[This tip provided by Matt Owens, junior Secondary Education/History major]
As the first week of class gets underway, developing strategies to keep yourself organized for your course work is essential for a successful semester. Some of you are returning students and will have developed your own personalized systems during your time here at UMKC, while others may be new to university life. Regardless of where you are in your Roo experience it is always a good idea to remember to practice your organizational strategies early on in the semester and get off to a good start.
With that being said, here is one of the most basic organizational techniques that can help you look ahead to the semester to come, while also keeping you on track in the here and now:
Merge your syllabi. Well hold on, don’t reassemble them just yet! Keep whole copies of each class syllabus with the notebooks, binder and text of its corresponding course. In addition to your professor’s contact info and office hours, there’s important information in there that explains each course’s grading rubric, assignments, learning objectives and class schedule. It’s that last part that can be very helpful in keeping track of your school work each week.
Photo copy (or copy and paste into a word document if they’re on Blackboard) the semester schedules from each course’s syllabus and put them together into one big, new document. It will be your master schedule for your semester and will allow you to quickly reference what is going on in all of your classes during a given week, and to look ahead to future assignments as well. It can be hard to juggle all of your work as a full time college student and having a quick and easy reference guide that contains dates for assignments, projects, readings, tests, quizzes and exams can help you to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks in your busy life.
To be sure, each schedule provided will vary in how specific it is, and this technique in no way should substitute for keeping a planner or writing in a calendar. During the course of the semester things happen (Snow Days! …for example) and schedules can change as teachers and students adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Creating this “master” schedule from your syllabi is just one quick and simple way to compile the important dates and assignments given to you at the beginning of the semester. It can help you figure out what weeks will be your busiest and help you plan accordingly. It can be kept in your backpack or in a desk, ready for you any time you need a quick reminder of what is happening in each one of your classes. Overall, it’s a good way to be cognizant of your course load as a whole and to stay on top of it.
Successful students are disciplined when it comes to keeping their notes, assignments and schedules orderly and easily accessible. So stay organized, enjoy yourself and achieve the success you know that you’re capable of.