Managing a college course load can be tricky because the more freedom you have, the more responsibility you take on with it. This remains the case with online college degree programs. After being used to attending lecture classes in school for years and having a schedule structured for you, it may take a bit of adjusting for some students to get used to this new style of learning. However, with some planning and forethought, students will be ready to take their education completely into their own hands.
Set Aside Time for Lectures
Whether they are written out or recorded on a video, lectures will take a while to get through, so you should make sure you provide yourself with enough time for them. If a campus-held class normally accounts for 4-6 hours per week, make sure that you devote at least that amount of time to your self-study. Keep in mind, though, that assignments will take up some time outside of that. The schedule should work for you, though. That’s the point of an online course! If you have other obligations, plan around those or set times for when you feel you work best, be that in the morning, while you’re eating lunch, or in the evening when your day has settled down.
Spread Out the Work
Waiting till the night before a test to listen to a lecture is not giving you the full benefit of your education. Instead, make sure that you allow the lessons to soak in by spacing out your assigned work through the week. It will also help you keep your energy and enthusiasm up. Think of how quickly you’ll get burned out if you have a week’s worth of work every Thursday night!
Track Dates and Deadlines
If you are not yet in the habit, start keeping a planner or a calendar to track deadlines for assignments or dates for tests, live chats, on-campus meetings, or any other course event. Try to jot down details along with the assignment dates, too. Concepts you understand clearly when you first hear about an assignment may fade from memory when it comes time to start writing out your homework.