I've been studying on distance at various universities for uhm... on and off for 4 years now.
So far, most of my teachers have been real woozies. IOW, Swedish teachers. Teachers that comply to a students any and all requests, don't mind if you miss a deadline, and probably raise your grade if you would ask them to. This semester I've a teacher from California, the first one that (so far) properly defines the balance of understanding and discipline that teachers must have to withhold an aura of respect and reliability.
Handing in assignments late is not tolerated. Each assignment handed in late (without medical or other supremely valid reason) results in a 1/2 letter drop in the final grade. The introductory guide for the course is comprehensive. It spans 10 pages and boasts 6,530 words. Additionally there are videos to supplement this information, a detailed schedule, and examples on all course momentum.
I've been made a bit apathetic by courses in which the teachers have no control, take no control, or don't seem to care as much as they should. This semester it's different. Obviously it'll be tougher than usual too. The course I'm speaking about runs at halftime pace, and according to the teacher the time requirement lies at about 20 hours per week and frequent activity on the university platform. I have no doubt in mind that I'll be spending at least 20 hours every week on course, though I still can't seem to let go of a naive belief that just maybe I'm a bit more clever and effective than the rest of the crowd and will complete the required assignments in considerably less time. It's a belief that's leftover from other courses I've taken that have at times not been pleasant events, partially due to lack of discipline, partially due to lack of interesting material.
Even if I don't really like discipline, I've come to realize that it's necessary for there to be progress. Though I realize this I still don't like it; maybe I never will, but that's a part without relevance. This time, all is as it should be, and I'm probably going to have my hands full the rest of this year. Not as much free time? Not a problem. At least now, I feel obligated to comply. I mean I feel inspired. I feel like learning.