Staying On Top Of Your Online Degree

Written by  //  2013/03/18  //  Online Instruction  //  2 Comments

Online degree programs are becoming more popular, accepted and respected as a means of continuing education. There are many difficulties students face while attending online school while working and/or having a family. Here are five tips to keep you from getting fired while trying to get your online masters in human resources or failing to get your MBA because you didn’t get your assignments turned in on time.

  1. Prepare and Review Due Dates
    Getting an online degree isn’t easy! Before you start your semester off on the wrong foot, make sure to get a copy of all of the text books and review the syllabus before the class starts so that there won’t be any surprises on the first day. Make a calendar of all of your due dates before school starts. For some this can be as easy as writing them in a date book. For others, they’ll need reminders in more places. You can make an online calendar with alarms to notify you automatically.  Take it a step further and break down assignments into daily and weekly tasks to stay on time and focused.
  2. Avoid Distractions
    Know where you work best and make sure to always study and do assignments there. If you can, set up a specific place in your house that can be dedicated to your studies. That way your brain goes directly into “study mode” when you enter.  If you have family or small children in the house make sure that they know that you have a specific study time and that you need to not be disturbed.  If you can’t study in your house, head to the local library or a coffee shop and get your studying done there. No need to feel guilty about leaving to get this done. You’re getting an advanced degree not going to happy hour and the sooner you can get your studying done, the sooner you can get home and 100% focused on family.
  3. Stay Connected
    It’s easy to get discouraged while in online school because students are missing that traditional classroom setting and community to share experiences and hardships with. To make sure that it doesn’t happen to you, take advantage of the online chat, social media and forum features that come with many of today’s online degree programs. Keeping connected with your professors and other students can make all the difference in your online degree experience.
  4. Assess Your Responsibilities and Plan Accordingly
    We all want to be Superman/woman but the reality of life is that you only have two hands and there are only 24 hours in a day. Online degree programs offer flexibility so take advantage of it and plan your education in advance! If you’re currently an accountant and getting your masters online you probably don’t have a lot of time to study from January to May so take a lighter course-load that semester. If you’re expecting a child be realistic and plan a lighter load for the semester the child is born. Spreading yourself too thin between work, home and school is a recipe for disaster.
  5. Reward Yourself
    When you get an “A” or complete an assignment reward yourself!  Just because you’re in not in grade school doesn’t mean you don’t deserve your “A+” on the fridge. Print that test out and post it! Your friends and family will want to join in on the excitement of your achievement and it will keep you motivated. If sticking things to the fridge isn’t your style – put a dollar (or quarter or dime) in a jar every time you turn in an assignment, take a quiz or get an “A.” At the end of the semester you can buy yourself something as a reward for a semester of hard work. Can’t stand delayed gratification? Take yourself out for ice cream instead. The great thing about online education is that you get to set up the experience around how you work best.

Are you getting a degree online? How do you keep on-track? Let us know by sharing your experience below.

2 Comments on "Staying On Top Of Your Online Degree"

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