By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, Online Learning Tips
Your ability to meet deadlines and follow the directions of your instructor greatly impact your success in the online classroom. In addition, remaining highly organized while you’re taking the class is vital.
There are four electronic tools that can aid you in staying organized and keeping up with the various demands of your online coursework. These tools and your motivation to succeed will help you avoid poor grades as the result of missed deadlines.
- print-a-calendar.com — Since you’ll have multiple assignments and deadlines during your class, it helps to create a calendar to keep track of important dates. If you prefer a paper calendar rather than an electronic one, you can enter your classroom deadlines into this site and print out a free copy for your personal reference. The calendar can be easily customized to your needs and printed on a variety of paper sizes.
- Cloud storage sites — During your class, you’ll need to save multiple course-related files such as photos, videos, PowerPoint presentations and research papers. To protect yourself from permanently losing these files, follow the 3-2-1 backup rule — save 3 copies of your work, use 2 different formats, and store at least 1 copy in another location such as an external hard drive or a cloud storage site.
There are multiple cloud storage sites available that allow you to store a few megabytes, hundreds of megabytes or one terabyte of data. Some of these sites are free while others charge for their services. (Be sure to carefully read all information at these sites before you sign up for the service!) These sites include:
- Google Drive (requires a Gmail account)
- iCloud (requires an Apple ID email)
- Todoist — Todoist is a versatile, user-friendly task management platform that you can access from your computer or your mobile device. It reminds you when deadlines are approaching, so you can prioritize your tasks as needed. This platform offers a free version as well as two fee-based versions.
- APUS Mobile App — When you start your class, don’t forget to download our free APUS Mobile App onto your tablet or smartphone. This app provides you with easy access to your class forum posts, the APUS Library, your classroom assignments, your grades and university policies. In addition, more features will be added in the future for your convenience.
Although learning online poses its challenges as compared to a brick-and-mortar classroom, the effort you put into your courses will be well worth the results. You may even develop friendships with other online students who share the same interests as you do.