folic acid.  It can’t hurt and you never really know what you’ll decide to do with your life, anyway.  Or maybe you do.  Maybe you’ll decide to have a kid and fall in love so hard and so irrevocably that you won’t even recognise yourself afterwards like I did.  In the end, my advice here is the same advice that I give whenever a woman tells me that she thinks she might want something — anything.  I automatically say to her, Go get it.  Go try.  Go get what you want.  And maybe you’ll even want what you get, like I did.  Because you can do this.  You can do this, too.

Daycare Dilemma

Leaving Your Kids at Daycare IS Hardcapture.jpg

While I admit leaving my son was such an amazingly difficult transition that first day, first week, first month, and even first year at daycare, it got easier. And I learned two profound things about the daycare dilemma:

1. When you ‘invest’ in your child’s ‘education’ at a reputable ‘school’, the teachers know what they’re doing. Meaning, your children will learn from an infant age and become so well-prepared and far-advanced for elementary school, from educational and socialisation aspects, that you won’t regret your decision to go back to work. Because it’s a win-win solution. You not only earn money to contribute to your family and sharpen your saw, but you give your child an early education from teachers who truly love kids. Again, heavy on the reputable school. Not all daycares and/or teachers are created equal.

2. Going back to work made me a better mum. When you feel confident, valuable, and fulfilled, your family reaps the benefits.

So, if you’re considering work following maternity leave, or if you’ve been a SAHM for a while …

Choosing a Daycare/Preschool

Here’s my advice for selecting the right school for your little prince or princess:

1. Ask other mums you trust and respect. There’s really no better information than word-of-mouth referrals from other moms who’ve been there, done that. Plus, they’ve done most of the figuring-stuff-out and can save you a lot of time. All you’ll have to do is confirm the accuracy of the info to see if it’s a good fit for your family.

2. Research online. If a daycare or preschool has more bad reviews than good reviews on the Internet, you should definitely address that with the Director of the facility you’re considering, but I’d likely remove that school from my list. Sure, there are a lot of people who have nothing better to do than write negative stuff online, but again, if you find waymore negative than positive online, it’s probably not a good choice for your child. If you are the above-and-beyond type of lady, ask the daycare/preschool in question for testimonials from existing families who can talk to you in person and provide real, honest feedback.

3. Tour several facilities for comparison purposes. Seeing is believing, so seeing where your child will spend their days while you work is important. Meet the teachers. Ask questions. Observe the different age-appropriate rooms. Are the toys newer and clean, or dirty and ratty? Does the facility smell good or bad? A good facility will deep clean with bleach water throughout the day. What accreditations does the facility have? What are the child-teacher ratios? Do the infants sleep in actual cribs? Do they share cribs with other babies, or does each baby have their own crib? What is each class’s daily schedule? What is the teacher turnover rate? Do you bring meals or does the facility provide meals? Do you bring nappies or does the facility provide diapers?

4. Your child will make some of their first friendships at daycare. When selecting a facility, be incredibly comfortable with the teachers, environment, tuition, etc. – because this is a long-term thing. Your kid could potentially go to this daycare facility for five years, or beyond if you use them for after-school care when your child begins elementary school. You don’t want to move your child in and out of different daycares. Babies, toddlers, and young children need structure and a routine. Make the best choice of schools for your little one and plan to stick with it for their consistency needs.

Mum Going Back to Work is a Win-Win Situation

I believe this so much that I’m going to say it again. Mum going back to work can be a win-win solution for your family. Of course, this is what worked for me, but you always, always have to do what’s right for you and your family. But the purpose of this blog is not to shame you one way or the other. It’s to alleviate mummy guilt for those who choose to go back to work, or provide insight for those mummies considering a career.

A few months after I went back to work following maternity leave, I took a new leadership position. C-R-A-Z-Y. Why would I do that when I’m still transitioning to being a new mum, let alone a working mum? Sure, add on more stress and pressure.

