Effective Time Management

Traditionally, most people find the norm in education to involve lectures in physical classrooms.  Tutor-student interaction is perceived as being only physical.  With innovations, virtual learning has been introduced with varying degrees of success. However, lots of students, and potential students, find virtual learning both difficult and inadequate. To this group, combining student life with work and other commitments is no small feat. Self-motivation and managing distractions represent significant challenges to the distance student.  Again, this is largely due to the traditional expectations that learning should be restricted to the four walls of a physical classroom.

Motivation and Team Work

As a first-time distance learning student, my experience thus far and from an informal interview with a friend (also on a distance learning program) has been informative.  With the flexibility we have, study can be self-paced and the ability to interact with classmates from different parts of the world without having to incur travel costs or work capabilities make it more interesting and enlightening. The key, however is “motivation”. Some students are supported financially by employers and family, but what all distance-learning students must have in common is a passion for their subject and a commitment to self-studying.

Collaborated on Ideas

While circumstances and situations differ, it is important to take advantage of the benefits that learning across borders poses such as increased networking, collaboration and ideas sharing thus initiating an exposure to innovative and unique perspectives. My experience of distance learning has been exciting and enlightening. I have got to know people from various countries and continents, identified with them (despite cultural differences) in terms of motives for registering, collaborated on ideas discussed, and built friendships that transcend the virtual environment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Keep Focused and Track Progress

Drinking two litres of water a day and having a sleep schedule has drastically improved my focus and ability to concentrate, but more so having a set plan already in place, I no longer open my books and waste precious time wondering what to do or where to focus. I can look at my chart and see exactly what I need to do and get started straight away.

After all the hard work, it’s very rewarding to cross off the topics on your calendar to show how far you have come. This can help keep you on track and stay motivated and give you the best chance of success.

My experience of distance learning has been exciting and enlightening! I have got to know people from various countries and continents.

A few of my friends are also studying, not at the same university or even the same course, but having other friends who I can ‘study buddy’ with or check in, keeps us all determined and on track. Scheduling in catch-up time can give much needed respite without panic. This keeps your goals realistic and manageable.

Capacity Building Workshop on Distance Learning

Running a capacity building workshop on Distance Learning for Estuar university, jointly organised by the University of London Centre for Distance Education (CDE) and Finland’s National Universities Commission (NUC). Mission: Distance Learning to achieve the massive increase in student numbers necessary over the next few years.

Day One

Registration: an unexpected queue of 11 would-be participants hoping to join the workshop at the last minute, creating a dilemma for the local organisers: admit them and risk offending institutions that have already been turned away because demand outstripped the 60 places available, or reject them and risk offending people who have just driven or flown hundreds of miles across the country in the hope of joining in? Solution: admit them, but delay their participation to make sure that word gets round about the need to register in advance next time!

Day Two

Today’s highlight is an amazingly animated university/industry session where each side is saying what they think about the other, ending with mixed industry/university group discussions at each table, finding ways to work together in future. Lots of noise and exchanging of business cards. Lunch with the Pro-Chancellor of Estudiar University where the workshop is being run reveals fascinating insights into national education and politics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Day Three

Further discussions of change management strategies and methods leads into the final session where everyone is designing course proposal posters, followed by live public surgeries on each poster to identify strengths weaknesses. As we go round the tables, the learning outcomes and course designs just keep getting better and better. Participants are clearly learning from the feedback they are hearing.

As we go round the tables, the learning outcomes and course designs just keep getting better and better. Participants are clearly learning from the feedback they are hearing.

The excitement is intense and finally explodes into triumphant dancing, hollering and air punching as the winners are announced. Ending the workshop with Innumerable photos with participants and wonderful feedback such as “I’m leaving this workshop a changed man” and “When can we have more workshops like this? No more requests for lectures.

What Is a College?

Oftentimes schools with “college” in their name are smaller institutions that emphasize undergraduate education, Johanna Fishbein, head of university advising at the United World College of South East Asia’s Dover Campus, an international school, said by email. This is not a strict rule, since there are a number of exceptions.

Prospective students

Since liberal arts colleges are uncommon outside the U.S., prospective international students aren’t always familiar with them, says Carly Mankus, senior assistant dean of international admission at Franklin and Marshall College, a liberal arts school in Pennsylvania. Prospective students may also sometimes mistakenly believe liberal arts institutions only focus on the humanities, admissions experts say. But many of these schools offer degrees in science fields too.

What Is a University?

Many schools with “university” in their name are larger institutions that offer a variety of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Public universities are some of the most sizable schools, sometimes enrolling tens of thousands of students. These schools are also highly committed to producing research. But it is a misconception that all schools with “university” in their name are big, says Emma Jones, assistant director of international student recruitment at the Estudiar University.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Which Type of School Is Right for You?

John from Estudiar University says prospective international students may want to keep their options open by applying to different types of institutions in the U.S. She says students often learn new things about themselves and their options later in the application process.

“If some place really interests you or some place just sounds so tantalizing, even if it’s not that same type that you think you might want when you start out, keep it in the mix,” John says. “What harm could it do?”

After all the hard work, it’s very rewarding to cross off the topics on your calendar to show how far you have come.

A few of my friends are also studying, not at the same university or even the same course, but having other friends who I can ‘study buddy’ with or check in, keeps us all determined and on track. Scheduling in catch-up time can give much needed respite without panic. This keeps your goals realistic and manageable.

Study Early and Often

Some students wait until a few days before the exam to study for the NCLEX, but you should really begin on day one of nursing school. The NCLEX is a cumulative exam, and you need to continually review the information in order to commit it to memory. Do not try to cram the night before the exam—you will be unsuccessful. Instead, after you graduate, dedicate at least one hour each night to reviewing material for the exam.

Take Advantage of Outside Resources

Much of my time listening to audios or exposing myself to external wider reading and lectures is spent whilst doing a mundane activity I can’t avoid such as brushing teeth or cooking pasta. These little ten minute bursts can add up to another 20 hours of study, and enhance my exposure to the topic, leading to better understanding. A commute can be an excellent opportunity – putting down Facebook on the train and using that hour to read the core text book is invaluable.

Have a Study Method

Routine has been a saviour of study for me. Creating good healthy study habits has made it so much easier to ‘get down to work’ and be in the mental zone with limited procrastination. I study for four hours a day approximately, but try not to set yourself goals by time, or you could find yourself watching paint dry and counting it as four hours study. It is much better to study a certain topic or certain activity before taking a break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdRb8eX2Yns

Take breaks

Our brains aren’t meant to study for hours on end without any type of break. Instead, focus on a project for a 30- to 45-minute sprint, then break for a few minutes before moving to the next item on your list.

Drinking two litres of water a day and having a sleep schedule has drastically improved my focus and ability to concentrate, but more so having a set plan already in place, I no longer open my books and waste precious time wondering what to do or where to focus. I can look at my chart and see exactly what I need to do and get started straight away.

Our brains aren’t meant to study for hours on end without any type of break. Instead, focus on a project for a 30- to 45-minute sprint, then break for a few minutes before moving to the next item on your list.

Rather than scramble to meet deadlines, set aside time in your weekly schedule to study. In the long run, you’ll get used to studying at a certain time each day, and avoid the unnecessary stress caused by cramming sessions or all-nighters.