This re-purposed piece of scrap paper can be my best friend and my worst enemy as an online student at UM-Flint. I am currently enrolled in five different classes worth 15 credits. That’s up to 5 different sets of readings, 5 discussion posts, 5 replies, 5 quizzes, 5 occasional extra assignments, 5 exams… and most importantly, 5 different set of due dates. Life is hard enough without having to juggle 5 classes with different week start points, different expectations and different organizational methods. I find it very, very useful to make a small schedule every week.
These are never super fancy for me, as you can see. I take a portion of an extra piece of paper or a small index card – whatever is available, really – and use the course information section or the syllabus for each to outline each class’s expectations for the week. There’s nothing more annoying than being a usually good student but losing out on points simply because a due date got lost in the shuffle. I sort it out by class, listing the absolute last day I have to turn something in.
I used to scoff at the idea of mapping out a schedule each week, since I am a fairly present-minded person. But then I started taking online courses where everything happens fairly quickly compared to an in-person class. I love it because it forces me to get things done because I know when they’re due. But I also hate it because… it forces me to get things done because I know when they’re due. Love/hate relationship be darned, if you find yourself struggling to make connections with all of your classes flying at once, give this a try. It’s as simple as you want to make it and it can save you a lot of unnecessarily lost points.