Starting an online course can be very exciting and the first few chapters should prove intersting and engaging. it is anew subject, it will help your career or expend your knowledge and it is fun to learn. However, it is very easy to lose motivation, especially when you come across that first piece of work which you find tricky or needs a real effort. Staying motivated is a problem for many online learners and many students drop out (some drop out rates for courses are over 50 percent). How, then, do you stay motivated when you do not have the hands-on reaction of tutors and fellow students to offer support?
One of the important things is always choose a course which offers recognised qualifications and support along the way to students. Go for ones offering tutor support, forums and on line help because no matter how wonderful a subject or good a course is, there may be times when motivation is lost or lacking and you need to feel there is support to help you complete the course.
One way is to make a bullet point list when you start the course listing the reasons why you want to do the course. List what you hope to achieve, how the course will benefit you and how much you want to do it. This list will help keep you focussed when you find your motivation lacking or waning a little.
Next, see if your course offers forums in which you can discuss things with other students. What you can do is to discuss particular assignments, essays or areas you find hard. If you are finding some areas hard, there is likely to be someone else who is also finding it hard and there is equally likely to be someone who can help. One huge benefit of online courses is that they bring together people with all manner of backgrounds and skills and forums often allow them to help each other.
Contact your course provider too because they will be experienced enough to understand that motiviation can be difficult. They may have invaluable tips and ideas to help you. After all, you have paid them to provide the course so support should come in the package. Ask them for advice, ideas, where to go for research and help and if you have an online tutor, contact them for advice too. This is what they are paid for after all.
Above all, never simply stop the course. Look back at your list of reasons why you wanted to take the course in the first place, remember you paid for it and decide the areas which have become hard and caused you to lose motiviation. Then, address them and ask for help if necessary. Remember, you took the course for good reasons and there should be no reason why you cannot overcome a lack of motivation at one point. Keep going, get help and you will find you can climb those mountains!