Although this can be a great way to extend knowledge whilst keeping your normal life going, it can sometimes be hard to keep working without other students keeping you motivated with their enthusiasm.
Here are some ways that you can keep motivated as an online postgraduate student.
Get to know your lecturers & tutors
Even though you are studying online you should try and get to know your lecturers, tutors and supervisors, it will be useful for you throughout your course, especially if you are studying part time and will be in contact with them over a few years. Getting to know your lecturers will also mean that you will feel more comfortable commenting in live video conferencing lectures. A personal connection will make the course more enjoyable and keep you involved emotionally.
Connect with your fellow students
Use social media to connect with your fellow students and explore the online discussion forums related to your course in full. Some online postgraduate courses grade students on their online comments in discussion forums, but this is not as common as it used to be. It’s a good idea to try and be one of the first to introduce yourself, as some lecturers will refer to comments students have made during video conferencing lectures and comment on posts. Your course or university will have advice on how you can effectively connect with other students safely with information on student societies to join. Keeping motivated is easy when you are looking forward to connecting with your new online student peer group and want to discover what the other students think about your ideas.
Attend on-campus & networking events
If you are studying a career-related postgraduate course online it’s a good idea to attend every networking event you can find. Sometimes it's a good idea to consider your local university for you online postgraduate studies, as you will be able to attend on-campus events or perhaps use some of the facilities. Remember why you are studying online and what your plans are for after you have completed your course. Attending networking events will help you do this.
Make a timetable
Plan out your weeks in advance and set aside time to study each day. However, it’s important to make sure you’re not blocking up all of your time with work and study, as you need to allow for the unexpected. Aiming to study at the same time every day or each week will enable you to get into a routine and ensure you will be in the right frame of mind to work. Take a look at the entire year and plan out when you will be free and when you will have to study. If your friends and family know your plans, then they will be able to arrange things around this. Staying relaxed and taking time away from your online course is the key to keeping motivated.
Seek university advice
As more universities offer online postgraduate courses, many institutions have loads of advice about online study. This advice is likely to be tailored specifically to your particular course and the expectations of your lecturers. You will be much happier, more confident and better motivated with online study once you fully understand your university's online etiquette.
Facts & Figures
Here are some interesting statistics about online learning at UK universities 2016-2017.