Something Old, Something New: Using Your Syllabi and Technology for Success

By , August 23, 2011 8:25 am

Understanding the syllabus for each class you’re enrolled in every semester can be daunting. However, going over all the information contained in each syllabus is very important. It contains policies unique to each instructor, including grading policies, attendance policies, and their expectations of you. It also tells you what you can expect from them.

Making a note of dates listed on your syllabi can be incredibly beneficial in the future. Keep them in a place you will see them often, and can see approaching deadlines. A good idea is to put the test dates and long-term project deadlines into your calendar. UMKC Outlook accounts come with a calendar that you can use, or choose an application on your phone or computer. Often, you can sync all of these together and even set e-mail reminders or alarms to let you know when a deadline or test date is approaching. It is also helpful to have class schedule, work schedule, and extra activities listed together. This way, you can see how much time you have each day. Be sure to schedule time to devote to studying. If you don’t, it will slip by and you’ll find yourself scrambling to catch up in the future!

Another good thing to add to your calendar is the UMKC academic deadlines. Adding the withdraw deadlines is an excellent idea; you never know what might happen in the future, and having those dates at your fingertips can be very beneficial. It is very simple to add events from the UMKC Calendar to any calendar you use. Select the events you want to add, then click the “Add to my calendar” button at the top of the page. Choose your calendar app from the box, or if yours isn’t listed you can e-mail the event to yourself.

Although calendars can be excellent for long-term assignments and important dates, a to-do list can be more beneficial for short-term assignments and goals. Electronic versions of the classic to-do list provide convenience no matter where you may be. Your UMKC Outlook Live account has a to-do list you can access anytime you sign onto your e-mail account. This is a quick, convenient way to put your to-do’s where you’ll see them often. However, if you aren’t one to actually sign in to the Outlook account often (because you have a different e-mail service or smartphone) there are other options. One free online service called Toodledo allows you to make a to-do list online, and then access it from anywhere. You can access your account from any computer, your smartphone, and sync your list to your email, calendar, RSS reader, and via IM. They also have widgets you can add to your web browser so you don’t even need to go to the website! With so many options,  you’re sure to find exactly what you need to help you succeed.

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