The Invisible Courses: 5 Hacks to Remember Due Dates for Online Assignments

By Kailey Walters on July 25, 2019

If you’re taking an online class, you’re probably loving the convenience it affords you. After all, you don’t have to show up to class in person or leave the comfort of your own home (or your favorite cafe, if that’s where you like to be productive).

However, taking online courses does have its cons at times — such as the difficulty of keeping track of your assignments and tasks when you’re not physically attending class or being reminded by your professor.  In such a situation, it’s important to take initiative and acknowledge that you’re really the only one who can remind yourself. To help yourself stay on track, devise a schedule and stick to it so your classes won’t take you by surprise. Read on for more suggestions and tips on how to take control of your online classes.

1. Set up a system of reminders.

Figuring out how to best remind yourself of important due dates is always a good first move. Use the syllabus that you’ve been given by your professor to see when you have homework assignments, papers, projects, and exams. Take note of these dates by marking them down in your schedule. The system you use to keep track of everything might be slightly different for you compared to someone else. For example, you might use a paper calendar or an electronic calendar. Or maybe you prefer to use a notebook or planner to write down all your due dates and important reminders in list form. You might even find it useful to set up notifications on your phone to remind you of certain due dates. Choose whichever format and method work best for you so that you don’t miss anything important — which, admittedly, might take a bit of experimenting at first before you figure out what helps you the most.

2. Come up with a schedule.

Having a consistent and reliant schedule is of the utmost importance when it comes to managing your online courses. After all, in addition to taking online classes, you probably have a lot of other things going on — maybe you also have a job or have family events to attend or what have you. That’s why having a specific schedule will help you to organize your to-do’s so that you don’t get stressed out trying to remember everything on your own. A number of apps exist to make scheduling more convenient, such as MyHomework App, which helps you manage important due dates by integrating your class schedule with the app. Trello is another useful app that allows you to make checklists and set reminders for due dates.

If apps aren’t your thing, you might just want to sit down with old-fashioned pen and paper (or even your computer with a document or spreadsheet open) and plan out your schedule on your own. List out all of your responsibilities, along with due dates for your online assignments, and play around with them to figure out what order fits best on your schedule.

3. Have friends remind you.

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “Two heads are better than one.” If you’re taking online classes with friends or other people you know, you might find it helpful to keep each other accountable. That way, if you forget an assignment is due or a test is approaching, your friend can check in with you to remind you that something is due for your class. If you’ve been assigned a group project to work on, you and the people in your group can take advantage of the group dynamic to remind one another of important due dates coming up.

4. Write things down.

We tend to get easily distracted by other things going on in the world around us. That’s why you should write down and highlight all your important due dates at the very beginning of the course. As mentioned earlier, there are many different ways you can go about writing important information down so that you’ll be reminded at the right time.

5. Be organized and self-disciplined.

While online classes certainly afford you a great deal of freedom, they also come with quite a lot of responsibility. That means, for the most part, you have to stay on top of your own work and manage your own time. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of procrastinating on your online coursework! Ultimately, it all comes down to staying organized, disciplined, and motivated in every way so that you don’t fall behind or forget to complete an assignment. It may also help you to shoot your professor a quick email every now and then to make sure you’re in the loop with what’s going on.

Remembering important due dates for your online courses doesn’t have to be complicated. Make sure you stay organized and on top of your work, and you should be good to go.

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