6 Tips to Help Students Master Time Management in Online Courses

Monday, April 3, 2017 -- Vicki Reed

Online courses provide students with flexibility in the pace, place, and time in which they complete their assignments. This flexibility is often seen as the greatest benefit of online learning; however, it can also present the greatest challenge for students. Time management is key to success. So, how can students learn these already-difficult skills in the more autonomous setting of online learning?

We’ve identified six time management best practices and accompanying tactics to share with your students to help them ahead of the curve and succeed in the online environment:

1. Make a schedule

  • Read your syllabus, and set aside time each day to work on your online course(s).
  • Plan to work at least 50 minutes, five days a week per enrolled course.
  • Take a break every 20 minutes to stay efficient and alert.

2. Check in daily

  • Work in your online course(s) each and every day. It’s much more manageable that way.
  • Answer all emails from your instructor, and respond to messages daily.

3. Set goals and make incentives

  • Your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).
  • Reward yourself when you complete an assignment (discussion, activity, module, test, etc.)—this can take the form of a treat, an enjoyable study break, or any other incentive that you find motivating.

4. Manage interruptions and distractions

  • During your study time, don’t surf the Web unless you are researching for the course.
  • Find a comfortable and organized space to work in.
  • Stick to your study schedule! Learn to say NO to friends and family if something is happening during that time.

5. Avoid procrastination

  • Stay on pace, and work each day (or the equivalent of 25 hours per week per course).
  • Time flies by, so don’t put off your online course work. Get started, and work regularly!

6. Ask for help

  • If you are struggling or feeling lost, ask your instructor for help.
  • Don’t make excuses; get the help you need when you need it.

At Edmentum, we’re committed to ensuring that all students have a successful online learning experience with EdOptions Academy, our fully accredited virtual school. EdOptions Academy provides comprehensive online courseware based on real-world skills and aligned to state and national standards, along with highly qualified and state-licensed instructors. Our teachers are dedicated to engaging and partnering with students every step of the way during their online learning experience. Want to learn more about how EdOptions Academy teachers build meaningful relationships through consistent interaction in all of our courses? Check out this short video