Now that you have a clear understanding about why you are taking classes, it is time to plot out when you will be working on them this semester. Taking a college course is a definite time commitment. While online classes give you flexibility, they frequently require more time than classroom based courses, not less. In an online course, it is essential that you check in several times throughout the week to make sure you are staying on track and not missing any announcements from your instructor. You will need to make sure you do the reading assigned for the course in addition to the practice exercises and the graded assignments. To budget your time appropriately, allow 2-3 hours each week for every credit you are taking. So, if you are completing six credits of classes, make sure you budget 12-18 hours in your schedule for doing your reading and coursework. Furthermore, when scheduling your classes, allow 15 minute breaks for every hour of uninterrupted study to allow yourself to retain what you are trying to learn.
Figure out the calendar/planning system that works best for you early on in the semester. If a paper calendar works best, use it! If you prefer to set alerts and updates on your phone calendar, use it! Mark in the times that are already committed to things like work, meetings, or other necessities. Also mark in the time you need for meals, commuting, and sleep. After that, schedule in the hours you intend to spend studying. View these in your mind as your class time and try to keep them as consistent as you can every week, so you create a habit. Establishing a routine is key to staying on track!
Then, on the first week of classes, attend your class by logging into blackboard during the first scheduled window and complete as much of your first week’s assignments as you can. Most classroom based courses encourage you to miss no more than two class periods a semester. Try to be at least this faithful to attend your self-scheduled online study periods. When it comes to taking online classes, building strong habits is critical to success!
Do you have any questions about managing your time or staying on task throughout the semester? Join a NOVA Online Counselor for the Tips for Success in Online Classes today at 12:15 pm (EST). If you can’t attend live, request a recording to get the information and get started strong. Register or request a recording here.
Want to work with your NOVA Online Success Coach? Contact your coach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.764.5076 for tips for success and resources to help you have a successful semester.