Building a positive attitude – Important factor of the learning success

We know how challenging it can get at times to keep a positive mindset, especially if you are having a demanding job, family commitments, and community responsibilities. From time to time, we are getting overwhelmed, frustrated, and our mind is getting blocked. It prevents us from being creative, focused, and effective.

A positive state of mind is critically important for online learners because they are physically disconnected from their classmates and instructors. Some learners are naturally self-motivated and they can work successfully without help and support of other people; others need some inspiration in order to succeed in their studies.

In this post, we examine how to help students to stay inspired and positive during studies. Building a positive attitude towards learning is an important responsibility of teachers and instructors.

Finding sources of inspiration

For online learners, the virtual class can become a source of inspiration if the learning environment is interactive, supportive, and encouraging. Online discussions can support building such learning environment if the instructor sets the right tone and encourages learners to share ideas and thoughts.

Discussions help students to explore the variety of experiences and knowledge, to discover new perspectives and alternatives. Discussions and collaborative activities create a sense of partnership in the process of learning.

The course content also inspires students when it is delivered from the perspective of real-life cases and applications, and learners understand how theory is applied in real world. This helps to develop a positive attitude about the process of learning because they can realize what changes can be implemented at their workplace and in their lives based on knowledge gained during studies.

The great source of inspiration is self-belief. Instructors can build self-belief in students during feedback sessions, discussions, and tutoring sessions. It is important to find always some positive aspects of the students’ performance and show the ways of the further progress and improvements. It is easy to discourage your students by telling them how bad is their result, and what mistakes they have made. We should remember that the sense of progress and positive achievement encourage students to work better.

Inspiration maintains the positive attitude, ensures an enjoyable experience for learners, and motivates them to develop knowledge, skills, talents, and interests.

Encouraging a positive attitude to online learning

Without a positive attitude, learners have little chance to succeed in their studies. The positive attitude is a powerful factor which helps to stay focused and absorb information effectively, increases motivation and achievement levels, and makes learners more productive by retaining more information.

It is important that teachers and instructors know how to build and maintain a positive attitude during studies. There are several approaches which help to keep learners encouraged, focused, and interested in studies.

Empowering learners

Quite often, online courses are focused on subject-matter content delivery and ignore human touch, communication, and support. Using learner-centered approach in the course delivery will allow implementing personalized learning and address strengths and weaknesses of each individual learner. When learners are in control of their learning experiences, they demonstrate more active participation and positive approach towards the course. Teacher’s task is to praise learner’s achievements, strengths, and talents. This will also boost learners’ levels of confidence in their abilities to succeed.

Informing learners about the value of the course

From my personal experience, I know how important is to make clear to learners from the very beginning why they should take this particular course and how it will help them in their work or further studies. They need to understand how the acquired knowledge can be put into practice. It creates a positive attitude, interest, and motivation to study the content.

Eliminating stress and fear

Many of us grew up fearing failures – we thought it makes us weak, incapable, and hopeless. Fear and stress are positivity’s worst enemies. And it is teacher’s role to create a safe learning environment which encouraged learners to explore, experiment, and analyze. Learners should understand that errors help to learn, to develop skills, and to understand better the subject. Failures and mistakes are a natural part of the learning experience. Instead of accumulating stress and fear, students should learn to discuss the issues, analyze situations, and develop a plan to correct them. It opens opportunities for creative solutions, innovations, and positive attitude in a risk-free environment.

Offering challenging tasks – not overwhelming tasks

As a teacher, I have noticed that sometimes it is difficult to predict how a challenging task will affect our learners. We need to make sure that learners are not getting overwhelmed and frustrated since when attempting the tasks; it will make almost impossible to demonstrate creativity, innovations, and positive approach. My suggestion is to follow closely how students are approaching the task from the beginning. It is a good practice to divide the task into a sequence of smaller subtasks which reduce overload and can be easier managed by learners.