But that’s how life works. Timing doesn’t happen when I want it to. Never. But let me tell you. Taking on that leadership position, where I became responsible for getting myself ready, my son ready, dropping off at preschool, then getting to work on time AND being responsible for other people, proved to be a major challenge.

But you know what?
I put the smackdown on that challenge and realized I can do awesome things … and STILL be a mum. And so can you. Just Do It Already…

No matter your reason for wanting to go back to work, just go back to work already. Seriously. Go. Back. To. Work. Your kid(s) need to learn to adapt socially and acquire interpersonal skills. Don’t make your kid into the kindergarten class a-hole because you wanted him home with you, yet you spent most of your time on Facebook or playing Candy Crush and now he can’t communicate with different personalities and will struggle during his professional life because of your decision to keep him home.

You are not being selfish or a mean mum if you go back to work.

Even if you decide not to go back to work for a while, I still recommend that you get your little one into some kind of learning environment. They really need to observe and learn from other kids. Interpersonal skills truly need to be developed early. And going back to work is good for you. You will be resilient and dynamic and gain so much confidence that it will spread to your family. Your husband will love that you take some of that financial pressure off his shoulders, and he will love seeing you shine and feeling happy. And your kids will see that mum is really amazing at literally everything. You are a rock star who gets stuff done!

Kids of Working Mums are Smarter

Just in case you need more convincing, check out the working mum stats on this working mum infographic. Kids of working mums are smarter!!!

No More Working Mum Guilt

I shared with you what worked for me and my family. At the end of the day, I can’t say it enough times — do what’s right for you. But, if you’re not going back to work because you’re scared or nervous about re-entering the workforce, stop that mess. Silence that voice in your head and confront your fear like a bulldozer in front of a brick wall. You can do whatever you put your mind to, and knock down any brick walls that try to stand in your way.

Yes, there will always be employers in need of your skills. Even if you are just good at talking to people, there’s a place for you. If you’re good at computers, there’s a place for you. Even if you’ve had a massive gap in your resume, there’s a place for you. Social Media can help with that. Another post, another day.

But for realz, you had a baby for goodness sakes. Whether you delivered naturally or by cesarean, you built a freaking human inside your body!! If you can build a baby, I’m sure you can handle being a working mum. Sans guilt.
So, ladies, come at me. Are you a proponent or opponent of daycare and/or going back to work?

Top 5 Tips to Online Study Success

Online study is fantastic for convenience. You never have to turn up to a class in person. Literally, you can study wherever and whenever it suits (e.g. on the bus or in bed). But achieving success has its challenges and that’s where these top 5 tips come in.
Success in online study depends on creating structure around your study efforts. You need to be mentally engaged and putting in enough hours. Getting good learning results – each and every study session – is also important. For most students, not all of these things happen automatically.
By following these tips and strategies, you should be well on your way to success however. The tips are based on a university essay competition to find the best online study tips. Hundreds of entries were received and we selected the most popular and insightful pieces of advice.

1. Establish a Study Schedule

To study consistently well, it is essential to establish a solid routine. Ideally, you should establish a study schedule early in the course, perhaps using a weekly planner. You want to make online study a habit.
Distance courses usually don’t have regular classes that give you a natural structure and timetable. So you have to establish a routine of you own. It needs to fits into your lifestyle, be sustainable over the long run, and provide enough study time each week.
As a guide, you should log on to your course a minimum of 5 days per week. An individual course unit with an Australian university typically requires a minimum of 6 hours of quality study time a week. Although it may be tempting, it’s not smart or effective to leave coursework until deadlines arrive. It’s tremendously important to do some work each day, just as you would in a traditional course with regular classes.

