Five Reasons people don’t complete their course – from the wonderful Xina Gooding Broderick

 Xina Gooding Broderick >
  1. “You didn’t set aside sufficient time to complete your course”. The answer she says is to create a timetable and don’t be too harsh on yourself. If you have to, change the times.
  2. “You didn’t realise it would be as challenging as it is”. Here she refers to Barbara Oakley and the Coursera MOOC ‘Learning How To Learn’ (which I have done twice and am a Learning How to Learn mentor’). I particularly like the value of ‘going for a walk’ – very Steve Jobs! He used to take people off on walks to ‘talk things through’. We talk better sometimes when we are side to side, literally travelling in the same direction, rather than facing each other over a table or over a screen. 
  3. “You didn’t ask for help when you needed it”. This resonates too as growing up I found it so hard to speak to parents or teachers. It always felt like a sign of weakness, not intelligence and in some instances a father always saying ‘No’ the moment I opened my mouth did not help. I try now to press tutors and students to find someone they can ‘ask’. I give out my personal number so people can call or text too. 
  4. ‘No accountability” – when left to your own devices.” Is true. We can line up more than one course and quit them all. It helps to buddy up, to do a course with someone else. It helps to have a career progression or change in mind. Or to align it with ambitions for that year/season. 
  5. “You downgraded your requirement for completing it.” It is too easy to agree on impulse to take a course, especially if it is for free. I find that three things make me more likely to complete: cost, qualification and employability … if I pay for a course (the more the better) I am far more likely to see if through to the end (understandably), because it comes with credits towards an MEd or MA (I collect them) and because they are a must have for career progression. All those years ago I wish my year at the School of Communication Arts had concluded with a dissertation and an MA – that could have got me into Higher Education far sooner as I would have given me a platform alternative to a ‘job in the industry’ which I failed to get.

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