Online classes are great for flexibility but also require time management skills to succeed. Here are some tips on scheduling and planning.
- Don’t wait until the last minute! Successful online students complete assignments a day or two ahead of the due date. This is beneficial because sometimes assignments take longer than expected. Working early is also beneficial since you'll have to wait for an email response to any questions that come up. Follow the protocol identified by your instructor in the syllabus or introductory materials to contact them. It's also nice to have work done ahead of time in case you're invited to do something fun!
- Set aside time throughout the week to work on your course consistently rather than fitting it in between other things or doing the work right before it is due. Use a tool such as Google Calendar, Outlook, or a paper planner to keep track of assignments and due dates. With a digital calendar, you can set notifications or reminders for due dates. Other tools such as OneNote or Evernote can be used for note taking for class materials or Trello for tracking deadlines.
- Research indicates that support is an essential part of succeeding in an online program. Explain to those close to you that you are achieving an important goal. When you are working on your courses, tell your family and/or friends that you are unavailable at these times; treat it like you are not at home, if you are working at home.