2. Find Your Inspiration

Students often assume online programs require less work and are easier than on-campus courses. In reality, online classes are designed to be equally as rigorous and demanding as traditional courses. You need to genuinely apply yourself to get through.
  • Australian universities typically require distance education students to cover the same material and sit the same exams as everyone else.
To stay motivated – even on the bad days – keep reminding yourself of why you are doing it. For example, an education student told us that she often imagined the faces of the children whose lives she would one day affect for the better. That kept her going.
Even on a session-by-session basis, you can use motivation tricks to get results. You could, let’s say, set a fixed period of time to study hard (say, an hour) and complete a given amount of work. Then picture yourself in an hour’s time having completed the task and enjoying a well-earned break.

3. Use the Material Provided

Online instructors often give you more material than you need to complete graded assignments. You should cover all of it or, at least, as much as you can within your allotted study time.
Don’t run through a course with frequent skipping of videos, animations, and ungraded self-assessment activities. These are meant to help you achieve course learning objectives. Even if something doesn’t have a grade attached, it offers supplemental learning and helps you prepare for exams.
To you give yourself every possible advantage, spend time to explore what online resources are available. Figure out how everything works in the university’s online environment. Follow links to recommended sites and see if they are useful. Check out guides and tools.

4. Learn Actively

Learning happens when the neurons in your brain are firing off in a significant way about the subject. That’s not the case when you’re sitting down and watching a course video and daydreaming about something else. To learn effectively, you must engage your mind.
Some tricks to get your mind into gear are to
  • rewrite material – e.g. write notes in your own words during a presentation or for exam preparation, or convert text into diagrams
  • apply concepts, such as by answering questions, solving problems and taking old exams
  • recall information – say what you know about a topic without using notes (in writing, internally or out loud).
Active learning requires attentiveness. Many students stress the value of finding a quiet time and place to study, free of distractions. Also, try to study when you’re most alert (such as in the morning, or early evening).

5. Be a Good Online Communicator

When doing an online course, you don’t get the chance to have casual conversations with other students before class or catch the instructor after class. So it is important to embrace online communication, which includes email and posting to student forums.
Good communication helps clear up problems. It also helps keep you engaged and motivated. If you’re polite and follow netiquette guidelines for students, there’s also a good chance of making some online friends.

The concept of internet education

With a spectacular boom in the field of information technology, online education has become quite easy and convenient for all those who want to work while studying. This way of studying is far better than the usual way of going to colleges and schools and getting courses sitting in four walls of classrooms.

Everything seems to be packed in those four walls and we are bound to limits and regulations. Online courses allow you to study from the comfort of your house at time which suits you the best.

Why to Take Online Courses?

The foremost benefit of studying online is the flexibility of time. You can study anywhere and at any time depending on your work and pace of learning. It is not like regular classrooms where you have to work according to the schedule of the professor and at strict hours.

Online courses can be taken up along with the job and therefore they help you to increase your qualifications and get brighter job opportunities. You need not leave your current job to go for higher qualifications. You can also enrol for more than one course at a time and these online courses are usually cheaper than their regular counter parts.

Elicit Success offers a varying range of courses to entice you back into the world of study and it is easier now more than ever to work around your career. Visit www.elicitsuccess.com.au and discover your next online course today.  We offer bundled packages for those that wish to expand even further.

Email our team today and enrol for your future!

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Are you a good online student?

Studying online is really convenient. it gives you the flexibility to combine study with work and other things. But succeeding at online study is not always easy.

Some people who are good students in a normal classroom environment struggle with the online format. They are used to getting motivation from face-to-face interaction and being in a group.

In contrast, other people are naturally focused and do great as distance learners.

Are you considering doing an online degree? Good for you! But first, make sure you’re ready to succeed. Online learning is tremendous but some students start with unrealistic expectations.

  • Online courses require just as much serious study time as traditional classroom courses.
  • They also require computer skills and learning strategies.

To see if you’re likely to be a good online student, see how many items of the following qualities you have.

1. Computer Skills

Online learners need basic computer skills. These include the ability to create and edit documents, install and manage software, and find information resources on the net. Being able to use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can also help for many tasks.

Most online universities have student orientation programs. These teach students how to use the university’s online learning systems and other online tools.

