For a person who wishes to undertake online training, one of the most important aspects would be the time management. Unless, adequate measures are taken to devote and optimally use the available time, the adequacy and the quality of learning may not be as expected and it may not warrant you to get through the entire course satisfactorily as well. Therefore, this article hopes to explain ways in managing time when you undertake an online learning programme.
Before deciding on the time factor and how you are going to devote the available time, you should first recognize how much time is need to complete each section of the course per day or else per week. You can obtain this information from the course guidebook or from the course administrators. At the same time, you should also obtain information pertaining to the number of logins required for a particular duration, number of postings per discussion, pattern of learning which usually is partitioned into weekly or biweekly sections…etc in order to manage the available time effectively.
Following obtaining the course details, it is your responsibility to keep track of things and let yourself have reminders from time to time in order to prevent any deadlines from being missed. Although the course administrators will remind to you from time to time regarding the need to adhere to deadlines in the beginning, it may not be so as the course continues. Therefore, using a scheduling technique which is comfortable to you would be one of the first tasks you should do in managing time to undergo online course training.
Next, you should mark reserved time slots to follow the course including space for synchronous learning activities. The schedule should allow the minimum number of stipulated time for the course as well as any additional time which you may think that would be useful in case one of the time slots gets missed. The schedule should also make way for other activities which are not related to the online learning such as work practices, family time, recreational activities…etc and it is vital that the schedule adheres to your usual life style as major changes just prior to undertaking an online course may not be sustainable after all.
Thereafter, you should take into account the time saving methods when learning online. For instance, making use of a word processor software may make life easy when you type large paragraphs in the online discussion forums. At the same time, improving typing skills will save time on the delay it takes due to slow typing speed. Similarly, having a good knowledge in internet browsing would mean that you can quickly arrive at a destination and obtain information faster than a person who is not so familiar with the technology. Thus, having good skills can also save time and would be rather useful in scheduling the learning events.
Lastly, the time scheduling that you do should be sustainable over a long period of time and would require lot of motivation as you may feel alone in the online environment. But, choosing the right course, having good online support as well as proper planning would enable an online learner to sustain his or her motivation and reap the benefits more effectively than a person who does not follow a structured time management practice.