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- No set class times; students must create their own structure.
- Sense of “I don’t have to do this now; I can get to it anytime.”
- No weekly class to remind you of what needs to be done.
- New course format may lead to procrastination due to fear of the unknown or fear of technology.
- Tendency to get distracted by other computer-based activities (games/ chat).
Strategies – Beginning of semester
- Similar to a traditional course, plan to spend at least 3 times the hours per week as the number of credits the course is worth (e.g., 9 hours for a 3-credit course). Be realistic as to whether you have the time for the course.
- Create a folder on your computer with the course name and put all files for the course in it, to avoid losing time searching for files.
- Get online (or into course materials) as soon as class begins to:
- Make note of course requirements;
- Note all deadlines on a semester-long wall calendar – to avoid missed deadlines;
- Start work promptly;
- Use all aspects of the technology for the course early, including how to submit assignments online.
- If you wait until the assignment is due to figure this out, you may experience high stress which will compound the difficulty of the task, and, after 4:30 p.m., you will be unable to access technical support.
- Despite initial anxiety about technology, students who start early figure out the technology on time to do well in the course.
Strategies – Throughout the course
- Use a four-calendar system (semester calendar, master weekly, weekly, and daily) to record deadlines and schedule work.
- Schedule at least 3 hours at the same time each week as in a lecture course.
- Check in with the course daily to see urgent postings.
- Download or print on-line course materials as soon as they are posted in case they are not available later (or you have a technical problem).
- Read and “get your head around” an assignment as soon as it is posted. Ask the TM any questions early to avoid approaching assignments the wrong way.
- If you wait until shortly before the assignment is due to approach the TM, he/ she will likely be inundated with questions from your classmates and you may not be able to get your answer.
- Find a “study buddy” or study group in the course to hold you accountable for regular movement through the material.
- Take breaks (10 minutes per hour) away from your computer