Creating a Schedule
The best schedules have some flexibility built into them, as you will undoubtedly have unexpected situations and circumstances arise during your time as a student.
Now that you've evaluated how you have done things in the past, you'll want to think about how you might create a schedule for managing your time to improve on that!
Your schedule will be unique to you, depending on the level of detail you find helpful. There are some things — due dates, exam dates, and discussion times, for example — that should be included in your schedule no matter what.
But you also might find it helpful to break down assignments into steps (or milestones) that you can schedule as well. Again, this is all about what works best for you — do you want to keep a record of only the major deadlines you need to keep in mind?
Or does it help you to plan out every day, so you stay on track? Your answers to these questions will vary depending on the course, the complexity of your schedule, your own schedule, and your own personal preferences.
Your schedule will also vary depending on the course you're taking. So, pull out your syllabus and try to determine the rhythm of the class by looking at the following factors:
- How often does your instructor expect discussion board contributions? When are they due?
- Will you have tests or exams in this course? When are those scheduled?
- Are there assignments and papers? When are those due?
- Are there any group or collaborative assignments?
You'll want to pay particular attention to the timing of any assignment that requires you to work with others: they take a longer time to complete when you are learning online because it can be more complicated to schedule times to get together.