Hooray! This week I have achieved two goals in my learning journey. I love the feeling you get when you can “tick” something off your list as complete/achieved/attained or whatever you want to call it.
My first achievement, after a pitiful two and a half years, is the completion of my Certificate IV in Business and Workplace Coaching. I’ve used the skills for ages but have now finally got my act together and finished the damn assessments so I can get the piece of paper. Ah, the good old piece of paper. If you’re anything like me part of the motivation is getting the certificate sometimes at the expense of the actual learning. I don’t think I’m alone here 🙂 While I certainly did learn from the course I was most motivated in the end to complete the assessments, not of some sense of consolidating my learning, but for the piece of paper and the sense that I had left it long enough.
My second achievement, of which I am extremely proud, is being notified today that I have been given Ethics Clearance to start my PhD research. That is both a good and scary thing. Very good because it passed with no changes required to the design (a rare feat apparently) but scary because now the hard work starts. The Ethics Proposal was a very definite deadline for me to get to before I move to Germany in late November. It really got me thinking about the importance of deadlines in getting things done. Even though I love to learn I can be scatty about it and jump around topics and projects like a fly at a picnic. I find, and again I don’t think I’m alone here, that I really need a deadline to keep me motivated and on-track. Case in point – my Cert IV did not have a deadline but my Ethics Application did. The result of this was that it took me two and a half years to complete the certificate and only a month to complete the dreaded Ethics Application.
My question is – how can we build in more “deadlines” to help learners like me? Even when there are no assessments for a workplace course or for some self-study how can we as learners and educators impose meaningful parameters on the experience so that we have that important sense of completion and achievement to keep us spurred on for more? Sadly I don’t have an answer yet but I would be curious to know what others think about it. Assessment isn’t always “bad” or “scary”, sometimes it provides the motivation.