There's no way around it: studying is a skill that takes time and diligence to build and apply. For online students, it requires, in many ways, a level of self-discipline that may take some getting used to. But there are lots of tips and tricks for maximizing your time and staying focused. Here are some great suggestions for managing your time, along with additional resources that can help you throughout your online study.
Time Management: Skills and Resources
Online courses give you the freedom to learn at your own pace and take extra time in challenging areas. Therefore, the number one skill needed for taking an online class is time management. Online courses run on the same schedule as face-to-face courses and require the same time commitment. For every hour you would have been in the classroom, you can expect to be spending that time reading, viewing videos/PowerPoints, and discussing course material on Sakai.
Four Time Management Tips for Online Students
(For the complete article: US News: 4 Time Management Tips for Online Students)
#1 - Make a Plan
Structure is helpful for online success and creating a plan for yourself will help you management your time effectively. Using a study calendar and adding syllabus deadlines to it can help you stay on track. Also, keeping a weekly schedule of designated times for your classwork can assure you have the time needed to complete the work. If your online instructors use the Calendar application on Sakai, you can track your assignments and deadlines right in Sakai.
#2 - Check in Daily
Log-in to your courses daily to make sure you stay up-to-date on new deadlines and student discussions. By visiting your course every day you are able to break down the work into a more manageable workloads. This can prevent feeling overwhelmed and keep your coursework in the front of your mind.
#3 - Look Ahead
Stay aware of your course deadlines and assignments by looking ahead. Don't wait until the day an assignment is due to start—if you have any questions it might be too late to ask your instructor! Starting assignments early helps you gauge how much time the assignment will take and leave room for adjusting your schedule if necessary.
#4 - Speak Up
As soon as you notice yourself falling behind, let your professor know. S/he can help you plan your time accordingly, or if necessary, work with you on deadlines. However, if you have not stuck with your plan, checked in daily, and stayed aware of your deadlines it might be too late for the professor to help you.
URI Online Student Resources
The Office of Online Education at URI has a site specifically devoted to student online learning. On the online learning student site, you will find some very useful resources.
Student Tips Blog
The online Student Tips Blog provides weekly tips on online classes in general and how to succeed in an online course. Example topics discussed include introducing yourself to your professor and peers, writing an effective discussion post, and improving your study environment.
Time Management Resources
As discussed earlier, time management is extremely important in any online course. The time management resources provide you with different applications and tools that can assist you in organizing and managing your time.
Study & Test Resources
Preparation for exams can seem like a daunting task. The study and test resources provide you with different tools to help you study for exams (e.g. create practice tests).
Writing & Notetaking Resources
In many, if not all, of your courses you will be doing some form of writing. The writing and notetaking resources provide you with sources to help you properly cite materials, take and organize notes, and outline important topics.
Textbook & Course Resources
In the textbook and course resources you will find information on how to access some free online textbooks, organize materials, and other tools to generally help you in your course.