Adventures in Online Learning: Solving Calendar Woes

One of the hardest parts of taking a class on time is making sure that you stay on top of assignment due dates. When you take a class in person, often the professor will kindly give you multiple reminders that an assignment is coming due at the beginning or end of class. When classes are online, you are not necessarily going to get that same kind of reminder—especially if your class is operating asynchronously. So how do you make sure that you don’t miss a due date?

Get a calendar. You need some kind of calendar, but it should be one that fits with your habits. For example, no matter how cool a bullet journal looks, if you aren’t going to create the pages every week or month, this is a bad choice for you. If you never open the calendar app on your phone, this also isn’t the calendar for you.

Once you’ve got a calendar, you need to write all the due dates into it. The purpose behind doing this is that you can see how your assignments are stacked. If you have a bunch of papers due all in one week, you’ll know that you cannot procrastinate on all of them—you’ll need to space out the work.

Set up automated reminders for assignments. Once you have your calendar populated and know how your assignments align with one another, you’ll want to set up automated reminders. Here, you’ll want to explore your options: you can probably find programs that will send you emails, pop up in your online learning platform, etc. However, if at all possible, I recommend using a reminder app of some kind on your phone. Most of us can’t go more than an hour or so without checking our phones to begin with, so you are most likely to actually see the reminder if it pops up on your phone.

You’ll want to set up a couple kind of reminders. You’ll want one reminder to to get started on the assignment (this will be especially important if you have stacked assignments that you’ll need to space out work on). You’ll want another reminder set for the actual due date. After all, you don’t want to forget to turn the assignment in!

A final tip: make these reminders as annoying as possible. The last thing you want this to see the reminder, and ignore it. Doing that does you no good. Set multiple reminders, make sure that they pop up at a time when you are already planning on working on the assignment, and make sure that if you are the kind of person who tends to sleep through alarms or push the snooze button, you make the reminder hard to ignore!

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