Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a free form of open learning education offered by schools across the United States. These open university courses are becoming a popular way to continue education. They provide a great opportunity to expand your knowledge or learn new skills in an academic environment. These courses also provide a free way to test the academic waters for those thinking about going back to school to get an advanced degree.
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Once you decide to enroll in an online learning course, you need to carefully arrange your time. If you’re like me, you may be concerned about balancing an academic course, your family life and your job. I am here to tell you it is very possible to manage all of these responsibilities and successfully complete a course.
I can speak from experience. As an adult, I went back to school and earned my Master’s degree. I enrolled in a Master’s degree program while managing a job, a newborn and other responsibilities at home. With a little organization, you can also achieve your academic goals.
Before you do anything else, invest in a laptop or other portable electronic device. This is important because it will give you the ability to complete schoolwork on the go. If you choose to use a touch screen device, make sure you can connect a keyboard. The keyboard is critical because you won’t want to type a long essay assignment on a touch screen keypad.
A calendar is the most important organizational tool for managing your time while taking a MOOC. You have to use some sort of calendar with reminders. I’m not referring to a paper calendar, but one that is on your computer and linked to your phone and other devices. This is vital to your academic success. This calendar will allow you to constantly remain aware of course assignments, requirements and deadlines.
Once you are enrolled in your course, you have to plan ahead. You should carefully read the syllabus to make sure you understand all of the course requirements. Add all of the class times, assignment due dates and any other pertinent information into your calendar. Set reminders at least 24 hours in advance for basic assignments and a week or two for long essay assignments that require more time.
On this calendar, also allot times for studying, reading and completing assignments. It is important to make the most of any free time.
During the day, use every free moment as a planned opportunity to complete schoolwork. For example, a lunch break is a great time to work on a class assignment. In the evening, the best time to do schoolwork is right after dinner. Regardless of when you choose to complete schoolwork, enter it into your calendar.
Once you’ve entered all of the pertinent information, sync the main calendar with all of your devices. By doing this, you will have plenty of class requirement reminders.
In addition to planned time devoted to schoolwork, use any other spare moment to make progress on an assignment. Carry your schoolwork with you everywhere. During the day, whenever you have a free moment (even if it is only a few minutes) work on an assignment.
It is not impossible to enroll in and successfully complete a MOOC, even if you are working, have children or other responsibilities. With a little organization, you can provide yourself with the opportunity to increase your knowledge.
Jessica Wellington has a B.A. in Political Science and M.S. in Business Management. Throughout her career, she has experience working as an intern, corporate account executive, reporter, managing editor, assistant manager, manager and a director.