Online classes may seem attractive, but it takes some extra motivation and commitment to be a successful online student. Online classes require just as much time and energy, if not more, as an on-campus class. Staying organized is extremely important for online classes. Florida National University (FNU) offers numerous degree programs online so we’ve compiled a list of organizational tips for the online student.
1. Be Realistic
When picking a schedule, it is easy for students to overload themselves with a large number of credits. Doing so, however, could prevent them from properly executing assignments and can easily lead to poor organization overall. By taking the time to create a realistic schedule, online students will remain organized throughout the semester.
2. Stay Ahead of the Game
As with any course, students should purchase the required course materials they need before the semester begins. This is especially important for online courses, as communication can be difficult or even impossible when students do not prepare accordingly.
It is crucial for students to review and understand the course syllabus and all class requirements needed for each online course before classes start. Typical requirements might include easy access to an internet connection, a computer, Google Docs, Microsoft Office, and video and audio capabilities, though it will depend on the course and the professor. Staying ahead of the game will help you prepare so you won’t miss any information or assignments.
3. Create a Dedicated Workspace for Studying
Online learning takes a little more motivation than a traditional on-campus classroom setting. Creating a space that is your own is essential to your success especially if there are other people in your household. Create a quiet space, preferably in a room you can close off, that is all your own. Having this dedicated workspace for studying will help you stay focused when it’s time to sit down and study.
4. Utilize Useful Apps and Websites
One of the best answers to resolve student disorganization is to use apps or websites that are designed to make your life easier. Here is a short list of some apps we suggest using or maybe you’ll find one you like even better:
- MyHomework – There is nothing worse than thinking you have everything organized and then a due date pops up out of nowhere. MyHomework keeps all assignments organized in one mobile planner and allows you to receive reminders for upcoming due dates.
- Evernote – Taking notes is an essential part of college. Evernote helps organize your notes by creating notebooks and entries. The best part? It syncs easy between all of your devices.
- Any.Do – You’re going to be busy and to-do lists are probably going to become your best friend. But to-do lists are only beneficial if they’re organized. Any.Do allows you to organize your lists by date, time and location, allowing you to take your list making obsession to the next level.
- Dropbox – While you may just save all your documents in folders on your computer, sometimes it’s smart to have a backup of assignments. The last thing you want is your computer to crash two weeks before finals and all your notes from the whole semester are just gone. Dropbox allows you to store files in the cloud, so they are never lost.
5. Utilize a Physical Planner
Some people remember things better when writing it down in a physical planner. If you haven’t jumped on the digital planner train or if you feel more organized with a paper planner, utilize that instead. There are so many options for paper planners – day planners, monthly planners, academic year calendars, undated, dated, refillable – you get the picture. The most important thing is that you utilize a planner, digital or paper.
6. Take Regular Breaks
Be sure to set aside time throughout the day for regular breaks so you don’t become overwhelmed. Our minds can only concentrate for so long before it needs rest. This is especially important when studying for exams and finals. Stand up for a few minutes, drink some water, walk around the block – anything to give your brain a break from the computer. Having trouble studying? Check out the benefits of studying with music post.
7. Check in Daily
One last reminder—always check the virtual classroom daily, even if class discussion isn’t held every day. Becoming familiar with the class material, student and professor discussions and the assignments section will ensure that students never miss a beat. In fact, students who look ahead weeks in advance know what to expect—these students are able to plan accordingly and stay ahead of schedule.
Florida National University: Online Courses Available
Staying organized is important for any student. This will ensure you are prepared for success, now and in the future. Interested in online learning? Browse our courses to see if any interest you. Florida National University is an accredited institution offering online, hybrid and traditional on-campus courses. If you are ready to kick start your learning career, contact FNU today at 305-821-3333 for more information on our distance learning programs.