Setting Goals Toward Your Online Degree

By: Staff Writer

Setting goals and following a set schedule when earning an online degree will help you achieve the most out of your online education experience.

Setting Goals Toward Your Online Degree

One of the greatest advantages to taking online courses is the flexibility in scheduling your classes and assignments in regards to your schedule. However, one the most common drawbacks in this approach is that you are solely responsible for completing the course(s). With most conventional college courses there is a set homework and test schedule that is given to the student to follow, and since the structure of the class is set up in this manner it is generally easier for a student to go to class during the scheduled time and do homework according to the professor’s syllabus. Online courses do not work this way. There is no set class time, and although there is a syllabus with the coursework for the semester, there are no specific deadlines for completing the assignments albeit online courses must usually be completed within a certain time frame (i.e. one year from start date). Because online courses do not operate in this manner it is up to the student to set his/her own goals and deadlines in completing assignments and ultimately the course itself. This guide will help you implement some key strategies in helping you complete your online courses in a reasonable amount of time.

Read the Syllabus and Devise Plan of Attack

When you first enroll in an online study course the professor will provide you with a syllabus that will outline the course, assignments, test, expectations, and grade scale. It is important that you read through the syllabus completely before beginning any assignments. The syllabus will give you a gauge in which you can begin to develop a plan of attack and the amount of time you will need to dedicate to the course and its related assignments.

Set a Course Completion Date

All courses are not created equal and should thus be treated as such. Looking at the specifics for each individual assignment and the associated reading(s) and devising a plan to complete the assignment at one time or in segments will help you determine the time it takes to complete any given assignment. Regardless of your approach, set a pace you are comfortable with but will still keep you on a steady path of completing your homework and ultimately the course itself in a timely manner.

Appropriating Adequate Time & Resources to Assignments

Once you have got a feel for what the course will offer it is time to dive right in. Since you will not have a professor teaching you in a classroom, textbooks and other assigned readings will be your primary learning resource. Look at the assignment before you start reading the related material. This will help save you time as you will be aware of the concepts and ideas you will need to identify in the readings for your assignments.

Ask for Help When Needed

Concepts and ideas can sometimes be hard to grasp on your own and all too often the textbooks will just make things even more confusing. You may not have a class to go to where you can ask the professor questions, but you will have access to the course’s professor via email and/or forums. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you are unsure about anything. Keep in mind, however, that professors will generally not give you direct answers to questions for assignments but will merely guide you to where you can find the answers.

Steady & Constant Progress

During your pursuit of an online degree remember to remain constant and steady in your studies. It is important to set goals for completing your courses and keeping a schedule, otherwise you may end up dragging it on far longer than you would ever hope for. Discipline yourself and make continual progress and you will have your degree sooner than you ever thought possible. Good Luck!