Tips for Taking Online Courses while Working Full Time

You have decided to take an on-line course (or more than one) even though it will add to your already full work schedule. You are confident in your decision believing that it will increase your job skills and salary in the long run. Nevertheless, you may be concerned about how you are going to put the necessary time in after full days of work, or you may be sure you can do it – but would still appreciate a few tips.


When you select and register for an on-line course, schedule the class into your personal calendar. Start by reviewing the whole course from start to finish. The homework, including group assignments, will demand close attention and organization. It’s best not to take the “one assignment at a time” approach and turn a blind eye to what’s coming next. Examine the course outline and its progression. Discover where in the course the bulk of the workload will happen.

Break down each week’s work into smaller chunks. You may not have hours at a time to do a whole assignment, but you can do smaller tasks in limited amounts of time. For example, you may be able to research via your iPhone while you are taking transit or waiting at a doctor’s office.

Notes and reminders

Jot down notes and main points from what you are learning to help you with assignments and to review for tests. Create outlines to ensure you have covered all the important information.

Set up reminders to be sent to your phone, or on-line calendar. You may be able to complete a part of a writing assignment in a short time frame, such as over lunch. Schedule each assignment deadline for a day ahead. This will give you time for situations that may arise that will could throw you off your schedule, but will not make you miss the deadline.

Prep work

Read up on group work policies and expectations. Often there are group work assignments. This means that you will need to work together with others in the course, contributing to a project. Consider contributing the skills that you are already good at for the project. Offer one of your professional level skills, such as research, editing, or technical skills. If you are a computer techie, offer to create a blog or web page for the assignment. Make this the easy part for yourself.

Class etiquette

Be punctual for group meetings. You may be in your pjs, but as long as you are on-line, on time and ready to participate, you are giving the right impression – you are committed to the course to get the most out of the experience! Attending the on-line sessions is the meat of the course. Your outline for each week’s work and the direction of the course is clarified in these group conference chats.

Finally, relax and enjoy the course. You will meet new people and learn new information that is directing you to your goals and dreams. All the best!