By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, Online Learning Tips
When you’re an adult student with a full-time job, an active family life and social commitments, finding enough time to meet the demands of your online university courses is a challenge. But you can find the required time through proper time management, which is key to your success in the online classroom.
Be Proactive before Your Class Begins
With an online classroom, it is useful to be proactive since your instructor isn’t in the same room to remind you about upcoming deadlines. There are several ways to save time even before your course starts.
- Review the archived syllabus for your course to get an idea of what you’ll be expected to do each week.
- Create a “time budget” by determining when — and where — you’ll study. Set aside 2-3 hours of quiet time to take notes, answer forum posts, watch classroom videos and read content.
- Order any necessary class materials early so that they arrive before your class begins.
- If your course requires special software or other equipment, start familiarizing yourself with it as soon as possible.
- Download the APUS mobile app to your smartphone or tablet computer.
Time Management during Your Class
Once your class starts, you’ll be busy keeping up with class requirements. Check into the ecampus and classroom at least once a day (or use the mobile app) so that you don’t miss anything important. Also, follow these tips:
- After the classroom opens, check your syllabus to determine the work you should do each week.
- Create a calendar and record deadlines for term papers, PowerPoint presentations, forum posts and other required classwork.
- Keep a record of the sources you use as you do research in the university library, so you don’t waste time trying to relocate those same sources if you need to access them again.
- Don’t procrastinate. If you fall behind, it is difficult to catch up on your schoolwork and still maintain a good grade.
- Back up your files in more than one place. If something happens to a file, such as an accidental deletion, you won’t have to recreate the file.
Taking an online course is challenging and requires work. But it can be very satisfying as well. Online courses at American Public University offer great opportunities to exchange opinions with other students in the class and to learn from their knowledge and experience. Just be sure to manage your time carefully, so you can enjoy the online classroom experience to the fullest.