Every week in the run-up to the ACCA exams in December, Caron Betts will be guiding us through exam preparation from a tutor's point of view.
Being an online tutor gives me an interesting perspective on my students’ lives. They can see and hear me, but often I just know their names. Yet during the course I really feel I get to know them as they often update me with what’s happening to them, and the impact that has on their studies.
Imagine my surprise in this week’s live class when I asked the question where in the world are you, to have Marie tell me she was in Morocco – on her honeymoon!
That got me thinking; what motivates someone to take time out of their honeymoon to study, whilst others can’t find time away from “everyday” life?
Clearly Marie is very self-motivated whilst others – despite it being week 3 of our course – have yet to start.
For me to motivate those students I need to understand why they want to study. Typically, people are intrinsically motivated if they do something for self-fulfilment; it’s interesting or fun to do. I’ll be honest, there are parts of the syllabus which I teach that no-one finds interesting or fun, so I doubt intrinsic motivation is applicable here!
Instead people studying towards ACCA exams are more like to be extrinsically motivated, i.e. they want to pass their exams. Yet even though they have signed up for a course and have a deadline looming, they still don’t start.
Time for a tutor intervention.
I need to understand what they hope to achieve by passing their exams. What does having an ACCA qualification mean to them? More money, better job, chance to travel, what? In reminding them that the rewards are worth the effort now, might just be enough to get them to log on.
But whilst motivation may get them started, it’ll be dedication that gets them to the exam room and a pass mark. Dedication is the tough part. It’s studying when you’d rather be doing something else. It’s missing fun stuff because you’ve got a test to submit. It’s calling the tutor when you need that extra help.
It’s doing your homework on your honeymoon.