I have a couple of online classes this semester and they are harder than the ones I am taking in class. I took these classes because I could more easily fit them into my schedule, but I am finding that there are still due dates and times I need to get online, either to leave a message for another student concerning their work, or to read online assignments or take a quiz. I’m getting behind and it seems as if I have more homework online than the standard class visit route.
Online and overwhelmed
There’s no need to be overwhelmed. The key to success here is organization. Problems arise when we’re not in a class on a daily basis, and the instructor isn’t always reminding us about the next assignment, test, or quiz. It’s almost like we need to remember constantly without having to be nudged.
I have taken two online classes myself and I understand your dilemma. In many respects there is more physical work given for online classes (at least the classes I have experienced) and I think this is because your instructor is considering that you’re not attending a lecture. You’re also not involved in class discussion, something that is a part of almost every class I have attended.
And so in place of the lecture, the instructor may ask you to read more material; in place of lecture, she may ask you to respond to the assignments your peers have turned in.
The good news is that if you’re a fairly shy person, one who hates talking in class, you can respond to a name without a face, someone you will probably never see. This helps you to be more honest and direct with your comments. I think it helps you to be involved in somewhat of a class discussion without feeling stupid about something you said, though you should never feel stupid about anything when you ask a question.
In the long run, taking a class or two online is a good idea in my opinion, but I would make sure to keep a separate calendar just for those classes. I kept a calendar and it really helped. You still get a syllabus for online classes, so I put due dates on my calendar clear through the end of the semester. I would look at my calendar daily for what was coming up.
I also found it was better to get an assignment done early rather than at the last minute. I never had to worry too much about what I was going to say to another student because I did not wait until 11:50 p.m. to post.
Every Saturday, I would plan out my week. “On this day I will work on this assignment, on this day I will do this one…” I would give myself an extra day to finish an assignment or project before the due date, just in case something unexpected came up; and it always did.
You said you are already falling behind. Send an email to your instructor right away. See what you can do to catch up, and then follow the guidelines I have outlined above. You’ll have to do some crazy writing and posting for a bit, but you’ll be glad you did.