This Semester, Make Helpful Habits Your Focus

Posted: January 14, 2020 8:30:00 AM CST

Two years of work in my online graduate degree program has led to this. I registered for my final course this week, and will submit my graduation application for May! As eager as I am to see my name printed on my second University of Nebraska diploma, I know that I will need to remain focused and disciplined to survive thrive during this final semester.

I began my graduate program with some online course experience, but I feel more confident in my ability to successfully engage in this type of course after several semesters in an online graduate program. In my experience, the fresh start of a new semester is the perfect time to re-establish helpful habits that will allow me to get the most out of my classes.  

Here are a few habits that I am focusing on at the start of this semester:

  • Plan – The first week of class, I read through each syllabus and highlight all important dates or pieces of information that will be key as the course progresses. I pay special attention to the deadlines that are associated with larger projects, as these typically require more time and attention throughout the semester.

  • Understand Class Expectations – Every online course is unique! I always spend some time navigating through the course in Canvas so I understand the way my instructor has organized the information. I also determine the structure of each course from the start by making note of deadlines that occur weekly and discussion board requirements. Understanding the weekly “flow” of each course sets me up for success right away.

  • Time Management – Managing time looks different for everyone, but for me it is helpful to block out specific times during each week that will be used to read, study and work on class assignments. When this time is built into my schedule for the semester, I limit procrastination which reduces my stress!

  • Build Relationships – It can feel overwhelming to begin an online course and dive right into building relationships with my peers. I always push myself to create this habit early in the semester though, because it is a great way to gain valuable insight that can increase my understanding of the course materials and be directly applied to my career. It may seem intimidating, but I have found that relationships can be built simply through active participation in discussion boards and asking sincere follow-up questions when appropriate.

 

Whether you are taking the first step toward reaching your academic goals or nearing the finish line like me, I hope a couple of the habits I’ve included above will be helpful to you as the Spring semester begins. If you’d like to review some additional student resources, visit UNK eCampus for more information.

By: Danielle Kluver

Category: General, eCampus

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