HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014
Bridge the distance the right way
Samir Parikh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 23, 2012
First Published: 18:10 IST(23/10/2012)
Last Updated: 18:13 IST(23/10/2012)

The internet has opened up an unprecedented slew of avenues that translate to opportunities for personal and professional development. Universities both in India and abroad are offering distance learning opportunities that allow for greater accessibility and flexibility. To ensure you really make the best of what is on offer, here are a few tips.  

1 Be discerning:
There is a great deal to learn from distance courses, provided you take them seriously. Give the course as much importance as you would give to your regular education.

2 Be regular: if you want to make distance education work, discipline is the key. You need to be self-motivated and regular with your readings and assignments.

3 Go beyond prescribed reading: Course material usually sticks to the basics. Whenever possible, try to do some extra reading, put in a little extra effort and go beyond the basics. Doing so will give you the edge.

4 Interact with peers: Discussing ideas and perspectives with fellow students is always a great way to learn. Try to get in touch with other students enrolled in the same programme.

5 Focus on self-evaluation: Self-tests can give you an accurate picture of where you stand and where you need to make more effort. Regular self-evaluation can help you get the best out of your course.

6 Multitask with mainstream education: Do not compromise on your work or mainstream education for the sake of your distance learning course. Don’t let work pile up; be regular to ensure a proper balance.

7 Learn to balance: Balancing two or more things at once is never easy, but it’s important not to overwork yourself. Organise and prioritise your tasks. It is crucial that you take short but frequent breaks.

8 Adhere to timelines: It is important to have a vision. Having a plan to attain your vision is even more important. Keep both short- and long-term goals in mind, prepare a timeline for the future and make sure that you follow it.

The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare

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