In order to succeed in life, everything that has a deadline must be met on time, or earlier. As our lives become increasingly busier and busier, it is important to set a schedule to manage all of the projects in order to be successful. This is the motto you should take when registering for the eight week online courses. If this is done, you will enjoy the class thoroughly.
Now, it is easier said than done, particularly when you work a 20, 40 or 60-hour week. Trust me, I know. Many times I felt as though I was going to lose control and possibly be late with my assignments. Many times I just wanted to provide plain and simple responses because I just did not have the energy to conquer the homework. That is when you have to take a step back, look at what is ahead of you and breathe. Also, remember why you registered for the class and what your ultimate goal is.
Many of the online courses present the topic of discussion on Sunday; a day when many of us are attending church, enjoying the mountains, or relaxing from a hard work week. I believe you can still accomplish all of those activities if you set a time to sit down and look at the assignment. I, for one, am a morning person. Now, when I say morning person, it is not eight in the morning, but rather four or five in the morning. This is also when my brain seems to be most creative and ready to take on the world. I would take that time to focus on the assignment and start turning ideas of responses in my head. This would give me the rest of the day to think of how I was going to work on my class discussions, topics for the writing assignments, and who would I “tag” to start a conversation.
Monday was normally the day you could post your questions and comments for the topics of discussion and this would begin the process of discussions. Now, you have until Wednesday to post your questions and comments, but I believe to get the most from the class and what your classmates have to offer, the sooner you post your thoughts, the sooner you can begin a dialog. This is a beautiful aspect of online courses because it teaches you to hear what others have to say. Many times you might agree with their thought process, but there will be a few classmates that will challenge your thought process. I would encourage you to see why these individuals challenge your thought process and learn from it. This can provide you with a well-rounded view of the topic at hand.
During the week, you are also tasked with writing a paper which normally needs to be turned in by Saturday night. Again, I cannot emphasize how important it is so set up a schedule to work on the research, the compilations of cited works, brain storming, and the organization of the paper. Working on a step-by-step process ensures a somewhat stress-free paper.
The key point for the eight week online course is to stick to the schedule you set up and adhere to it. You will notice there is plenty of wiggle room to complete the tasks at hand and also have a social life. I would also discourage simple responses to the topics presented even though it would be much easier to do such a thing. You want to gain the most of it and think about it, you are paying for the class, why not get the most from it even if that means having to work a little harder. Finally, do not pick just one classmate to have a dialog with. It is a disservice to you and to your classmates. Reach out to the other classmates, encourage them to participate in the class, help them express their thoughts and ideas. They might learn from you, but ultimately you will also learn from them. This is what learning is all about, the complete exchange of thoughts and ideas.