I am reminded as I think about and write this Blog of that phrase from the TV Quiz programme Mastermind “I’ve started so I’ll finish”.

Of course those of us who take up distance learning or online courses usually do have the intention of finishing.  Though life can get in the way at times of even the most structured timetabling.

But if you are just starting out with your online course, what are the things you can do for yourself to enable you to achieve that completion and Certificate?

1.    Be realistic with your commitments and timetable for online study
That’s different for all of us, of course, but you know what your commitments are, and it’s important to be realistic about the time available for your study.

2.    Recognise that online work is very different from face-to-face study, and connect with your own inner and external support systems
So find your own ways of working, time schedule, supports, reference points and be aware of any inner self pressure – but recognise your achievements with some rewards as well.

3.    Ask the tutor
If we are following the Quiz programme theme, you might want to go for the Millionnaire option and use your lifeline of “asking a friend”....or the tutor!  Remember that your online tutor is there to support you through the course, so if you are really stuck about something, then do ask the tutor.  That’s what we are there for.  And you don’t “lose marks” for asking!

Chrysalis Online Courses provide a huge amount of flexibility if you are working through one of these.  Other courses, of course, may vary.  So make sure you know what the ground rules are.

Obviously those are brief headline points.  Online learning requires a certain amount of discipline overall.  But don’t be too hard on yourself if you have to review your timetable in the light of life events either.

For me distance learning provides an invaluable resource whatever your circumstances and situation.

So embrace it.  Enjoy it.  Learn from it – not only the coursework, but also about yourself.

And don’t forget you can always ask the tutor...

And when you’ve stayed the course – make sure you celebrate your success!!