The Essential Guide to Online Learning provides information on assisting online students with options to allow for a successful learning experience. Below are some strategies that I feel can be beneficial as a student. Planning- The pre-reading strategy can be a great asset as an online student. It can allow for you to prepare for assignments in a timely manner. As an online learner, planning ahead prevents stress that can happen when waiting until the due date of a project to read and it gives time for the unexpected much like working as a Project Manager!
Studying- There are a few strategies that I think may actually work well for me: setting up a study environment and working harder at eliminating distractions. As a single mother eliminating distractions is easier to say than to put into practice. Constant noise is something that I have adapted to however, I have not considered the idea of having a space dedicated to only studying. I have been blessed to work from home about 90% of the time and have an area that is solely used for work. So I guess that the same concept should apply for educational purposes.
Time Management – One strategy is managing time by handling Attention Thieves. Essential Guide to Online Learning defines attention thieves as when “you mindlessly and half-heartedly allow yourself to be distracted by nonproductive activities”. In everyday life I struggle with being able to complete my “mommy list”. I begin a task and become easily distracted by an attention thief, whether it is responding to an email while I am reading/studying or stopping mid sentence on a paper to straighten the kitchen.
With Technology I consider myself a mini expert in utilizing the World Wide Web to search for information. The Essential Guide to Online Learning discusses the use of the Interlibrary Loan Program. Using this network a person that has a library card can gain access to books and media from around the country. This system is new to me and is essential as an online student since it provides the capability to have access to likely any material or article needed without delay.
One personal strategy that has been most effective for me is to not start a new task without completing the current one. For example, Saturday is the day that I used to clean and reposition my home that is in disarray from the week. Historically, if I started to a chore and noticed an article on the cover of a magazine that I have not read, I would have stopped to sit and read the article, make an assessment and possibly spend the next hour relaying the information from the article to a close friend looking for feedback.
I realized that by the end of the day, I started many chores but nothing had been completed. Now I manage my time more effectively so that I am able to make time for leisure reading. In my daily routine for work, I also make sure to complete projects assigned on my diary prior to initiating any new projects. This practice has made my life less overwhelming and helped to give order to my once chaotic life.