Organization is the key to successfully mastering the online environment. I used the following method to organize my files, thus organizing my online studies:
I created a folder for my course (Education Technology, where I earned my MET)
Inside this folder, I created folders for each class for each semester. For example, I created a folder for Spring 2014, and named this folder 1_Spring2014_EDTC5900_EDTC5640. I inserted the number 1 before the folder so the folders would be listed in order of semesters. Inside this folder, I created a folder for each class. In each of these folders, I created folders for each week (i.e. Week1, Weeek2, etc.). Each of these folders will contain the weekly requirements (i.e. assignments, discussions, activities, weekly overviews, etc.). The syllabi, course overview, and all things related to this course will be stored in this folder – but not in a weekly folder since they pertain to the entire course. The Fall semesters will be broken into two different folders since we have classes for Fall I and Fall II, and will follow the same format as the Summer semester as with the Spring semester also.
I do this in case I do not have access to the Internet, but can still work on assignments, readings, etc. When I participate in the discussions, I create the posts in my “Discussions” Word document and then copy them into the Canvas Discussion section. I do it this way so I can keep track of my posts and can take my time responding to the discussions.
At the conclusion of this course, I created a database to organize the readings assigned to this course, as well as my projects (i.e. papers, websites, presentations, etc.). I do this so I can track my papers and projects in case I need them for future classes.
This system works for me, but, perhaps, others may have systems that work for them. I would very much like to hear of any organization systems that keep fellow online students on track.
Michael Biegler is an online education student pursuing a degree in Educational Technology Leadership (Ed.S) at Webster University.