Any type of ‘study’ involves discipline, commitment and time. Whether you are attending lectures or studying by ‘correspondence’ you need to invest in it, in order to get the most out of it and successfully complete the course. When it comes to ‘distance learning’ though, you need to be even more disciplined than with traditional face-face learning; with no lectures to attend and perhaps no ‘deadlines’ either, it can be easy for the days between study to easily slip from days, to weeks, to months.
I am personally a huge fan of Distance Learning. Along with completing a course with the Academy and other short online courses, I completed a degree from Monash University in this way, when I was living in Darwin and found that the course I wanted to study was not offered by the Northern Territory University. I enjoy the flexibility of it and I am someone who likes to teach themselves, so it works well for my personality as well as my lifestyle. In the first couple of years of my degree program, I was highly motivated, but as time wore on and my responsibilities at work and home increased (having children, buying a house etc) I found it easier and easier to devote less and less time to study. Thankfully deadlines for assignments and set exam dates pulled me into line, but with a self-paced course, like the ones offered by the Academy, you need to set your own deadlines as well as pushing yourself to meet them.
Over the next month I will share with you some of the tips I used to help keep me on track when I was studying and perhaps they will also help you to achieve the goals you have set yourself for working through your course and moving into the Wedding & Events industry.
This call to action gets used a lot I know but its because it works. But for it to work, your goals needs to be relaistic and specific. Your over-riding goal is to complete the course and then perhaps, start a business or secure a job, but to achieve that goal you will need to break this vision down into bite-size goals that will help you to get there. Once you have your ‘mini-goals’, stick to them. Make your study a priority in the same way you do the other things in your life.
A good way to go about setting your goals for study is to look through the material you have to work through. Our courses are divided into sections and within each section there are units and projects to complete. A good way to start is to determine the timeframe you want to complete a unit in – based on your goal for how long you want to take to complete the course. You may need to complete a unit first to get an understanding of how long a unit takes you to complete. If it is one week, set a day or night in the week to work on it and stick to it. Each unit is accompanied by an a project or assignment, so again, set a time to conduct your research for the assignment and then a time to complete the assignment itself.
A note about goal setting; your motivation for doing any type of study should be to learn, not just to get that piece of paper that says you did it. Pace yourself and be realistic about what you can achieve in what amount of time; you don’t want to be racing through the materials. If you find yourself doing this, revise your goals.
If you have tips to share about setting goals, please do so by posting them here.