Time Management Is Key in an Online Class

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October 5th, 2010

Let's face it. Many students choose to enroll in online classes because their lives are too busy for them to show up to a college campus at designated times each week. However, all too many students who go the online route fail to realize that an online class requires the same time commitment as a campus-based class. Some online classes require an even greater time commitment! Effective time management skills are therefore of the utmost importance to online students.

Effective time management starts with having all of your course supplies and textbooks on hand before classes start so you won't immediately fall behind in reading assignments, according to the Academy of Art University, which offers online courses. Next, it's important to thoroughly review your online course syllabus and other course information for important project due dates and exam dates as soon as they are available so you can prepare well in advance for the most challenging portions of your online classes, the Academy recommends.

It's also important to get in the habit of logging in to your classes at the same time every day, whether it's first thing in the morning or first thing after work. Doing this recreates the structure you would have in a traditional classroom environment, and most students manage time more effectively by adhering to a routine they set for themselves early on in an online class.

An essential component of time management in an online course is breaking down large assignments into smaller, more manageable chunks that you work on every day or every other day. It is vital that online students not be procrastinators when it comes to these kinds of assignments. Procrastinating is even more harmful for online students because students who have questions while working on a complex assignment at the last minute cannot always get an immediate response from their professor due to the lag time of communicating via e-mail.

Finally, an important time management strategy is to create an environment for yourself that is free of distraction when you are studying or listening to lectures online. Ask a friend or family member to watch your children, turn off the television, and clear out an area in your home that is comfortable and well-suited for online study.

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