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Student Productivity 104: 5 Project Management Tips for Online Students

09 Sep

Student Productivity 104: 5 Project Management Tips for Online Students

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Mar 24, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Managing long-term projects helps students to develop important skills that empower them to handle real-world tasks effectively. In today's digital world, part of this system involves learning the little tools and tricks native to online web applications, as well as the traditional methods of time management and effective communication with peers. These management tips for online students are well suited to help any student participating in a personalized learning program develop the skills necessary to succeed.​

Tip 1. Plan the Attack

In general, things take as long as the time they are given. Any task that a student takes on will grow or shrink in proportion to how much time the students allocates to that task. For many students, this piece of workplace efficiency is hard to understand, as it seems like the variety of important tasks that lay in front of them all call for the same amount of intelligent and deliberate consideration. It is important for students to realize that time is a resource students choose to spend, and that time devoted to one task is necessarily not devoted to another task. Therefore, it is extremely useful to develop an outline that details how much time a student will spend on each part of the project.

Tip 2. Communicate

In any long-term collaboration a student may encounter as part of their personalized learning program, they will need to learn how to effectively communicate with peers on matter relating to their shared work. It is extremely important that students learn to utilize resources such as sharing files through Google Drive, which allow easy collaboration between students as a part of those programs' fundamental make-ups.

Tip 3. Chunk (Not the character on The Goonies)

Memorization is crucial in many long-term projects that students will face. Although it's not necessarily helpful for programs to focus on memorization for the sake of memorization, information storage and retrieval is a vital skill for all young professionals, and the memory tricks associated with expanding working memory are important. One major trick for helping students to memorize many disparate elements at once is known as, "chunking," which is a process whereby the student associates information with other pieces of readily available information. We naturally use chunking as a part of our daily routine when we divide phone numbers from a long piece of sequential numbers, like 31415926768 to 314-592-6768. Using this can greatly speed a student's ability to absorb and retain information.

Tip 4. Create a Routine

When working on any long-term project, it is important to create a routine that allows the student to function to the best of their capabilities. Especially with the kinds of disruptive schedules students of personalized learning programs can have, it is important to create a scaffolding on which work can be done. Maybe a given student needs to read the news before they work on their assignment, or they like to get in the groove by reading over what they've accomplished before.

Tip 5. Organization!

Students should use all of the apps available to them in order to keep their projects organized and accessible. A major contender in this area is the Google Drive application. The important thing about this app is that it stores data in a file system on the cloud. This is huge for any student that wants to be able to store their data and access it from any location.