The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: time management

How to be a Productive Online Student

Online master’s degrees at accredited universities have become increasingly popular over recent years. Many programs, like the ones offered at Brandeis GPS, cater to professionals who are working full time and are seeking a degree to move the needle on their career. Truly asynchronous programs – where students aren’t required to log into a class at a certain time – allow students to set their own schedule when it comes to their academic study.  But for some online learners, the lack of structure can be a challenge. Below are some tips to help you achieve the perfect work-life-school balance while pursuing an online degree.

Schedule Your Time
Schedule your school time just like you would schedule an appointment or meeting. Consistency can be key. And don’t forget to get creative with your study time. Have a long train ride as part of your commute? Take care of your weekly readings while you ride. Drive to work? See if your text book has an audio version and listen in the car. Find a regular time to do your coursework, and soon it will become a part of your daily routine.

Find Your Place of Productivity
Ask yourself when you are most productive. Perhaps it’s on that long train ride where you easily focus. Are you most productive on Sunday afternoons while sitting in your local library? Do you enjoy staying in your pajamas and doing work from your kitchen table? There is no right answer as everyone has different zones of productivity. Make sure the space where you want to work is available and distraction-free in advance. You will get everything done a lot faster if you go in knowing this is your time and place for coursework.

Take a Break
If you have an assignment deadline approaching, you may be tempted to come home after a long day of work and open your computer to get your schoolwork done as quickly as you can. Don’t do that – you want to put your best foot forward! Separate your job from your coursework, take some time to relax, go to the gym, or eat a snack. Keep your brain power focused on what you’re doing so you can achieve results that make you proud.

Participate and Stay Engaged
In an online classroom, it is easy to keep quiet and only participate when necessary. Don’t take that approach: you’re here to learn, after all! Schools like GPS intentionally offer small classes to foster engagement and collaboration among your peers and instructors.

Stay tuned for more tips on how to be a productive online student, and don’t forget to reach out to your advisor or instructor for guidance.

Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) is dedicated to developing innovative programs for working professionals. GPS offers 11 fully online, part-time master’s degrees and one online graduate certificate. With three 10-week terms each year, Brandeis GPS provides exceptional programs with a convenient and flexible online approach. Courses are small by design and led by industry experts who deliver individualized support and professional insights. For more information on our programs visit the Brandeis GPS website.

Are you fall ready?

As the weather cools down and the days get shorter, there’s no denying it,  fall term is right around the corner. Are you ready to put away your beach chair and get your nose back into your textbooks? Here are a few tips to start a smooth transition back into classes and to make this your most successful term yet!

  1. Get organized earProjectManagement_03ly

Staying organized is an important component of success in academics. Start by reviewing your course syllabi early. Instead of waiting until the first week of classes to familiarize yourself with your schedule, get a jump on things by reading through course syllabi before classes begin. Enter dates of exams and assignments for all your classes into a calendar so you can visually see which weeks will have heavier workloads. This will come in handy when you need to figure out planning your studies in advance and will keep you overall more organized.

  1. Master time management skills

Time management canresource-scheduling make or break your academic journey. Learning to master this valuable skill is essential. Begin by making to do lists each day and setting realistic goals of what should get accomplished. Plan your studies in advance and do not wait until the last minute to cram for studying for an exam or completing a project. Chipping away at studies day by day when planned in advance will be much more beneficial than overloading your brain the night before a due date. Breaks and leisure time should also be included in your schedule! When studying for long hours be sure to give yourself a short break or reward for completing a goal in order to prevent burnout.

 

3. Ditch Distractions

With all the technology that surrounds us, there are plenty of opportunities for distraction and procrastination. Make sure to get out of the habit of utilizing these distractions during study time. Turn ID-10041416off your phone and put it away and delete social media from your taskbar. Without the constant interruption of a buzz from a text or a notification from Facebook, completing tasks and staying focused will become much easier and you will find yourself being much more efficient. Sometimes this can be easier said than done so if you’re still itching to check your phone, use that as a reward for completing a task or schedule it into your allotted break time.

Overall, it is important to try to stay ahead rather than fall behind. Hopefully these tips can be helpful for the upcoming semester! Enjoy your studies! And of course, do not forget to register for your Brandeis GPS course, registration is open now!

 

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