Being good with computers is most important when problems arise. You can save a great deal of time by solving problems quickly. Bear in mind that, if you have a problem, you can bet others have encountered it too. Other students or the uni may be able to help, and there are plenty of technical support forums on the net.

2. Reading and Writing Skills

Reading and writing is the main way of communicating in an online class. Although there may be hard copies of course material, you should be comfortable reading documents on a computer screen for lengthy periods. You should also be OK at typing information. Some tests and quizzes have multiple choice questions, but many of your assignments will involve typing short or long answers.

If your written English language skills are weak, you may not be ready to attempt an online degree. If you type less than 25-30 words per minute, consider doing a typing training course before starting.

3. A Good Study Environment

A helpful start on your journey to academic success is to set up a good study environment. Get some peace and quiet. You will benefit from a quiet place to study without distractions from things like television, family, or roommates.

You will do better at online study if you able to maintain a tranquil study setting out of habit.

  • Avoid games. Consider uninstalling any computer games to avoid temptation. Or keep them on a different computer. Gamers are generally poor students.
  • Turn off your mobile phone. Let friends and family members know the hours that you will be unavailable.
  • Beware the black hole of internet surfing. It is easy to lose track of time.

In setting up your student office, consider ergonomics. Adjust the height of your chair, keyboard, and screen for maximum sustained comfort. Forearms and thighs should be level and parallel to the floor. Wrists should be straight while typing. Also, set up effective lighting and comfortable seating. Lighting in the room should be as bright as the computer screen to avoid eye strain.

4. Persistence

Persistence is vital to success in online learning. You need to have a can-do attitude. A good online student tolerates technical problems, seeks help when needed, works consistently each day, and persists through personal challenges.

A good way to be persistent is to set up a manageable study schedule that you can realistically stick to. Students who do well make progress each day. It is especially important to push through after the initial novelty of going to university online starts to wear off!

5. Independent Motivation

To be a good online student, you should really want to succeed. Online learning requires independence, internal motivation, personal responsibility, and a healthy dose of maturity.

Have you given some thought to your personal reasons for attending university? Are you determined and self-motivated to succeed?

There are many worthwhile reasons to work hard at university. You might want to boost your career prospects. Or perhaps it’s personal pride in achieving academically. When it comes down to it, getting pleasure out of learning and improving will give you motivation to do the next bit of work.

6. Communication Skills

Online communication using social media.Communication skills are important in online learning because you are aren’t normally speaking to people in person. Clear written communication avoids misunderstandings. Writing in a friendly way can elicit more helpful interactions with classmates and instructors. Follow these tips:

  • Use the tools provided by the university to communicate with people. Online universities provide multiple ways for students to communicate with teachers and other staff. These might include e-mail, discussion groups, chat rooms, phones, and even text messaging. Instructors want to help you to succeed and will answer your questions. Learn to use social media, not just for online study but also to gain useful professional skills.
  • Use appropriate style and language. Many students are used to a very informal style of writing in chat rooms, blogs, text messages, and so forth. When communicating in a university setting, you should normally write in full, with grammatically correct sentences and a respectful tone.
  • Because of distance, it is all too easy to write things out of anger or frustration that you wouldn’t say in person. This will not get you very far. Politeness and courtesy normally will.

7. Time Management Skills

Managing time well can make online study a whole lot easier. Most courses are not taught in real time. There are no set times for classes. So it is up to you to create some structure.

A good online student doesn’t procrastinate, is able to stick to a weekly study schedule, and completes assignments ahead of time without reminders.

Effective time-management skills can be learned if you put the effort. Lasting benefits come from making time management a habit. I’d suggest reviewing the syllabus for each unit and constructing a plan for completing major assignments.

Study Planner and Timetable

A weekly study timetable is essential to be an organised university or college student, particularly when you are a busy online learner.

We suggest you use the timetable template above (or similar) to help organise your week.

