Though most online courses have assignment and activity due dates, you have the freedom to select the days and times (within those due dates) when you will complete course work. Some students take a while to adjust to this increased freedom. The following strategies will help you stay on top of your course work.
Stay in touch with the course
Plan to check in to both your Mason email account and Blackboard at least once per day to keep up with announcements, discussion board posts, and schedule changes.
Plan out your semester
Using your syllabus as a guideline, arrange your personal and work schedules at the start of the semester. Do your best to carve out time to complete assignments and readings. A great rule of thumb is to take the amount of time you think you can complete an assignment and double it to account for technological difficulties, life interruptions, and emergencies.
Take notes while reading your assignments and other course resources
This will help reinforce your learning. If you type your notes into a word processing application as you're reading, you can then easily search through your notes for future reference.
Stay ahead of the course schedule
Try to be at least one week ahead of the readings, and plan to complete your assignments a few days before the scheduled due dates. Doing so will give you more flexibility to alter your schedule should an emergency arise.
If you think you might be starting to fall behind, stay calm and work with your instructor(s)
We’re all human, and life happens. Contact your instructors should you have any questions or concerns about meeting course requirements. Remember, it is much easier to get your work in ahead of schedule than to be in a constant state of making up late work.
With that in mind, it is still each student's responsibility to understand and comply with each course's late policy. Consult your syllabus for more information on this subject.
Take care of yourself!
Along with planning time to complete readings and assignments, make time for yourself to rest, relax, and recover.
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