Pile Up Homework Assignments

How To Complete Online Assignments On Time

Most of the people who study online have other demanding commitments. As a result, online assignments can pile up and become overwhelming. At the last minute you may find yourself scrambling to get your assignment submitted before the clock strikes 12 midnight. Or, a worse scenario might be that you miss the deadline completely, thinking that you had more time. In order to avoid these mishaps and ensure you complete your online assignments on time, you should organize around your hectic schedule. The following strategies are what I used to ensure that all of my assignments were submitted on time.

1. Create A Time Table

At least a week before the official commencement of class, a course outline is usually posted in the course area. This course outline gives the assignments for each week. Get a head start by reviewing the eLearning course outline, a day or two prior, instead of waiting until class begins. Then create a time table; this way you already have a feel of what is expected of you for the entire course.

Pay specific attention to those assignments that are not a part of the discussion assignments. Usually, the weekly discussions are easier to complete than the written assignments. Use a calendar and mark the dates for the assignments for the course, depending on the length of the course. My courses at Walden University were 8 weeks long, which made it was easy for me to write down the courses on a ruled paper and stick it on my working desk where it was always visible.

The goal of writing down the assignments is to have a mental knowledge about how you will be able to fit in with your work schedule. For me working out how I will do my assignments was a little less challenging because we were given a monthly duty-sheet, at work, the majority of the times.

2. Gather Information For Your Online Assignments Beforehand

Usually, the assignments are interrelated to the classroom discussions; this makes it easier to source the information. Take time to read some of the recommended chapters and make sure to use the assignment questions and criteria for grading as a guide.

As you go along sourcing information, you may want to bookmark the pages you read, if it is a printed copy. If it is a digital book, you can print the relevant pages (if you have a preference for reading on paper than on a computer) and highlight the parts of the passage which you think answers the questions. Be sure to bookmark URLs to library articles you want to use for referencing, according to school’s reference guidelines. Also, remember to keep all printed material in a labeled folder so you can easily find when you are ready to construct your assignment.

3. Make Notes As You Read The Course Materials

If you have a brilliant idea while reading write it down and make sure your writing is legible. Sometimes we tell ourselves we will remember; however, if we fail to write, it is likely we will forget what these ideas were when it is time to do the assignment. If you are one who does not mind getting your book dirty you can make notes in the books as you go along.

For me, I enjoyed writing ideas alongside the text when it triggered an idea, but I used pencil which can be easily erased if I decide to sell my used books. When I wrote down my ideas, it was easier for me when it was time to do the first draft of my online assignment. Furthermore, if you fail to start your assignment early, the notes will provide a foundation on which to build your points, quickly.

4. Start Doing Your Online Assignment In Advance

Sometimes, you might have written assignments due weekly or bi-weekly; make sure that you recheck the date for submission. Review your reading material and use the notes and highlighted text as a guide to formatting your question.

When writing the draft for your online assignment, use the criteria and make sure that you answer the questions. Use appropriate headings and sub-headings to make your assignment look professional.

When writing the draft, you may find you may write more than the stipulated pages, but do not worry. The best way to make a brilliant online assignment is to write the thoughts as they flow then taking the time to arrange your content appropriately under the headings.

After you have done brainstorming and free-writing, look back at what you wrote and rearrange the content accordingly. A well written online assignment should be reader friendly. Avoid long sentences where necessary and use appropriate scenarios or examples to make your point to the instructor. Write as concisely as possible and ensure that you do not go above the page stipulations. If you did not write the introduction earlier on, now is the time to do so. Review guidelines for writing an introduction. Lastly, make sure to add a conclusion and references for your assignment (Check guidelines for referencing format), then proof read. (You can also use tools such as Grammarly for grammar check and Turnitin to help with avoiding plagiarism, if available in your classroom resources).

Final Word

The tips above are flexible. Feel free to add your individuality or preferences and make the tips more relevant to your circumstances. These strategies worked for me and from my recollection I only submitted a late assignment once in my almost 3.8 years of online studying. Some instructors deduct marks for late submission of assignments so please strive to be early when submitting your online assignments. All the best in your online learning experience.

For further insight into how you can succeed in online learning, read the article Five-step Strategy for Student Success with Online Learning.

In the field of educational technology, some apps might be getting too smart.

More and more apps are delivering on-demand homework help to students, who can easily re-purpose the learning tools to obtain not just assistance, but also answers. Whether or not that's cheating—and how to stop it—is one of the concerns surrounding a new app that can solve math equations with the snap of a camera. While the software has inspired teachers to create real-world homework problems that can't be automatically solved, that strategy doesn't hold up to other apps that tap into real-life brains for solutions.