  • You can fill in the timetable in Microsoft Word or just with a pen or pencil.
  • Tip: It’s best to start with fixed commitments.

But there is more to study planning than a timetable.

  • A complete study plan also contains goals and strategies to make your study efforts work.
  • The extra elements are essential for studying online.
  • Distance education students learn independently and benefit from strategies to stay motivated.

What is an online study plan?

University student studying online.

An online study plan is a structured schedule for students. It details study times and contains learning goals.

University students should create a schedule where certain days and times are allocated to online study and nothing else. Developing a study plan not only helps you to be organised, but it also makes you accountable for learning outcomes.

As an online student, a study plan is vital. You need to have the discipline and persistence to do your studies. External students don’t get energy from face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers.

How do I plan my studies?

The aim in study planning is to create a tool to help you navigate your course efficiently. The plan is personal to you and must reflect your study methods and lifestyle.

To create a study plan, a good starting point is to reflect on how your time is spent and prioritise what is important. Online study time needs to fit into your schedule. But you should aim to study when you are well rested and mentally alert.

A habit that most outstanding students get into is to establish some sort of study goal before or at the beginning of each study session. Having a goal boosts motivation, makes you accountable and ensures you keep making progress.

Being realistic about what you can accomplish is also important. For example, allocating very large chunks of time to online study might end up having a demoralising effect. Study plans need balance. There should be rewards (e.g. free time) after you achieve study goals.

Steps to create a study plan

  1. Assess your current schedule. A good starting point is to assess how you currently spend your time. This will help identify how much time is available for study. You might also find activities that waste time and can be cut.
  2. Construct a timetable. To prepare a timetable, start by blocking out times where there are commitments. Then you can start allocating time for important things, including your course. To succeed at online study, you need to set aside a good number of hours for each course. Your timetable needs to leave room for extra study (in case you need it) and, of course, time for yourself.
  3. Set study goals. You can do this formally or just spend some time thinking about it. Good students set long term and short term goals. A longer term goal (for a course) might be to complete all readings and exercises before entering the exam period. A short term goal might be to work solidly for the next hour before you take a break.
  4. Establish good habits. A study plan works best if it is followed consistently. It helps to start well early on and build great habits. These help carry you through during any periods when you might be busy, tired or just down on motivation.
Online university student planning study and other activities.

How Distance Learning Works

Australian students on a distance learning course.Distance learning, distance education, online study, e-learning and cloud study mean similar things. They refer to studying remotely – physically away from the course instructor.

Distance learning is almost always done in an online environment using the internet (though often complemented by paper study materials).

How distance learning works depends on the subject.

  • A key issue is whether some physical attendance is essential. How often you need to turn up determines the possibilities for how a course is organised.
  • Another point of difference is whether a course is self paced or has group classes.

In Australia, the main types of courses which allow remote study are (i) 100% online courses (ii) 100% online, self-paced courses (iii) distance learning courses with residential schools and (iv) blended programs.

100% online courses

A 100% online course can be completed from your home or office without ever setting foot on campus. These can also be considered long-distance programs.

  • You may have to sit exams in a supervised environment.
  • For some courses, you may also need to gain experience in a workplace (usually near to where you live).

Self-paced courses

Fully online courses may also be self-paced. That means you can enroll anytime and work at your own pace. You may also take study holidays whenever you need or want to.

Usually, self-paced courses have been designed for online study from the ground up (with a custom learning platform). In contrast, paced courses (where students work to a common schedule) are more likely to be extensions of on-campus programs.

Self-paced study is common with online business courses.

Distance learning with residential schools

Distance learning student entering a hotel room.

Some types of distance learning courses, such as engineering and nursing programs, involve residential schools. You study online most of the time but occasionally attend campus for hands-on learning. Attendance is confined to occasional on-campus sessions. These might consist of a block of 2-3 days of physical classes per term.