Offering options

Encouraging positive attitude, teachers can boost learners’ confidence by offering to take control over their learning. Teachers can provide learners with a variety of tools and resources, such as manuals, guides, instructions, external links, and multimedia. Let students choose which resources to use to achieve their learning goals. Offering several methods to complete online tasks will give learners the opportunity to expand their interests, develop problem-solving and analytical skills, and feel confident in their learning efforts.

Addressing emotions

Emotions can connect effectively our learners with the content of the course. Emotionally-driven learning generates positive attitudes such as interest, enthusiasm, and engagement. It can be done through engaging stories, interactive scenarios, and a reasonable dose of humor. These methods can draw learners’ attention, increase curiosity, and create positive feelings.

Making online learning enjoyable

If we want to encourage a positive attitude in our learners, the online course design must be inspirational, engaging, and interactive. Learners should be encouraged to play an active role during studies by participating in discussions, team projects, and other collaboration activities. They should become true members of the learning community, and feel free to share their experiences, skills, and issues arising.

A positive attitude helps to boost knowledge retention and build interest in further learning, and it creates a foundation of a successful lifelong learning.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Building a positive attitude – Important factor of the learning success”

  1. Hi Nadja,
    What a great post and showing the importance of positivity and the support needed to succeed in online learning.

    I was doing a course in Bookkeeping and found it over the top challenging. The trainers were very helpful and supportive and I found they were doing all the right things, but I struggled with the course itself.

    I ended up discontinuing it, but only because it wasn’t something I was passionate about. The trainers leading the course were doing all the right things in regards to keeping me accountable, with a positive mindset but it just wasn’t meant to be.

    One thing I always encourage my kids on anything they do in life, is to enjoy what they do, whether it is online or off. I finally took my own advice!

    1. Thank you for your valuable and interesting input. It is so important to do things which you are interested in… I have learnt over the years to say “NO” if I don’t like or don’t enjoy things. We should support learners in finding the right things and subjects to study. I am also thinking that before someone joins the online course, it is good to have a discussion regarding the reason, purpose, and interest in the subject of studies. 

      Wishing you all the best and many successes ahead.

  2. Hi Nadja,

    thank you very much for this elaborate post on a really, really important matter. I was a “long distance student” as well for a few years (I studied computer science on a University 300 miles away) and also took a whole bunch of online courses, both paid and free. And I cannot stress enough how important it is to create this “virtual classroom”, at least connect with a few fellow students. It’s important to stay accountable, discuss questions, prepare homework. All that stuff that you would usually do when you meet your peers in real life!

    I love the inspiration you’re giving to teachers here: It is so important to keep your students motivated, and telling them why the things you want them to learn are important, really is the most important one. From my own experience, another one would be to add as many real life examples and (not too hard) challenges to the mix as you can! It keeps people practicing and experience progress first hand!

    All the best,
    chris

    1. Hello Chris, 

      Thank you for the valuable comment. I totally agree with you regarding real-life cases. Learning should not be abstract, students can get discouraged, lost, and frustrated. If they see the link of the course content with the real situations, it drives their interest and encourages creativity.

      Thank you for reading my post.

      Wishing you a successful development of your business.

  3. Hey Nadja:

    It’s an absolute truth that maintaining a positive attitude helps enormously when you’re learning new things. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by all the new information and techniques coming at you and that can send you into overwhelm and lead you to just give up.

    It does help if the course/instructor/whatever is encouraging and enabling. But, mostly, it is the student’s responsibility to do everything he or she can to embrace the process of learning.

    1. Thank you for the interesting comment. Online learning is very demanding, and it requires good time management, discipline and dedication  to succeed. Learners are taking complete responsibility for the process. Yes, in some cases, they might get unhappy, lost or frustrated, and it is when the instructor’s encouragement is needed very much.

      Thank you again for your time.

      Wishing you a successful development of your business,

      Nadja

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