The Challenges With Distance Learning
When you decide to embark upon a home learning programme, it can be an exciting time! All of the potential of new knowledge headed in your direction from the comfort of your arm chair and yet as much as I would encourage the personal and professional development this will bring, there are definitely some factors that you should consider before jumping in.
1)Are you someone who finds it easy to motivate yourself?
If so then home learning will be a great option for you. You need to be able to tear yourself away from all of the other things you could be doing – watching TV, getting the washing done – what ever it is – in favour of doing the study you have paid to do. As much as you might be excited by this idea at first, think about doing it in say, 6 months time when perhaps your circumstances may change. Even the weather turning hotter or colder can change our habits in our free time. Will you still make time for home study then?
2) Are you a procrastinator by nature?
If you are someone who takes ages to get started with things – for example leaving things until the 11th hour or not doing them at all because you just kept putting it off, then a home learning programme might be a struggle for you. That doesn’t mean you should avoid it altogether, but perhaps you should first learn some skills to help you overcome the procrastination before you start to attempt to layer in learning. Techniques within NLP can prove to be useful to overcome procrastination.
3) Do you need people around you to feel like you are progressing?
Some people need integration with others, not just from a social angle but to measure their progress against their peers. With home learning you miss this vital element and you will need to be proactive at reaching out to others in order to fill that void. For others this kind of lone working is a blessing as they find themselves better able to concentrate and they make progress faster. If that is you, then distance learning may be a very useful option for you but it will still be important to make sure you schedule time to speak to and interact with others, whether they are going through the same learning process or not. You will find that as a result of “stepping away” from your work from time to time, you give you mind an opportunity to clear itself and make room for new ideas to be created. Even people who have no knowledge of the subject you are studying may inspire you in some useful way that becomes a useful addition to the work you are undertaking.
These are just a few points that are worthy of your consideration before embarking on a distance learning programme. It’s not to say that if you suffer with one or even all of the challenges above that home learning isn’t for you, it’s more the case that in having awareness of them you should find effective ways to overcome them before you begin your distance learning programme.
-Gemma Bailey (Article here)