Online courses with residential schools support medium-distance learning. You can’t practically do the program from the other side of Australia. But the course may be available to you if the travel distance is reasonable – say, a short plane trip away or less than a day’s drive.

Blended programs

It can be convenient and a great time-saver to complete parts of a course from your home or office. But if you also have to attend classes in person regularly, you are not really doing distance education and the course is not really online. Blended (or mixed mode) courses combine regular physical classes with online study.

Blended courses are ideal for students who live within daily commuting distance of the classroom. You are essentially doing an on-campus course but with the convenience of taking parts of it online. Teachers of on-campus courses may switch to the blended mode where they see an opportunity to improve the learning experience.

How to Study Effectively

Are you the typical student who easily got bored when studying? Here are some very effective tips in studying. 

Did you ever find yourself writing to your planner “Study the whole day for the big exam with 15-30mins break times every 2hrs” and your planned day turned out to be you studying for an hour and then got bored and does other stuff instead (facebook anyone?)? Well don’t worry because you are not alone. Students encounter many issues in their lives. It can be as small issue as deciding what to wear (or got nothing new to wear) to the big issues such as dating or family problems. And because of all of the competing things for your attention, it’s hard to concentrate on studying.

But accept it or not, we need to study, In order to progress from school year to year and received that much awaited diploma you’ll have in your graduation. So instead of testing how many marshmallows you can fit in your mouth, flicking the lights on and off repeatedly or frying ants with magnifying glass, quit messing around and start reading these tips and techniques so that you can study for your exam and hopefully ace it.

Start With The Right Mindset – Being in the right mindset is important in order to study smarter. Aim to think positively when you study and avoid catastrophic thinking.

Sometimes you can’t “force” yourself to be in the right mindset, and it is during such times you should simply avoid studying. If you’re distracted by a relationship issue or an upcoming game, then studying is just going to be an exercise in frustration. Come back to it when you’re not focused (or obsessed!) by something else going on in your life.

Know Where To Study – A lot of people make the mistake of studying in a place that really isn’t conducive to concentrating. A place with a lot of distractions makes for a poor study area. The library, a nook in a student lounge or study hall, or a quiet coffee house are good places to check out.

Bring Study Materials ONLY – Remember to bring only the things that you need. For instance, while it may seem ideal to type notes into a computer or search the web for answers, computers are a powerful distraction for many people because they can do so many different things. So ask yourself whether you really need a computer to take notes, or whether you can do the old-fashioned paper and pen or pencil.

Outline and Rewrite Your Notes – Rewriting notes is the best study technique that works for me base on experience. Because you are reading and writing it at the same time. That means double the power. Outlining is also a great method. Most people find that keeping to a standard outline format helps them boil information down to its most basic components. The important thing to remember in writing outlines is that an outline as a learning tool is your own style. Should it be dotted? Numbered? Or with pictures? It’s up to you. Some people I know even draw plants or other objects for outline purposes.

Make it a habit – Making a routine makes it easier for people to study, because just like taking the trash out (which you also don’t like to do), it will become a habit and you will adopt on the schedule after some time. Spending 30 or 60 minutes every day will allow you to actually learn more of the material instead of cramming. Some people study every day, others put it off to once or twice a week. It’s up to you. Just make it regularly and stick to it. Don’t ever break it.

Take Breaks or Reward Yourself – Because so many people view studying as a chore, it’s human nature to avoid it. If, however, you find rewards to help reinforce what you’re doing, you may be pleasantly surprised by the change you may find in your attitude over time. Rewards start on giving breaks to your studies. Like you are done on chapter 3, so you can relax for 30mins. Big rewards should be like; watch your favourite television program, spend time with your friends or buy yourself new clothes or desserts. Whatever it is you want to reward yourself with it.

Remember that if you are not as intelligent as Einstein, Oprah or Hermoine Granger, you “need” to study. The key to effective studying isn’t cramming or studying longer, but studying smarter. We hope you can begin studying smarter with these proven and effective study habits we just shared with you.