5 Secrets Behind Student Motivation: How to Study Online in College

Motivation is the key to achieving any goal. And it is essential for education, especially when it comes to online courses or degrees.

Taking an online course is beneficial in many ways. You become more flexible, and the option is suitable for those who work or have family responsibilities. Yet another advantage is that one can do it at home, following a personal pace, and with comfort.

However, there is a great need for a will and effort to engage in such studies. When learning online, there is no one watching and directly controlling you. So the only person in charge of the whole process is you.

That’s why it is essential to stay motivated and focused on the work. There are many distractions, and sometimes it is just very hard to fit everything in daily routine.

If you feel like you’d benefit from tips on staying motivated and concentrated while studying online, this guide is for you.

Learn to Set Priorities

When dealing with work, education, and family or social responsibilities, it is easy to get lost. The secret is prioritization.

It is vital to set priorities for all the pending tasks and approach them accordingly.

For instance, write down the tasks you need to do this month. Set the importance to each of them – which one is urgent, which one can be set aside for a week?

This will be a guiding map to completing everything in time. Of course, the same goes for educational tasks. For instance, you must complete one assignment this week, but the other one is due for the end of the month. Focus on one task at a time; it will be easier to finish it.

At times more important aspects like relationships and jobs can take over, and there will be absolutely no time to deal with all the assignments. In such cases, you can always use the professional help of After all, education should not overshadow all other essential parts of life.

Make a Schedule

According to the priorities of the tasks, you can create a comprehensive schedule. Why is it important? First of all, it helps a lot with regard to time management. Secondly, a specific routine makes us more focused.

It is the same if you’d attend a traditional college course. You’d get up in the morning, go for classes, have lunch, take another lecture, etc. The human brain works best in a specific routine. If you study every Wednesday afternoon, your brain will be ready to focus this particular time.

You can also take advantage of your spare time. For example, you can listen to audio materials while driving to work or exercising. You can also make follows ups during lunch break or waiting in a line for coffee.

Communicate With Other Students

One of the discouraging factors of online education is that it might bring about the feeling of isolation. You are doing everything on your own. It is much better to feel engaged in the community and simply speak to someone enrolled in the same course.

Communication with other students and a professor helps in several different aspects:

  • It builds the feeling of community;

  • Increases motivation;

  • Provides support from peers;

  • Helps in dealing with difficult tasks as you can ask for advice;

  • Allows meeting new people interested in the same field.

It is generally easier sometimes to study when you can talk with someone who understands it.

Set Big and Small Goals

Another way to stay motivated is to remember what it is all about. Concentrate on the big picture – the result of getting an education. You’ve probably started it to get better at your profession or find a new job.

There can be many other reasons – from getting a better salary to moving to another place or changing the field. It is essential to remember that you are working to achieve a specific goal.

Write down your aims. Small ones can be goals for a week or a month. For example, to finish the assignment, read two books, or do some comprehensive research.

Then set the big goals – pass the exam, get a good grade for a paper, finish the course, or get a degree.

Reward Yourself

The system of rewards is a huge motivator. It endorses the parts of our brain that help to keep focused on the result. Of course, there is a moral and emotional reward for each completed task. Yet, it is not everything one can do.

As soon as you’re done with setting goals, divide them into smaller ones. Work with one task at a time.

Every time you finish a task, reward yourself. It can be anything that is healthy and pleases you. For example, after completing small tasks, you can watch a video, listen to a song, or play a game on a smartphone.

You can go for a walk or spend time on the Internet. The bigger ones can be rewarded with going to movies or for lunch in a favorite café.

In Summary

Online education demands great willpower and devotion. To stay motivated, one should always be focused on the result and overall goals. It is also great to reach out to other students enrolled and communicate actively.