4 Tips to Help You Complete Online Assignments On Time
Most of the people who study online have other demanding commitments. As a result, online assignments can pile up and become overwhelming. At the last minute you may find yourself scrambling to get your assignment submitted before the clock strikes 12 midnight. Or, a worse scenario might be that you miss the deadline completely, thinking that you had more time. In order to avoid these mishaps and ensure you complete your online assignments on time, you should organize around your hectic schedule. The following strategies are what I used to ensure that all of my assignments were submitted on time.
1. Create A Time Table
At least a week before the official commencement of class, a course outline is usually posted in the course area. This course outline gives the assignments for each week. Get a head start by reviewing the eLearning course outline, a day or two prior, instead of waiting until class begins. Then create a time table; this way you already have a feel of what is expected of you for the entire course.
Pay specific attention to those assignments that are not a part of the discussion assignments. Usually, the weekly discussions are easier to complete than the written assignments. Use a calendar and mark the dates for the assignments for the course, depending on the length of the course. My courses at Walden University were 8 weeks long, which made it was easy for me to write down the courses on a ruled paper and stick it on my working desk where it was always visible.
The goal of writing down the assignments is to have a mental knowledge about how you will be able to fit in with your work schedule. For me working out how I will do my assignments was a little less challenging because we were given a monthly duty-sheet, at work, the majority of the times.
2. Gather Information For Your Online Assignments Beforehand
Usually, the assignments are interrelated to the classroom discussions; this makes it easier to source the information. Take time to read some of the recommended chapters and make sure to use the assignment questions and criteria for grading as a guide.
As you go along sourcing information, you may want to bookmark the pages you read, if it is a printed copy. If it is a digital book, you can print the relevant pages (if you have a preference for reading on paper than on a computer) and highlight the parts of the passage which you think answers the questions. Be sure to bookmark URLs to library articles you want to use for referencing, according to school’s reference guidelines. Also, remember to keep all printed material in a labeled folder so you can easily find when you are ready to construct your assignment.
3. Make Notes As You Read The Course Materials
If you have a brilliant idea while reading write it down and make sure your writing is legible. Sometimes we tell ourselves we will remember; however, if we fail to write, it is likely we will forget what these ideas were when it is time to do the assignment. If you are one who does not mind getting your book dirty you can make notes in the books as you go along.
For me, I enjoyed writing ideas alongside the text when it triggered an idea, but I used pencil which can be easily erased if I decide to sell my used books. When I wrote down my ideas, it was easier for me when it was time to do the first draft of my online assignment. Furthermore, if you fail to start your assignment early, the notes will provide a foundation on which to build your points, quickly.
4. Start Doing Your Online Assignments In Advance
Sometimes, you might have written assignments due weekly or bi-weekly; make sure that you recheck the date for submission. Review your reading material and use the notes and highlighted text as a guide to formatting your question.
When writing the draft for your online assignment, use the criteria and make sure that you answer the questions. Use appropriate headings and sub-headings to make your assignment look professional.
When writing the draft, you may find you may write more than the stipulated pages, but do not worry. The best way to make a brilliant online assignment is to write the thoughts as they flow then taking the time to arrange your content appropriately under the headings.
After you have done brainstorming and free-writing, look back at what you wrote and rearrange the content accordingly. A well written online assignment should be reader friendly. Avoid long sentences where necessary and use appropriate scenarios or examples to make your point to the instructor. Write as concisely as possible and ensure that you do not go above the page stipulations. If you did not write the introduction earlier on, now is the time to do so. Review guidelines for writing an introduction. Lastly, make sure to add a conclusion and references for your assignment (Check guidelines for referencing format), then proof read. (You can also use tools such as Grammarly for grammar check and Turnitin to help with avoiding plagiarism, if available in your classroom resources).
The tips above are flexible. Feel free to add your individuality or preferences and make the tips more relevant to your circumstances. These strategies worked for me and from my recollection I only submitted a late assignment once in my almost 3.8 years of online studying. Some instructors deduct marks for late submission of assignments so please strive to be early when submitting your online assignments. All the best in your online learning experience.
For further insight into how you can succeed in online learning, read the article Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning.