In an ideal world, “Time Management for Students” would be a compulsory course for online learners.
The course would teach them that successful e-learning requires some planning. And it would give them some concrete time management skills.
In reality, time management for students is pretty hit or miss. Some learners already have the relevant skills. But many don’t.
Of course, you see the consequences of poor time management every day in your classes. They appear in such behaviours as:
- Requests for multiple extensions
- Missed assignment deadlines
- Frustrated and panicking students, and
- Last-minute cramming.
There’s no denying that sometimes a Life Event makes it truly impossible for your students to meet a deadline. But far more often, a proactive approach to time management can make sure everything gets done on time.
You can help that happen, by sharing these three simple insights with your students.
3 Secrets of Time Management for Students
You might include these time management secrets in your welcoming email, as announcements, or in your introductory course material.
It doesn’t hurt, either, to point out that time management is not just another chore.
It actually has some highly appealing benefits for students.
- Less stress as an assignment approaches
- Better understanding of the course material
- Enjoying the course, rather than suffering through it
- Improved grades, and even…
- A full night’s sleep before an exam!
Many of your students simply won’t realize that taking control of their time can completely transform their study experience.
But it can!
Secret No. 1. Online learning doesn’t mean instant learning
One of the most appealing aspects of e-learning is its flexibility.
And while flexible learning means students don’t have to physically attend a campus, there’s still a time commitment required.
Explain to your students that although the learning happens in an online environment, this experience is not like scanning a Wikipedia page.
Online learning is a process which requires a time investment. It can’t happen in an instant.
They’ll need to set aside enough time to read, watch or listen to the learning resources in the course.
And then there are the assignments and discussion board activities.
Once your students understand that e-learning will take more than a couple of minutes, they can be more realistic about how they plan their semester.
Secret No. 2. You can usually predict the amount of time each course will require
How much time do I need to allocate to study?
The answer to this question is crucial.
It’s a core part of successful time management for students. But most students don’t factor a specific time commitment for study into their lives.
Explain to your students that each unit will demand a certain number of study hours. Direct them to their Welcome Pack, or include a reminder of the required learning hours in the course material.
The sooner they know how much time they need for study, the easier it’ll be to carve enough out of their daily routines.
There’s a big difference between finding 2 hours a week, for example, and 10!
Secret No. 3. There are gaps in most people’s schedules – and these can be used for study
Your students might be surprised by how much time they can find for study in an average week. They’ve just never thought about it in a structured way.
Suggest they sit down with a weekly calendar, and work out where their time actually goes.
They could list their commitments on weekdays and evenings – and also the weekend.
Once the commitments are mapped out, gaps in the week will appear.
It then becomes a simple task to match them up with the number of study hours the student needs.
These 3 secrets of time management for students can be life-changing.
Many online learners don’t realise there’s an alternative to missed deadlines, high drama stress, and last-minute scrambles to submit work. And this alternative is well within their reach.
When it’s presented as a simple success strategy, your students are more likely to accept that time management is not a complicated chore. It’s just common sense.
It makes e-learning much easier – for them, and for you.
What time management strategies do you advise your students to adopt? Let me know in the comments!