Online Learning Success:
Written by Gayle L. Fornataro, Virtual Valley Student Success Coordinator
Table of Contents:
2. Lesson One: What to Expect
3. Lesson Two: Am I Ready for an Online Class
4. Lesson Three: Time Management
5. Lesson Four: Participating in Online Discussions
6. Lesson Five: What is Plagiarism
7. Lesson Six: Ergonomics
For most of us, the one thing we never have enough of is time. If you want to make the most of your college education, you will need to use your time wisely.
Your time is precious; you need to make the most of it. No one understands this better than your college instructors, so they are careful not to waste your time (or their own) with meaningless assignments or “busywork.” The plain truth is that there is not a single assignment that you can safely skip and still learn what you need to learn from the online class you are taking.
If on top of school, you are juggling a career, or a family, or both, then you might be wondering when you are going to be able to sleep, or go out with your friends, again. To make time for everything you have to do, and at least some of what you want to do, you need touse your time, rather than waste it.
Do you often find yourself watching American Idol on television when you should be reading your biology notes to prepare for a test, ignoring that nagging guilt you feel in your stomach?
Do you always tell yourself that you’ll get to your math homework just as soon as you do the dishes and fold that last load of laundry before it wrinkles, and suddenly find yourself reorganizing your closet with your math homework still undone?
Do you frequently sit down to play one game of computer solitaire before you settle in to work on your English paper and suddenly find that nearly an hour has passed and you still have not even begun writing?
If so, then you are exactly like almost everyone else – you procrastinate.
If you want to be a successful online student, you will not often have the luxury of waiting until you are in the mood to do your homework. You may need to re-order your priorities and tell yourself that it really doesn’t matter if you find out who gets voted off the island on Survivor, or whether or not there is dust on top of the refrigerator. What matters is that you learn what you need to learn in the classes you take. And learning takes time.
So, you need to learn how to manage your time before you can learn anything else effectively. You need to plan how you will give yourself enough time to develop the skills you need to do well on your assignments and get the good grades you need in your classes.
The resources in the next section will help you learn the best techniques to manage your time effectively.
Time Management Resources
The following websites offer all the strategies you will need to effectively manage your time so that you can get all your work done and still have some time left over so you can actually get some sleep or relax!
- Time Management Strategies for Academic Success (from Virgina Tech's Cook Counseling Center)
- Beating Procrastination (From Mindtools)
- Assignment Calculator: You Can Beat the Clock (from University of Minnesota)
- Time Tips (Word document from Dartmouth College)
- How Well Do You Plan? (Word document from Dartmouth College)
Keys to Success
- Learn to recognize when you procrastinate, try to understand why
you procrastinate, and use that understanding to help you avoid procrastinating in the future.
- Don’t waste time regretting past failures; learn from your
mistakes and move on.
- Become engaged and interested in all your class work. You will
do a better job on assignments, and have more fun doing them, if
you find something to enjoy about them.
Learn to plan your time:
- Set specific personal and academic goals.
- Create a calendar for the term, recording major assignment due dates, and any major events.
- Create a weekly schedule, listing all your class meeting times, work schedule, and other commitments, and block out study times.
- Make a to-do list for each day.
- Don’t try to do everything at once – focus on one thing at a time.
- Find a good work environment – one that is as free of noise and
distractions as possible.
- Reward yourself when you’ve finished a big project on time!
- No matter how busy you get, take time to take care of yourself - -
you need to stay healthy to accomplish everything you need to.