Successful Distance Learning Strategies

Successful Distance Learning Strategies



So, what needs to​ be done to​ ensure that a​ distance learning course is​ a​ success, in​ a​ nutshell, treat it​ like a​ project. in​ this project, the​ project team is​ made up of​ you the​ student, the​ provider and​ their back up team and​ resources, the​ tutor that will work with you, and​ some important stakeholders. if​ you are the​ student, appoint yourself as​ the​ project manager. if​ you are an​ employer, appoint yourself as​ the​ client and​ behave like a​ major stakeholder in​ this project.

It is​ important that you research potential providers. Look at​ the​ range of​ courses they offer. if​ it​ is​ massive, everything from dog handling to​ nuclear physics, then back away. if​ it​ is​ focused, with a​ core area of​ expertise, investigate that provider further, they are more likely to​ be serious and​ knowledgeable in​ that area of​ expertise. Check out the​ potential providers’ accreditations. in​ the​ UK and​ most developed countries, there are government appointed, or​ approved, accreditation bodies, sometimes known as​ validation bodies. if​ the​ provider is​ nationally accredited, in​ their field of​ expertise, by that county’s recognised accreditation bodies, that is​ a​ very positive sign.

Once you have selected your provider and​ course, you need to​ prepare. This means thinking about what your planned course of​ study will mean to​ your lifestyle, your time, your social life, your domestic situation, your workload. With all these in​ mind, start preparing for​ your course of​ study by thinking. Think about the​ implications, think about what resources you will need. This includes computer equipment, almost certainly broadband access, and​ a​ physical study area. Although most of​ these can be found outside the​ home, most distance learning students do study at​ home. Think about what changes you will have to​ make, some small, some major, to​ successfully complete the​ course. This can include changes to​ your lifestyle, your social life, your domestic life, your work patterns, your hobbies and​ interests, there may, not always but often, need to​ be changes in​ some or​ all of​ these areas. Think about all the​ people who will be affected by your decision to​ take up a​ course of​ studies, see Stakeholders, below.

Stakeholders, these, as​ in​ project management terms, are any people who have a​ legitimate interest in​ the​ project. in​ the​ case of​ a​ student taking a​ distance learning course, this means, partner, family, social friends, work colleagues, managers, employer, all have an​ interest in​ your decision and​ your study project, this means they are stakeholders in​ your project. Treat them in​ the​ same way that professional project managers treat their stakeholders. Think about their needs, think about their concerns, keep them informed appropriately, of​ your progress, treat them as​ partners in​ your project.

Planning: plan how, and​ when, and​ what with, you will study. Draw up a​ timetable, if​ this is​ not already laid down by the​ demands of​ the​ course of​ its assignment or​ examination deadlines. Break it​ down into manageable periods. the​ course requirements, units, modules, assignments, examinations, will usually give you this structure. Plan when you will study, where you will study, how you will study. Plan time for​ reading, going on the​ internet, visiting the​ library, writing up assignments, traveling to​ sit examinations, all these need careful planning. Your course Tutor will often be able to​ help with this. She/he will have experience of​ assisting new students in​ planning their studies.

Monitoring: monitor your progress on a​ regular, usually weekly, no less than monthly, basis. Use your tutor, she/he will be happy to​ give you deadlines, objectives, advice and​ guidance, that will help you manage the​ course and​ stay on target.

Respond to​ changing circumstances. One of​ the​ most attractive features of​ studying by distance learning is​ that it​ is​ a​ flexible, adaptable, method of​ studying. All human beings, run into personal problems, illnesses, difficulties at​ work, family crises, become temporarily disenchanted, temporarily lose interest in​ the​ course. the​ bonus is​ that as​ a​ distance learning student, on most courses, you can manage these difficulties by slowing down, stopping, starting up again, speeding up, as​ often as​ it​ takes, because you are on a​ distance learning course.

At the​ end of​ a​ project, professional project managers make sure that they carry out a​ close down routine.
Make sure that you have successfully completed all the​ assignments, passed all the​ examinations, if​ any, and​ studied the​ course materials fully. Inform all the​ stakeholders that you have successfully completed the​ course, and​ achieved the​ qualification. Receive confirmation of​ completion, a​ certificate of​ achievement, a​ letter confirming your examination successes, for​ example. Thank all the​ people who have helped you succeed!.




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