If you’re taking online classes right now, you’re probably familiar with various tools for online learning. From Google Classroom to Canvas to Blackboard, it may seem like each class and teacher has a different set-up for online learning. After all, in the midst of a global pandemic, academia is relying on technology more than ever. Professors are sharing information and keeping track of deadlines on various learning management platforms, resulting in complicated systems for students. These various softwares can be confusing to learn and keep track of, so we have some tips for managing your virtual learning platforms and staying on top of your digital assignments this semester.
Check your platforms daily
Before you begin working each morning, check your platforms for the appropriate assignments, resources, and downloads that you need for the day. Professors can often upload documents late at night, so the morning is a good time to check the platforms. Additionally, professors sometimes message the class participants (or you individually) to provide instructions or updates for your next class time. These can be helpful to read before diving into work for the day.
Make a checklist
At this point in the semester, you know which classes use which virtual learning platforms. Make a checklist with the title of the course, its various assignments, projects, essays, and tests, and where to find the information for those tasks. For example, in a Biology course, you might write down the different exams and labs throughout the semester, and then fill in the learning tool necessary to complete each exam and lab. Your checklist might look something like this:
Preparation Slides – Blackboard
Exam Papers and Directions – Moodle
Exam Submission – Moodle
Instructions – Moodle
Lab – Zoom
Post-Lab Worksheet – Google Drive
Trying to keep track of your assignments is more complicated than ever before with the many learning platforms that teachers are using, so consolidating information into a single place is super helpful. Whether it’s a planner, a Google Doc, or a digital to-do list, forming a checklist on one single reference page can really improve your organization. Be sure to refer to your checklist each week to know where you can find resources and assignments. You won’t waste time by scrolling through each platform to find your post-lab worksheet anymore!
Establish a weekly plan
Every week, sit down with your planner and schedule out your assignments, papers, projects, exams, and reminders for each day of the week. While this might seem like an obvious step, it’s the first task in figuring out what you need to get done for the week and where to find the time to do it.
Communicate with classmates and professors
If you ever feel lost or confused about where to find resources or what you need to do, don’t hesitate to reach out to your classmates or professors. Simply send a quick email, text, or schedule a meeting during your professor’s office hours to review the work. If you’re having trouble managing the various online learning platforms for one class, share this sentiment with the professor. Chances are, you’re not the only one navigating this challenge. Perhaps you can work with your professor to streamline their approach to online learning and more effectively organize the resources on a single platform, instead of multiple platforms.