Online education offers many benefits. However, for most people who opt to pursue their education online, the biggest perk is the option to work toward a degree on their own watch. With online classes, you won’t have strict class start times. You don’t need to be anywhere at 8 a.m. or at 6 p.m. You won’t need to sit in a classroom for 90 minutes, two times a week with a collection of strangers. Instead, you get to work toward your degree when it makes sense for you — and where it makes sense for you.
This sort of freedom in your schedule may be one of the biggest attractions for online education, but as many online students find out soon enough, it is also one of its greatest potential pitfalls.
Setting your own schedule, working on your own timeline, and not having anyone else tell you when or where you need to be to get something done — all provide a lot of freedom, but with that freedom comes a great deal of responsibility. It is far too easy to let such freedom get in the way of your goals, making it far too easy to miss deadlines and to forget about your obligations altogether for weeks on end.
For those who work full-time, have families, or don’t have reliable transportation to guarantee they can get to campus for classes on a regular basis, online classes are the answer. You just need to make sure that you are taking steps to ensure that you aren’t falling behind on your education goals by enforcing your own strict schedule.
Here are a few strategies that will help you stay on top of the clock as you work toward earning your degree online:
- Keep a planner and write down everything! It is very easy to forget deadlines — especially smaller ones. When you start your course, put every deadline from your syllabus in your planner. Day by day, write other obligations in the same place, so you can see everything you have going on in one spot.
- Schedule school as if you have class time. You don’t have to be on campus every night at 6 p.m., but if you treat your online classes as if you do, then you won’t have to do long work sessions on weekends. Pick a time of day that is good for you and your family and schedule time so that you can work on your education a little bit at a time.
- Treat deadlines seriously. Online classes are structured around a strict weekly schedule. When your professor sets a deadline, know it and take it seriously. Extensions don’t typically happen, and you could find that a missed assignment is the difference between a passing and failing grade in your class.
Online classes are a great tool to help you earn your degree on your own watch, but be careful to keep up with the schedule imposed by your instructor. Follow these tips and keep track of what you have coming due. Due diligence and proper time management can help you be successful in your online class. Learn which types of Masters degrees you can earn from home and online with Georgia College here.