Maybe this is your first course, or just your first one in this new world we live in. And, I’m guessing you just logged in to your first classes and thought..wow! If it’s an intersession course, the work is just all there!–looming, and the due dates started right away.
First, take a breath. You’ve got this.
Then, Start here>>
- Get Ready. Set aside an hour to prepare yourself for each course. You can do this now even if you already started the course.
- Make a folder on your computer’s desktop for each course. Use a name you will recognize like Dr. Makos, ID or the course number if you want.
- Make a copy of the important course papers: the syllabus, the assignments, rubrics. Things you may want to find quickly.
- Write down important dates. For a short course, I add to my online calendar and I make an index card I can check off. Find a way you can see what’s coming up. If you have two or more courses, use a different colour for each if you can. Circle or highlight the more weighted assignments.
- Major projects, spend a little time now. Start your major assignment or assignments or plan a real 20 min time the first week you will just think about that assignment. Think in a broad way about what the project entails, what resources you may need, and what questions you will answer. Go ahead and outline it, and send some ideas to the instructor: thinking through this at a high level gets your mind thinking about what will be required.
- Set a time each week, and each day. This is so important right now. Have a time, and a backup time for course work, and try to make it stick. This is a stressful time, and it’s harder to work on something that requires concentration for a long period. I suggest 45 min to an hour about 4 days of the week. Use one of these times for actively working on your final project, finding resources, taking notes, asking yourself questions. Even writing a draft. We will talk about that more next week, but have a time that you work on the ‘big things’.
- Find your way. Ask for help if you need to. When you log into your course, you will find a way that works for you. If the course is asynchronous, that means you are in some ways on your own time. Usually online discussions follow a weekly schedule with participation expected at the start, middle and end of a week.
Next week, I’ll talk a bit about making the most of your zoom class. Not the technical stuff–you can get that on our pages about How to Use Zoom along with other tutorials: Resources (Students) – Teaching Online. We will also talk about how to work efficiently on final projects and group projects. Stay tuned, we will get through this together.
And remember, you can Ask for Help in our contact form if you need someone to talk you through how to manage this term if you are overwhelmed right now. We are all in this together.