Friday, January 13, 2012

Making Time

I promised myself that the blog would be reactions to the readings and assignments, but I need to talk about time management first. 

There’s a certain convenience to taking a class online. You can do the work at your own pace each week and learn in your own style, sort of.  But taking an online class requires discipline. You must discipline yourself to do the readings, to log in every day and look at discussion posts, and respond to your fellow classmates. Set up a schedule each week and stick to it.  One day to read the materials, one day to post (by Wednesday), one day to respond (by Sunday), time to do the assignments. One assignment requires you to go somewhere and observe, one to talk to a professional, one to read serious, scholarly journal articles, one to look at a website and evaluate it.  All that takes time.  It’s different than going to class, discussing the materials with the professor during the lecture / class period. You have to make the time each week.  If you are taking several online classes, then you really need to schedule them. 


How much time should you be spending on the course? The rule of thumb is 3 hours for every credit hour. That means spending 9 hours a week minimum on the course. If you aren’t spending at least 6 hours a week, then you aren’t working at the class.  Going to school is a job. Your job. And it’s your job to focus on the work at hand, the assignments, and interacting with your fellow students. You should work on the class when you are fresh, not at 3am, not at midnight.

Yes, I have to spend more time than that each week on this course. It’s a new one for me, so I have to do all the readings, think about your assignments and what I want to see out of them, read all your postings and then post grades. I have to create a video podcast and talk to you. And I’m blogging. That’s lots of work.  At least 10-15 hours per week.
Believe it or not, I’m teaching three courses this semester, one online, one in person, and one point to point. That’s lots of work, lots of teaching, and lots of time. Put a life and a commute on top of that, and I’m working hard.

Okay, that’s enough about time management.
One more thing. I have office hours. Come see me, or chat with me. Send me e-mail. If you want to meet at a time other than Tuesday 11a-1pm; 4:30-6pm. Let me know. I am around.  I’ll also have office hours in Columbus 4-5 on Wednesday afternoons starting Feb 8. You can see me there.

We are all going to have a great time this semester learning from one another about libraries and information centers.
Now I’m going to take some time to think about my next blog on the history and mission of libraries.

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