Course Management Strategies – Managing Time

The time-related flexibilities that online instructors can benefit from can also become a liability if an instructor is not managing their time effectively.

Tips for online instructors to manage their time include:

  • Allocate certain amounts of time for working on the course. Resist the temptation to be available “24/7,” or else students will expect you to be available at all times.
  • Try to enter the course 5-10 times during the week, and perhaps more often as assignment or exam deadlines arise due to last-minute students questions.
  • Keep a regular schedule of brief log-ins to read discussion items, monitor messages, and check for questions or problems.
  • Establish a “day off” during the week. Announce to the students that, for example, on Saturdays, you will not be checking course activities.
  • Think carefully about due dates for assignments and days when tests are scheduled. For example, if Saturday is a scheduled day off, then don’t require assignments to be submitted on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Arrange virtual office hours and keep them in case a student wants to chat or conference with you.
  • Set a maximum response turnaround time, such as 24 to 48 hours, for grading and feedback so that students know when to expect your response.

Additional Resources