Being organized is critical to success with all learning experiences, especially online. As you explore this page, you'll find that many tips relate back to organization and time management. We also understand that the beginning of classes and engaging in online learning may feel overwhelming and cause feelings of stress. Getting and keeping yourself organized can help to make tasks more manageable and reduce stress. Not sure where to begin? Read on for helpful tips!
Tips to Get & Stay Organized for Online Learning
Create a dedicated workspace: Seek a place with minimal distractions and noise, a power source, and strong internet connection. See basic tips for setting up your workspace here.
Commit to a structured schedule: Designate times to commit to schoolwork, even if your course does not include live lectures. Block off those times on a calendar or planner, keeping track of due dates and assignments. Place the schedule prominently in your workspace to serve as a visual reminder.
- Communicate with your support system: Surround yourself with supportive people and communicate your needs and boundaries. If your online learning space is shared with others, make sure you are on the same page. Post your schedule and note times when you do not want to be disturbed.
- Connect with your professors early: Build rapport with your professors, get answers to any questions you may have, and show your commitment to success. Continue to maintain open communication with professors, and keep them advised of any difficulties you are having.
- Have a backup plan: Have a list of alternative locations you can study that have internet access readily available in case of unexpected challenges.
- Organize your inbox: Avoid getting overwhelmed by budgeting time in your day to read, organize, and respond to emails. Online learning relies on virtual communication, so check your emails regularly. Utilize subfolders to if you are receiving multiple emails for different classes.
- Stay ahead of schedule: Lessen your stress and work ahead. This allows you more flexibility and provides leeway in case of technical difficulties.
- Schedule breaks: Don't overschedule or procrastinate and leave yourself without room for breaks. Schedule breaks for yourself and take them. Taking breaks will improve focus and prevent cognitive fatigue. Don't forget to step away from screens on your breaks!
- Use bookmarks: Bookmark websites you visit frequently (e.g. Canvas, Office 365). This can be especially helpful when writing research papers.
- Set reminders: Utilize your phone to be on time to lectures and stay on schedule with assignments. Set alarms and reminders for upcoming exams and assignments so you never miss a deadline.
- Create backups: Technology is not always reliable. Whether it's cloud storage, a USB, or an external hard drive, always save a back up copy of the most recent version of what you are working on. If your computer crashes, you don't want to be worried about losing all your hard work too!
| Most courses are housed in Canvas. It will be your go to for all things related to your courses, including tests, submitting assignments, and viewing syllabi.
| Vanguard's tool for email and the Microsoft suite of products. You can access these applications from any device with an internet connection using your Vanguard credentials. For questions related to OFfice 365 contact IT at email@example.com
| Some professors may be lecturing via Zoom. To attend a meeting via Zoom you do not need an account. Visit the link to download the Zoom app, create an account, or for troubleshooting.