Expert opinions

There is no passive learning: why so many online courses stay unused?

Today, online education is available to everyone. You can easily pay curses for every taste without leaving your home and undergo training in a convenient time. But often we buy an educational program, and it waits its hour for years, and during this time we are already interested by something else. Why it happens so, and how to return motivation to still complete the task begun?

The reasons why people buy some kind of course can be completely different. Perhaps they need career advancement or development of own hard and soft skills. When we decide that we are ready to learn, it seems that the choice has already been made – all that remains is to sit down and open training materials. But we have to face the most difficult choice every day: should we scroll through news feed, watch TV series or open training video? Should we dedicate time to detective reading or prolonged training? Let’s figure out why training is often postponed and how to increase the chance of taking online courses to the end.

Reason No. 1. Psychological and emotional fatigue

Fatigue leads to exhaustion, lack of motivation, and reduced outcomes. Training is a time-consuming and energy-intensive activity, it requires internal resources, and if a person does not have them, then he simply will not be able to learn.

This problem can be solved only by high-quality rest – emotional, physical, and mental. To restore strength, man needs these three types of recreation. At the weekend, do anything, but not work, take legal vacation, and don’t forget about your lunch break. The brain needs switching, so  that it can rush back into battle and find time for important cases, including for study. Begin training while in resource condition, it is much easier than forcing yourself when you are tired and emotionally drained.

Reason No. 2. No End Goal

People quit learning due to lack of understanding of how knowledge gained will be useful in their life. What is the ultimate goal of this training? The most striking fact is that knowledge alone does not produce results. Large volumes of the theory lead to a loss of focus and confusion. You can know many theoretical ways to develop your Telegram channel or apply marketing training to your current profession, but it is practice that gives results.

Before buying any course, it is worth understanding what skills you will be get and how to apply acquired knowledge in your life. It is worth paying attention to the presence of  practical tasks in modules. The more opportunities a person has to apply new information practically, the higher is his motivation to continue training.

If you have a goal that you are aiming for, then you will not give up at half distance. And, having gained knowledge, you will try to apply it on practice. Even if you can’t get the result you want right away, you try again, and then definitely you will succeed!

Reason No. 3. Training purchased from the “necessary” state

Sometimes people cannot even explain to themselves why they bought this or that course. They could probably be dictated by the environment, for example, by opinion that it is necessary to self-develop. But this is the very case when motivation does not play a primary role. Such person has an abstract purpose and does not understand what it is for and whether it is needed at all.

If you have bought courses that you still have not passed, then it is worth sitting down and thinking about what you really want and which way you’re moving.

See how the material is served and whether you are interested in this topic currently. Perhaps the content of the selected program will not fascinate you, then you should not regret that it was lying idle. It is important to understand clearly, what you will be interested in – in order to avoid such mistakes in the future.

It happens that training has ceased to be interesting, and the topic is relevant. But we continue to take such a course, then postponing, then trying to motivate ourselves: “I already bought it, so I have to go through.” It is important not to root or torture yourself trying to go to the end: still, you can close this course and buy what is interesting.

Reason No. 4. Complex structure of the training program

More often, people still begin training, but in the process, they gradually leave the playing field. This may be due to the complex methodology of the course. At the beginning of the journey online schools often promise users that they will be able to master the plenty of new skills and even get a new profession in just a week. From here erroneous perception of the process is formed: people are simply not ready for the fact that training is actually hard work, and the program may be more difficult, than you can imagine after watching a commercial.

Only a thorough approach to choosing a training program will help solve this problem. Perhaps it is worth choosing courses with a different presentation, where information will be provided on a simple-to-complex basis, then you can to absorb new information from stage to stage and enjoy being involved in the learning process.

Reason No. 5. Lack of resource for certain training

In the Internet there are high-quality courses on various topics that are really useful, providing knowledge, skills and new opportunities. Another thing is that for many people it is difficult to distinguish a suitable program from an inappropriate one. For example, you have long wanted to understand investing and decide to buy a training course. In order not to waste a lot of time on different levels of classes, you decide immediately to take the “advanced” level. But this level is suitable for those who already has basic knowledge, and in the learning process you will simply lose interest in the program since you don’t understand much about it. That is a wrong way to choose.

If you want to master a program from scratch, whether it be investment or IT specialty, it is worth starting training from the “basic” level. There you will learn the basics of the program/profession and easily learn this information, as well as remain interested in the selected training topic.

Reason No. 6. Training Without Feedback and Support

At the start, we are sure that we will cope independently with the flow of new information, so we abandon the more expensive course, including the feedback from curators. In the process, small questions arise, there is no one to ask them, and they are gradually formed into one continuous snowball of misunderstanding, killing motivation.

There are several ways out of this situation. Either you buy feedback to get an opportunity to ask curators questions during the training process. Or, just at the start, you choose to work in groups so that you can interact in chat with classmates.

Reason No. 7. Impostor syndrome interferes

Often people underestimate their knowledge and skills. Feeling anxious and uncertain, they buy courses one by one. A person studies theory  only, and he does not reach practice because of his own shame and fear. Thinking that the reason is in the training program, he buys the next new course, where he already knows the theory, but because of imposter syndrome and the lack of practice anchoring knowledge, it seems him that there is none. As a result, a person is disappointed, and his learning courses accumulate and lie unfinished.

To solve this problem, you need to work with self-worth and surely celebrate your successes. Take courses and write out the skills you managed to obtain, use them in practice, and also set specific goals: which opportunities you will have thanks to the training you have completed.

Reason No. 8. Life in the “almost” scenario

A person with a script “almost” completes everything to the end. Almost to the end. He can drop a book in the middle or postpone an important business for later (read: never finishing the task). Of course, anyone can stop halfway.

Perhaps your online courses are not completed, because the topic did not arouse your interest, but if this happens to you constantly, then you live according to script “almost.”

This scenario is usually formed in a child under six to eight years old. Reasons for that could be parental patterns broadcasted in childhood: “the main thing is not victory, but participation”, “the main thing is diligence, and the result is not so important”. Or, if the child comes across teachers who rate not for the result, but “for effort”- most likely he will decide that it is most important to try. If you notice that you live according to such a scheme, then ask yourself the question: “Why do I constantly start and quit everything? What’s the reason?” If it is impossible to find an answer on your own, then it is worth contacting a psychologist: he will help you understand the basis of your behavior and find a way out of of the embedded scenario.

Reason No. 9. Fear of huge volume of learning

The duration of courses varies, from two weeks to training a year long. “Lack of time” is one of the most common and formal reasons for not studying. Sometimes it’s just excuses, and the real reason is fear that it will not be possible to cope with the volume of information and reach the end.

Unfortunately, people are thinking about how they will embed training in their daily schedule already in the process of training. Fear of prolonged and serious loading can be managed by dividing a large task into small ones and going to your goal gradually. If you’re running out of time for training due to tight work schedules and household chores, then it is worth dealing with time management, allocating time for courses, and reflecting the passage of lessons at your diary.

By Irina Yermoshkina, psychologist-consultant of the corporate well-being platform “Ponimaju” (“I understand”)

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