Here's a look at 7 apps that can do your homework for you, and what they have to say about cheating:

PhotoMath

Price: Free
Availability: iOS, Android app coming in early 2015

The new, seemingly magic app allows users to take pictures of typed equations, and then outputs a step-by-step solution. As of Wednesday, the app is the number one free app on the App Store. But the biggest issue, one teacher argues, isn't if students will use the app to cheat, because many will. Rather, it's about how teachers will adapt. A PhotoMath spokeswoman said educators have welcomed the app with positive reviews, but the software remains "quite controversial."

"We didn't develop PhotoMath as a cheating tool. We really wanted kids to learn," said Tijana Zganec, a sales and marketing associate at tech company MicroBlink, which created PhotoMath. "If you want to cheat, you will find a way to cheat. But if you want to learn, you can use PhotoMath for that."

iHomework

Whether you’re a high schooler with eight periods of classes or a college student tackling dozens of credits, there’s one thing you’ve got for sure: a mess of assignments. iHomework can help you keep track of all your work, slicing and dicing it in a variety of ways. Sorting it by due date, week, month, or by course, the app is more organized than a Trapper Keeper. And in integrating data from Questia, you can link your reading material to your assignments so you don’t have to dig through a pile of papers to find the right information.

A scheduling feature can help you keep track of those random bi-weekly Thursday labs, and you can even mark the location of your courses on a map so you don’t end up on the wrong side of campus. And finally, with iCloud syncing, you can access all this information on whatever Apple-compatible device you’re using at the moment — no need to dig for your iPad.

Google Apps for Education

Taking the search giant's suite of free browser-based apps and sandboxing them so they are safe for school use, Google Apps for Education is an excellent alternative to the mainstream installable productivity software, but this one has a perk that almost school board will love—it's free. Packaging together favorites like Gmail, Hangouts, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive with Classroom, a digital hub for organizing assignments and sending feedback, the goal of this collection is to make learning a more collaborative process.

Though Google Apps for Education is cloud-hosted, the programs can be used offline, ideal for when your student needs to escape the internet and work distraction-free. And since it works on any device, it also helps students avoid buying overly expensive hardware. That means more money for extracurricular activities.

HwPic

Price: Free, but some homework services require payment
Availability: iOS and Android

HwPic is a tutoring service that allows students to take send pictures of their homework to tutors, who will then respond within minutes to your questions with a step-by-step solution. There's even an option to expedite the answers if a student is in a hurry. HwPic Co-Founder Tiklat Issa said that the app was initially rejected by Apple's App Store, which believed it would promote cheating, but he successfully argued that just because someone uses the app in a way that it's not meant to be used doesn't mean the app should be punished.

Issa added that HwPic prohibits cheating in its terms and conditions. Tutors don't solve homework that has words like "Quiz" or "Exam," and they often know if a student is sending a photo during a test if they've paid for expedited answers, and if the photo is dim, blurry and taken under a desk. "We've minimized cheating," said Issa. "We haven't eliminated it. That's kind of unrealistic."

Wolfram Alpha

Price: $2.99
Availability: iOS and Android

Wolfram Alpha is similar to PhotoMath, only that it targets older students studying high levels of math and doesn't support photos. The service also outputs step-by-step solutions to topics as advanced as vector calculus and differential equations, making it a popular tool for college students.

"It's cheating not doing computer-based math, because we're cheating students out of real conceptual understanding and an ability to drive much further forward in the math they can do, to cover much more conceptual ground. And in turn, that's cheating our economies," said Conrad Wolfram, Wolfram Research’s Director of Strategic Development, in a TEDx Talk. "People talk about the knowledge economy. I think we're moving forward to what we're calling the computational knowledge economy."

Homework Helper

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Chinese Internet search company Baidu launched an app called Homework Helper this year with which students can crowdsource help or answers to homework. Users post a picture or type their homework questions onto online forums, and those who answer the questions can win e-coins that can be used to buy electronics like iPhones and laptops.

The app has logged 5 million downloads, much to the dismay of many some parents who argue that the students spend less time thinking about challenging problems. A Homework Helper staffer admitted to Quartz, "I think this is a kind of cheating."

Slader

Price: Free, but some homework services require payment
Availability:
iOS

Slader is a crowdsourcing app for high school and college students to post and answer questions in math and science. While students can post original homework for help, many questions in popular textbooks have already been answered on the app, according to Fast Company. An Illinois high school said earlier this year that it suspected students were using the service to cheat on their math homework.

Slader argues that it's "challenging traditional ideas about math and education," and said that the ideas behind its app "aren't a write-off to teachers," according to its blog. Slader told San Francisco media outlet KQED that it shouldn't be dismissed as a cheating tool, but rather considered a way for students to access real-time help.

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