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Tips for Success: Time Management

Time Management: The Key to Success for Online Learners

Your online classroom is open 24/7. That convenience is a major advantage of online learning, but it's also a major challenge. You must allow adequate time to complete all of the work for your online class, and to complete it by the deadlines established by your instructor.

Online classes are not easier than on-campus classes, and they require an equal commitment.

For a typical three-unit on-campus class, you'd be in class three hours each week, and expected to study and prepare assignments another six or so hours each week. In an online class, you'll need to commit to the same nine total hours each week. Those can be any nine hours that work for you, as long as they enable you to meet the due dates for your work.

Presentation: Time Management Skills

Click on the image below to view a 11-page presentation on time management skills.

first slide of presentation on time management

If you are unable to view the presentation above, below is the text.

  • Start your course immediately. Don't get behind. Review the entire course, and develop your plan for success. Buy your textbook early so you can get started right away.

  • Find the time of day when you work best online. You might be most productive early in the morning, or during your lunch break at work, or late at night. Find the time that works best for you.

  • Then, "schedule" your course by blocking out specific times during the week to do your work, and be disciplined about keeping to that schedule. For a three-unit class, block out about nine hours each week. Write them on your calendar, and stick to them.

  • Log in to your course early each week. Early in the week you can see what you'll need to accomplish for that week and modify your schedule if necessary. 

  • Log in to your class often--at least a few times each week. You can participate in discussions, check to see if your instructor has any new announcements, and just stay connected with and focused on the class.

  • Meet the course deadlines. In an online class, that means you should not wait until the last minute to do your work, as computer problems, an illness, a work crisis might cause you to miss a deadline. Make it easy on yourself, and plan to complete your work at least one full day before the deadline. That will give you some "breathing room" if you encounter a problem.

  • Plan ahead. If you know you'll be really busy at work next week, or have a big presentation due in another class, or you're going on a short vacation, start your work for the class in advance. Your instructor may allow you to work ahead if you explain the situation.

Good time management requires advance planning, strong organizational skills, and a commitment to your educational goals. With a plan and strong commitment, you'll succeed in your online class.

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