As I am sure you are aware, there are many things that you must accomplish each week in your online class. There are reading assignments to complete, discussions to post, and papers to submit. Most of you probably do a very good job of this. You review the assignments each week before reading your textbooks, spend time reflecting on what you have read before writing a response to the discussion, and go through the steps to write a good paper.
But how many times do you find yourself just going through the motions? You know what I mean. You sit down to read your textbook, but you aren’t reading it with the attention it needs. You write a response to the discussion, but rather than taking the time to compose it like a mini paper, you simply jot down the first thing that comes to mind without any support from your readings. And then on the last day of the week, you write your paper in one sitting without creating an outline, proofreading it for content, or including any significant comments from your textbook to support your thoughts. You look back on the week and ask yourself, did I really learn anything? Or did I just go through the motions?
I know what this is like; I have done this many times. Something came up in my life that distracted me, and I found myself just going through the motions when doing my homework. The distraction may have been a good thing, like when I bought my first motorcycle, or an upcoming trip. It could have also been a bad thing, like a problem at work. Whatever it was, I found myself distracted and going through the motions of completing my homework just so I could get it done.
What do you do when you find yourself in this situation?
Hopefully, you have followed our advice and developed some good study habits. When you form good habits, they will carry you though the process.
Without thinking about it, you review the other assignments due that week, so you know what to look for as you complete your reading assignment. This one habit is crucial during those times when you are distracted with other things in your life.
After reading your assignments, you have the habit of reflecting on what you read for a day or so before jumping into the discussion and writing your initial response. Then, when you do, you turn to your notes, and begin to write your response having thought through it.
Around the third day of the week, you sit down to write an outline of your paper. And because you spent some time reflecting on what you read, you have a thesis in mind and know what direction you want to go with your paper. Over the next several days, you follow the steps in writing a good paper, and have it proofread before submitting it later in the week.
Even though you may find yourself distracted by something, whether it be an upcoming event, a problem at work, or whatever, establishing good habits will help to ensure that you do more than just go through the motions.
If you need help managing your tasks each week, download our FREE Course Management Checklist; it will help you develop good habits so you don’t find yourself just going through the motion.
Tell us about your experience!
Have you ever been so distracted by something in your life and found it difficult to do your homework? What did you do about it? Did you find yourself just going through the motions?
Leave a comment below and share with us what worked or didn’t work for you.