It’s More Fun When You Don’t Cram!

(…on Distance Education and Time Management)

If you’re like me who thought that online education is easier than regular school, oh well, think again!

I will assume that like me, you enrolled in UPOU because you don’t have the time to study in a regular school.

Well, welcome to the challenging and demanding world of distance education! Haha! 🙂 It‘s flexible, it’s convenient, but is it easier???

Nah! Distance education is as hard as, or maybe even harder than regular school. It will take a lot of self-studying! It will take a lot of metacognition and self-regulation skills to survive!

Do I have any regrets of enrolling in UPOU?

Nah!!!  UPOU, though definitely not easy, suits me best! I can study anytime, anywhere. Very flexible, very convenient! When travelling in traffic or in-between errands, I can open my mobile phone and study my readings. When my kids are all settled at night or even during the wee hours, I can join the asynchronous forum discussions, study, and submit my requirements. And there’s more… the one thing that’s really important to note:

Studying in UPOU can be really fun!… that is, if you don’t cram!

Indeed, the best lesson I learned in distance education: Thou shalt not cram!

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http://examinedexistence.com/

So Daisy, follow the set course schedules. It’s truly for your own good!

So Daisy, do not cram so you won’t be pressured with deadlines. When you get stressed with due dates, the intrinsic motivation is sidetracked by extrinsic motivation. Your inner desire to truly learn is sidetracked by your desire to just pass the course. But when you do your tasks on time, you get to appreciate your own learning, get to understand the lessons in a deeper way, get into FLOW, and you get to enjoy learning with others, too.

So friends, do not cram!  Learning is definitely more fun when you don’t cram!

Reach-the-level-of-education-that-is-fast-easy-and-comfortable-with-online-masters-degree-programs

http://independentschools.net/

 

For EDS 113, I will! :)

(…on Resolutions and Time Management)

Based on my previous UPOU experiences, here are some of my early resolutions for this course:

  • Follow the course schedule. Have a head start.
  • Plan your own schedule. Abide by it!
  • Read. Read. Study!
  • Engage in forum discussions. Learn with others. Make friends.
  • Comply with all requirements on time. Do not cram!
  • Enjoy the learning!

Let me share my previous post on Time Management (with some revisions)…

Time Management: My Own Self Assessment

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http://spinsucks.com/

Like many of us who hardly have time to accomplish all the things on our ticklers, I find myself enrolling in UPOU, thinking that distance education will take less time, but finding out later that it actually takes more time because it requires a lot of self-directed reading, studying, and learning. No regrets, though, as I enjoy learning and I choose to journey on.

So we are journeying through the course, and here I am, struggling with time.  Let me assess myself using the checklist below. I really want to recognize my weaknesses and do whatever I can to improve my time management skills and eventually, my performance.  I just hope I’ll be able to deliver.

  • Am I overwhelmed with the module readings/assignments?

Honestly, a little. Though the bulk of module readings/ assignments is reasonable, and is actually very helpful in our learning, I really struggle with time, as I attend to my children’s needs first before mine.

  • Do I have enough time to do them?

No, time is never enough, but I will definitely make time!

  • Do I procrastinate?

No, I do my work every time I get the chance.  I grab every opportunity to do my work when time allows it (mostly when kids are settled, during the wee hours… well, I guess, most of us do our work at this time).

  • Do I already have a plan and an organized scheme to accomplish the plan?

Actually, I have.

Based on Dr. Jan Yager’s article, Time Management for Online Learners,’ here are some techniques on how to efficiently and effectively learn online:

  • “Find out what is expected of you from each professor/each course.”

Sure, I did this.  Thanks to the course outline and guide provided by the best FIC, Dr. Lou Juachon.  I’ll go over the course syllabus again and re-check the due dates and other expectations/requirements.

  • “Write down those due dates in your appointment book or electronic calendar.”

Sure, I also did this.  Unfortunately, there are some conflicts with other equally important commitments. There’s a bigger need to make this work. Based on my recent previous experience, it is better to work ahead of schedules than try to beat them, huh!

  • “Create mini-deadlines.”

Hmm, I don’t think I do this.  I tend to generalize and set one deadline for an entire task.

  • “Convince yourself you can do it all.”

Amusingly, my kids are the ones who convince me I can do it.  Several times in the past, I was tempted to just apply for an official leave of absence, but I know it will be harder to go back. I think I’ll manage well without all the other things I need to do, but with the overwhelming other tasks in front of me, sometimes, I get discouraged.  My passion and determination to finish the tasks are there, but the time to do it all, huh, it’s never enough. Time oh time runs so fast on me!  Anyway, right now, I convince myself I can do it all.  Everything will fall into place, as my daughter always tells me. Actually, my children and I are studying together, and we’re all positive we can make it! It’s a great motivation to study while your kids are also studying. We study together, motivate each other, and even challenge each other.

There’s one more thing I do effectively: I pray. It really works!

  • “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Well, I do get help from my family. And in my experience, our FIC is a great source of help and guidance.

  • “Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!”

Honestly, my family comes first.  After all, they are our great motivation.  After God and family, I can say, UPOU comes next. As Solomon said, “To everything, there is a season, a time for every activity under the heaven,” and the time to do EDS 113 is now!

  • “Learn to say “No” without guilt.”

I’m doing this a lot, saying no to less important appointments/meetings/activities.  I know there’s a perfect time for everything, and people will understand.

  • “You’re too busy to procrastinate!”

I’m never guilty of this.  I don’t self-sabotage.  I don’t procrastinate. I value my time so much, and getting things done is reward in itself!

  • “Self-pacing is key.”

I have no problem with this.

  • “Back-up!”

I learned my lesson the hard way. My computer crashed, and I lost all my work.  Fortunately, a computer whiz recovered them.  I’ll remember to back-up my files (soft and hard copies) all the time.

  • “Getting your work done in a timely fashion has other rewards.”

Many say I’m a committed hard worker.  I’m the type who’s always on the go, and I hate wasting time.  Accomplishing things gives me a sense of fulfillment, indeed.  “Business first before pleasure” applies to me, so I want to get things done first before I can truly enjoy a break. There’s one thing though that I need to remind myself always: Do not become a victim of busyness, always enjoy the journey!

Things to do:

  • Set goals (done);
  • Prioritize (done);
  • Manage interruptions (working on it);
  • Do not procrastinate (working on it);
  • Follow schedule (working on it);
  • Really focus (working on it). 

I hope we can all make it. God, please help us.

Reference:

Yager, J. (2012). Time management for online learners. Retrieved from http://www.elearners.com/online-education-resources/online-learning/time-management-for-online-learners/