When Choosing Online Courses, Be Aware of These 3 Limitations

Distance learning programs require commitments of time and,
in most cases, money. However, they aren’t the only things
to take into account to ensure a successful outcome. There
are your limitations, too. We all have them, and each
person’s is different.

Why be aware of your limitations? So you can think of ways
round them, preferably in advance. Every problem may have a
solution, but it helps to be aware of what problems may crop
up, so you can plan.

Here are some examples of limitations that could cause
problems once you’ve started those online classes:

1) Be aware of your personal ability limitations.

If you’re a very slow reader, for example, a course heavy
on literature may not be the best of ideas, unless you know
you have the available time to plough through the books at
our own pace. Of course, if there are no deadlines
associated with the course, time won’t be an issue. But if
you have to submit weekly book reports, it might be worth
having a practice run or two before signing up for the

A good practise run might consist of reading a book you are
unfamiliar with but which is connected to the course you
plan to study. Allow yourself five days to do so. Then
write an essay on something general such as how it is
relevant to your life, your community, twenty-first century
sexual politics, might have had a different outcome had
cellular phone technology been available, is still relevant
today, anything. When you’ve finished, ask yourself if you
feel you can keep up that level of effort and commitment
over a long period of time.

2) Be aware of your personality limitations.

Do you often start things with a wave of enthusiasm, then
give up after three weeks, bored? If so, what a course in miracles is it about
this particular course that makes you certain deep down
that you will go the distance this time?

If you can’t answer that, it may be best to save yourself a
whole heap of time, money and aggravation, not to mention
the knock to your self-esteem.

Another personality trait to be aware of is
procrastination: if you always find reasons not to do
things you know you have to, you could end up feeling more
guilty than educated. Or completely hassled as you do the
work at the very last minute — again.

Eventually, that hassled feeling might cause you to give

Do you have any strategies for dealing with these
personality traits?

3) Be aware of your subject availability limitations.

(Or, in less diplomatic language, do you know enough
willing guinea pigs to try out your new skills on?)

What type of course would you need to have subjects to
practice on? Online courses in beauty, aromatherapy and
chiropody readily spring to mind. You’ll probably have no
shortage of volunteers after you reach a certain level of
competency, but initially you may need an indulgent
significant other, available siblings or parents — or be
prepared to experiment on yourself.

With courses such as hypnosis, you might find it difficult
to get any subjects at all. You may be able to get round
this with a “volunteers wanted” ad, but be
careful if you do. Only visit them in their homes, not
yours, and try to take a companion along.

If you can’t take a companion, always make sure that you’ve
told someone where you’re going, when to expect you back,
and write the address down. When you do get back, let them
know, so they don’t worry.

Also, make sure you have any professional and public
liability insurances you may need.

Obviously, this list is not exhaustive, and it’s not
intended to put you off the idea of getting an education.

Rather, it’s intended to make you aware that online
distance programs, despite their flexibility and
convenience, can be influenced by factors we’re so familiar
with, we don’t think of them as problems.

Forewarned is forarmed, as the saying goes. Having an
answer ready to the question “how are you going to
deal with this?” will greatly increase your chances of
success in your online classes.


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