Staying Organized Throughout Your Online Course

by | Jan 08, 2020

Written by Kendall Job, Editorial Intern

For those that don’t live life by their planner or phone calendar, it can be difficult to stay organized in class. In a traditional classroom? Challenging. In an online course? It seems next to impossible. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are some manageable ways to stay on top of your work so you never miss a thing in your online course. 

1. Read the syllabus 

This seems like a given, but I’ve always heard professors complain about getting questions with answers that can easily be sought out in the syllabus. At the beginning of the course, write down all due dates, whether that be in your phone calendar, a physical planner or a master note on your laptop. Whatever method is the simplest way for you to see what needs to be completed in a given week is the best way to ensure your success. This is also a helpful way to split up your work throughout the course and each week so you feel as if your time is best managed and you do not feel overwhelmed by the work you need to complete. 

2. Log in at the beginning of the week 

In my experience, many professors of online classes post the week's worth of work and assignments with links and due dates at the beginning of a new week. Log in on Sunday or Monday when a new chapter or module begins for a reminder of what is necessary to complete that week and all the work that is to be finished by the end of it. It is important to do so in case anything on the syllabus has been changed or added. By taking this simple step, you can ensure you are on top of what to do on that specific week and will not miss out on anything you shouldn’t. 

3. Stay on top of announcements 

Announcements from the course instructor or professor are typically posted on the class learning platform, whatever that may be. Course announcements are highly important to keep up with and read on a regular basis, as they will likely contain clarifying information about questions being asked or any assignment or grade update made to the course, as well. Make it a habit to check the announcements tab each time you log into your learning portal. Don’t skip out on reading these! I guarantee each one contains helpful information that applies to the entire class, including you.  

4. Read your emails 

I know an astounding amount of friends and fellow students that have thousands of unread emails in their school email account. The first step here is going through and clearing out all the previous professor emails that no longer apply to you. Delete ones from old classes or ones that just do not need to be sitting unread in your inbox anymore. In addition, read and star the emails sent by your online professor(s) so you are always up to date with the class information. You’ll never know what you’re missing out on if you don’t read these. You can even create a separate email folder to move them to once you have read them so they’re all in one place and are easy to refer back to later. 

5. Check your grades 

If you do any of these things regarding your online courses, keep up with your grades! Since all the required work is online, it can be easy to simply complete it in one sitting and forget about it completely when you become busy and overwhelmed with other things. Check your grades at least once a week to ensure you didn’t miss anything and so you have time to ask for clarification from your instructor on any points you missed. Doing so will ensure you’re on the path to success and will receive an overall good grade in the class! 

Each of these organizational tips are vital to remember when taking an online course. If you stay on top of your assignments, emails, grades and announcements you have every reason to believe you’ll succeed in the long run! If you’ve taken a class online before and have any other ideas for staying organized, share with others and comment below. Happy learning! 

Other resources: 

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