A year ago, I posted about time management and suggested five tips. I asserted, “Perhaps one should feel a little-overwhelmed since any course should have much to offer its students, and students should realize that the course will not be completed within a day, week, or month.”
After teaching, I found that students entering into online learning don’t manage their time well. Or, they need help with it. I still stand by time management tips from a year ago, but now it’s time to think about how to coach students about managing their time.
So, here are five additional lessons/tools/tricks you can do with students to help them manage their time better.
1st – Have your student assess their own time management skills.
The TOOL page offers a helpful quiz for teachers and adults, but I don’t think it is student-friendly. Just take a look at statement seven, “I leave contingency time in my schedule to deal with “the unexpected.” Really? And some of the questions don’t apply to students working in a virtual class: “I have to take work home in order to get it done.”
Here’s a better quiz for students found on the University of Louisiana at LaFayette’s website http://studentsuccess.louisiana.edu/node/61
2nd –Talk about procrastination
As an activing strategy in a synchronous session, or within a news item page, ask students to list the top five ways they waste time. Students can discuss with each other (and maybe build the community as they realize they have similar struggles). Or students can page you or email you their answers, and you can work with each student to help them.
You might suggest a Procrastination Management flowchart, or have students discuss “Six Reasons why People Procrastinate.” If students lack motivation, you might suggest these motivation techniques. Also related, you might have them analyze where their time goes with this assessment from Virginia Tech.
3rd – Make the connection between time management and being organized.
It’s very difficult to manage your time if you’re not organized, and this article, “How Productive and Organized Are You” from The New York Times offers a great discussion starter.
4th – Suggest a single time management technique to use while working
Students need help staying focused and chunking their work time. Hey, we all do. Classroom teachers have long used timers to keep students on task, and online/distance learners can do the same. During a synchronous session or in an email, show them the Pomodoro Technique.
Students can use this online Tomato Timer to keep track of work time and breaks.
5th – Use Add-ons for Firefox to help manage and track time.
Here are three separate add-ons that will help student. Students should check them out and pick one. Maybe turn it into a challenge. Have students all use the same add-on and then record their daily results in a shared spreadsheet. At the end of the week, discuss, or award a badge, points, etc. for the student(s) who showed the most improvement.
Mind the Time – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mind-the-time/
- The ticker in the toolbar shows time spent at the current site (the default) or the total time spent on the web today. You can change which is shown under the add-on’s preferences.
- The summary page reports how much time you have spent, and where you have spent it, for today and the past 70 days. This includes weekly summaries of the past 10 weeks and monthly summaries of the past 6 months.
- Receive periodic reminder messages (after every X minutes) to help keep you aware of how much time you have spent on the web. Turn these on and set the frequency under preferences.
- Under preferences you can enter a list of sites to prevent them from being logged, and any time spent on them from being counted. This lets you exclude work-related sites, for example.
- This add-on alerts you when you’ve spent too much online and tries to do so in the non-intrusive way.
- Once you install the plugin, a colored ball shows up on your Rirefox toolbar or menu.
- If you’re actively using your browser but are within limits, the ball stays green.
- If you’re nearing your time limit, the ball turns yellow.
- If you’re past your limit, the ball turns red.
- If you are inactive for certain period of time, the ball would turn blue. This is just to let you know that the plugin considers you’re on a break
- You can click on the ball to see how much time you’ve spent and can change the time limits to suit your needs.
- Start timer
- Stop timer
- Timer continues to count while Firefox is open.
- Notifications can be scheduled
- Optional audio bell on notifications
- Time management during exams
- Lecture timing for various topics