a master schedule

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					                              Time Scheduling and the Master Schedule


Why Time Scheduling?

The main reason that students drop or fail online English classes is poor time management. By the time
these students realize they have not planned their time well, they have often reached a point of no
return. In order to help you succeed in this and your other classes, I am requiring you to put some time
into at least partially planning out your semester.

Students who carefully plan to schedule their time are not ones who have decided to spend all their
time studying and doing nothing else. They usually have decided to use efficiently the time they have to
spend studying and to de-sensitize themselves to the many distractions that are commonly occurring.

What does this “desensitizing” involve? It means removing yourself from constant day-to-day, hour-to-
hour decisions as to whether you will or will not spend the next hour studying, whether you will or will
not go to the library to study, whether you will or will not go to a show on impulse, and whether or not
to use that hour between classes to get next week's lab assignment out of the way.

A workable time schedule can make decisions for you, desensitizing you to momentary distractions.

Any plan to schedule time and activities must have at its center a master schedule, that is, a schedule
of activities that is fixed. A master schedule needs to be drawn up only once a semester--unless, of
course, changes occur in the basic program. First, fill in all the required activities, such as classes and
laboratory periods. Second, add other regular activities, such as work, commuting time, sports,
housework, and regularly scheduled meetings. Third, include sleeping and eating. With the fixed
activities accounted for, the remaining blank spaces on the uncluttered chart are free for use on a
weekly or day-by-day basis. Such a schedule, taped over your desk or carried in a binder or notebook,
unclutters your mind and, more importantly, enables you to visualize the blank boxes as actual blocks
of time into which you may fit necessary activities.

With the master schedule as your source, you may construct any type of schedule that fits the
uniqueness of your courses, your part-time or full-time job, and your personality. What matters most is
that the schedule works for you.

How Much Time Scheduling?

Usually a minimum time schedule is best. In other words, plan what you know is necessary, and add to
it later only if necessary. But plan as your first schedule one you know you can keep and one that it is
important to you to keep.

First:         What courses are you taking?

Second:        How many hours do you estimate that you should study for each course each week?

Third:         What is the total number of minimum hours that you must devote per week to all
               your courses?
Fourth:        List your time schedule for the week, including all fixed times, such as classes, labs,
               club meetings, outside work, family responsibilities, travel, eating, exercise, and
               recreation.

Fifth:         Fill in the remaining hours each week with the number of hours you need to assign to
               study according to your decision in step two, either by 1) Setting up certain hours in
               which to study subjects, or 2) Setting aside certain hours that you will study, but not
               deciding in advance which courses will be studied in which hours.

Sixth:         Keep your schedule where you can see it. It should be conspicuous, so put it on top of
               your desk, pinned on the wall, or in a binder you use every day.

Remember:      Keeping to a schedule is not a matter of will power; it is the development of a habit of
               referring to the schedule and following its outline, and this habit development may take
               weeks of practice. Exceptions will occur, but afterwards you should return to the
               schedule’s pattern.

Assignment: Create a document in which you provide the following information. Save the document
with your last name, first initial, and the word “Schedule.” Upload it to me in Moodle.

Part One: List all your courses. Follow the name of each course with the number of hours the course
meets (you can round up or down, such as saying 3 hours instead of 2 hours and fifty minutes (write
OL if the class is online) and the number of hours you think that you will need outside of each course
for reading, writing, research, and other homework. (Example: Phil 7, 3 hrs in class, 6 hrs. outside
class; Eng 1A, OL, 8 hours outside class; & Poli Sci 12, 3 hrs in class, 6 hrs. outside class.)

    1. How many hours a week total are you in class and lab, and how many hours a week total do you
       think you will need for studying and assignments? (Before you try to answer this, you should
       look at the first few weeks of each course's outline and figure out the number of pages of
       reading you have been assigned, the number of writing assignments, and so on.)

    2. How many hours a week do you work?

    3. How many hours a week do you expect to devote to everything else? (List activities in broad
       categories, such as “housework,” “socializing,” “transit,” “sleep,” etc.) Make sure that you
       check your numbers and that your numbers add up to a total of 168 hours per week.

Part Two: Copy and pasted the “Master Schedule” table on the next page into your document. Create a
master schedule for yourself. Feel free to change the times in the left-hand column or to insert rows in
any way you must to reflect appropriate time blocks (go to “Table” in your word processing menu).

