Community College of Rhode Island

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New to distance learning? - Read through our orientation materials and learn what it takes to be a successful online student. [Learn more]

Courses updated - Course offerings have been updated for the fall semester. [Find courses]

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Stay Motivated

study groupStaying motivated in your distance learning course begins with selecting the right course, knowing how to use the technology and conduct library research, communicating well online, and managing your time.  It's easier to stay motivated when you've set yourself up for success.

These additional strategies can boost your motivation throughout the semester.

Use what you learn

Link your goals to your coursework

Build a support system

Stay connected with your professor


Use what you learn

Find ways to apply what you're learning in your online course to your work, your other courses, or your personal interests.  Not only will it make the content more interesting, but you are more likely to have a deeper understanding of the material if you apply it and you are more likely to remember it in the future.

graduation Link your goals to your coursework

Write your goals down and post them in a prominent place -- in your workspace, on your notebooks, or in an open file on your computer's desktop.

Link your long-term goals to your current distance learning courses.  Being reminded of your goals and how your course work helps you achieve them will help you maintain your motivation throughout the semester.

Build a support system

Student-to-Student Tip

The support of your family/friends is huge! They need to understand that you're not just "sitting around on your laptop." You have work to complete and they need to respect your time.

--Rebecca Cavanaugh

Find people who will help you stay motivated throughout the semester, and let them know that you might come to them for support.

Find a mentor, an experienced online learner, who can offer you advice and support.

Find a peer to study with, or form a study group.  An obligation to another person (such as discussing the weekly reading or reviewing each others' papers) can be very motivating.

Stay connected with your professor

Your professor can be a source of motivation.  Who knows better how the material that you're learning relates to your long-term goals?  Discuss your goals and interests in the field with your professor and bring outside sources to your conversation (such as professional publications that relate to course material).  Share stories about how what you're learning in class has helped you at work or given you additional insight into material in other classes.

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Last Updated: 3/21/14