Preparing for an 8-week course

Today’s blog post is written by a former NOVA Online Student when they enrolled in their first 8-week course. Spring registration for all students begins on Monday, November 14, 2016. Follow this tutorial to search NOVA’s online courses.

Are you thinking about taking an 8-week course this spring? This blog is for you! Find out all the tips and tricks to preparing for an 8-week course.

I’m enrolling in my first eight-week course. This got me thinking about how it might be different from the sixteen-week format I am used to. Succeeding in an online course always requires good management of time. I must carefully balance school, work, and personal responsibilities. When the online class is an eight-week course, I am thinking that managing these elements will become much more critical.

Summer spring backgound with stack of books and open book and bokeh. Back to school. Open book fanned pages. Copy Space

Since an online sixteen-week course should take three hours of coursework per credit each week, an eight-week online course should take six hours of coursework per credit each week. For a three credit class, that works out to as much as an 18-hour a week part time job! Because of this, I decided to take only one class at a time until I see how I can integrate this workload with my work and other responsibilities.

I expect that the deadlines will also come quickly. Just eight days into my course, I will already be at the refund deadline, forcing me to decide whether or not I can handle the workload and get the grade I want or to drop the course and try the longer format another semester. Making sure I am comfortable with the pace of the course work is key to the first week!

Because of this, I’m planning on logging into Blackboard on the course start date and completing the first assignment quickly. I’ll also need to look over the assignments and syllabus and see if I have any questions. Usually, I think for two or three days before I email my instructor, but with this course, I expect that if I have questions, I’ll need to email the instructor immediately—procrastinating even a few days would probably not be a good idea.

I’m really looking forward to the pleasant feel completing the course quickly. I’ll get to feel the sense of accomplishment which keeps me motivated that much faster. I’m also telling myself I can deal with almost any schedule for two months—so it actually feels much more flexible than the traditional four-month courses. I’ll let you know if my opinion changes once the course actually starts.

How many of you have already taken a six or eight week course? Do you have any advice for me? I would love to know a little more about what to expect!

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