Strategies of Successful Students

studying studentI’ve worked with Career Step for a little over 9 years, and I have seen a wide variety of students come through our medical transcription and editor programs. We’ve seen students ranging in age from 18 to 85. We’ve had students from across the world including the USA, Canada, South Africa, Philippines, and Australia. We’ve seen students with high school diplomas all the way up to PhDs and MDs.  This diverse worldwide campus delights me! Though we have many different types of students, there are some common denominators amongst those who are most successful in these programs. I thought it would be fun to share the main success strategies I’ve personally seen as I’ve worked with thousands of these diverse students.

1. They are self-motivated.

This is probably a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to online education, but the most successful students are self-motivated. They do not need external forces to motivate them. These students set up a study schedule early on in the course and stick to it as closely as they can. They know how to motivate themselves when they don’t quite seem up to the task of working in the course that day.

2. They ask questions before getting frustrated.

The medical transcription and editor programs are difficult. It is common to feel some frustration, but I have seen that the most successful students don’t allow themselves to be overcome with frustration to the point of halting their progress. Before they get to that point, they seek help—whether by phone, email, or Ask an Instructor chat.  They don’t allow themselves to get to the point of being unproductive.

3. They build a support system and use it.

Just like the diversity of our students’ ages, locations, etc., the diversity of their support systems is incredible.  I’ve noticed that the most successful students tend to have strong support systems either in the form of family or in the form of friends they’ve turned into family. Some students even develop support systems on our online community site.  Having a support system helps to keep the student motivated through accountability and allows an outlet to express frustration when things don’t go quite right. The support system can also cheer the student on and that is invaluable!

4. They try to maintain an optimistic outlook.

It is perfectly normal to feel a bit down from time to time when going through a rigorous course like Career Step’s Medical Transcription and Editor program, and we are happy to give little pep talks if that happens. The most successful students, however, do not allow themselves to be overcome with doubt and pessimism about their progress. They see setbacks as tiny molehills they can overcome. They try to remain positive even when they encounter difficulty. If they aren’t quite sure how to see over the setback, they seek advice or help from someone to overcome it.

5. They practice flexibility.

Nope, I don’t mean yoga! Medical transcription editing is a profession that embraces the gray. Nothing is exactly black and white when it comes to transcription rules and guidelines. The most successful students understand that and embrace the gray. They do not become bogged down with acceptable variations, and they understand that account instructions/guidelines are the guiding light when transcribing.  They take time to understand the transcription grading tool and ask questions if they don’t understand an aspect of the process. Sure, they feel the same frustrations everyone does when learning the basics, but much like Elsa in Frozen, they learn to “let it go” when it comes to acceptable variations.

6. They take responsibility for their learning.

Independent study through online courses is new for a lot of our students. Most of our students are used to traditional classroom-style learning, and it is a bit hard to transition to independent study. We allow you to complete your course at your own pace, and we while we will touch base with you periodically, we do require that students be proactive participants in their learning. The most successful students understand and embrace this. As adult learners, it is crucial to take responsibility for your learning, study schedule, progress, and success. We provide students with every opportunity to succeed and stand ready to assist in any way we can. In return, we expect students to be responsible, self-motivated, and to ask questions when they need something.

I hope these insights have been helpful. If you aren’t quite to the point of embracing all 6 of these strategies, that’s okay! These are things you can learn and develop as you go.  Career Step’s Student Support team is world-class, and we stand ready to assist you in any way we can. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance or have any questions. Happy studying!

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