Tips:

Schedule a short preview time immediately before each class whenever possible. During the preview,
review all or some of your notes in preparation for the upcoming class. If you have two or three classes
in a row, preview from last to first class. Thus, if you have Chemistry and Art at 10 and 11, you might
write “P: Art/Chem” in the block before your 10:00 class.
Schedule short a review time immediately after your classes whenever possible. Use this time to edit
and summarize your notes. You could also look over any assignments that were given and begin to
plan when and how you will do them. Thus, for the schedule described above, you might write “R:
Art/Chem” in the 12:00 block.

Schedule your intensive study and review time for each class. Try to schedule some study time each
day for each class. Learning is more effectively and efficiently accomplished in shorter regular sessions
than in longer irregular sessions. Also, use more of the day (i.e. morning, afternoon) for studying.
Evening is often an ineffective time to study. When you schedule study time, be task-oriented rather
than time-oriented. Think in terms of blocks of time and what specifically needs to be accomplished,
not hours of study time. Start your study period with the courses you like least or that you're not doing
well in. Try to study the same subjects at the same time each study day. Although this seems to be a
mechanical way of scheduling, you will find that such a routine can help you develop a pattern for
efficient and effective learning.

Schedule a weekly review (WR) for each course. Do it at the end of the week if possible. This weekly
review gives you an opportunity to spread out all of the past week's notes along with the reading
assignments to see what you have been learning in the past week during class and study time for each
course. You can also look ahead to plan the next week and determine how much reading you need to
do, what projects are due, and if any tests are scheduled.

Keep open some day or evening time for daily physical activity. Remember, research indicates that
regular exercise will not only give you a general sense of well-being, but can reduce tension and help
you meet a tough class, study, and work schedule.

Label some empty blocks of time as “OPEN” for academic or personal needs.

Schedule some time to play, relax, or do whatever you want to do. This is your reward for sticking to
your schedule. In addition, you’ll enjoy your free time more.


                                      [Your Name]’s Master Schedule
                Mon.          Tues.         Wed         Thurs.         Fri.         Sat.          Sun.
6-8
7-8
8-9
10-11
11-12
12-1
1-2
2-3
3-4
4-5
5-6
6-7
7-8
8-9
9-10
10-11
11-
Part Three: Copy and pasted the following partial-semester calendar table into your document. Create
a four-week academic master calendar for yourself, listing assigned homework (use any abbreviations
that make sense), practice activities, quizzes, and exams for each course. (You may find it useful to
choose a different font color for each class.)


                                                 August
     Sun.          Mon.           Tues.           Wed.          Thurs.         Fri.           Sat.
21            22             23             24             25             26             27
28            29             30             31
                                             September
                                                           1              2              3
4             5              6              7              8              9              10
11            12             13             14             15             16             17


Here is an example of two sample weeks:

Eng 1A: Red; Phil 7, Blue; Poli Sci 12, Green.

                                                 August
     Sun.          Mon.           Tues.           Wed.         Thurs.          Fri.           Sat.
21            22             23             24             25             26             27
                             Intro in       [other]        Quiz 1
                             Moodle                        Diag Essay
                             [other]                       [other]
28            29             30             31
              Schedule due                  Practice Exs   Précis, MLA
              [other]                       [other]        1, & Pun 1
                                                           due
I have provided the entire academic semester calendar below so that you can plan out the entire term
for yourself, but you only need to supply the information for the first four weeks of the semester to me.


                                           FALL 2011 SEMESTER

                                                    August
     Sun.           Mon.           Tues.             Wed.          Thurs.         Fri.           Sat.
21             22             23               24             25             26             27
28             29             30               31
                                                September
                                                              1              2              3
4              5              6                7              8              9              10
11             12             13               14             15             16             17
18             19             20               21             22             23             24
25             26             27               28             29             30
                                                    October
                                                                                            1
2              3              4                5              6              7              8
9              10             11               12             13             14             15
16             17             18               19             20             21             22
23             24             25               26             27             28             29
30             31
                                                   November
                              1                2              3              4              5
6              7              8                9              10             11             12
13             14             15               16             17             18             19
20             21             22               23             24             25             26
27             28             29               30
                                                 December
                                                              1              2              3
4              5              6                7              8              9              10

				
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