DEVELOPMENT OF A LEARNING PLAN AND AN EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT SCHEDULE
You may have been referred to this website because your academic performance needs improvement; alternatively you may simply want to maximise your learning experience. The first step in this process is to review the information available on the Queen's Learning Strategies Development website: http://www.queensu.ca/learningstrategies/index.html
On this page, click on the link for Undergraduate students. You will find a large list of topics containing very useful material. Spend time reviewing this material BEFORE you begin your Learning Plan and Time Management Plan. You may also want to schedule a meeting with a Learning Strategies Counsellor. The counsellor will help you to identify areas that need improvement in the way you manage your time and approach your studies.
If you are on Academic Probation you MUST submit your Learning Plan and Time Management Plan by no later than 4:00 p.m. on the first day of class in September.
Preparing a Learning Plan: An example of a Learning Plan can be found at this link: Learning Plan Example. In preparing this plan, first review the material on the Learning Strategies website. Then — take some time to think carefully about the factors that may be impeding your academic success. Some examples may be:
- Do you go to every lecture, tutorial, and lab?
- Do you complete ALL WORK that is suggested by the professor — even the work you don't have to hand in?
- Do you see the professor during his/her office hours?
- Do you review your notes prior to the next lecture?
- When you should be working, are you easily distracted by housemates, friends, Facebook, your cellphone, etc?
- Are you over-committed to extracurriculars?
- Are you leading a healthy lifestyle — good eating, sleeping, exercise habits?
Make a list of all of the things that you believe may be hindering your academic success. Then consider, and write down, what actions you propose to address each of the problems you have listed. Then commit yourself to following through with the actions you have listed. Finally, prepare a Learning Plan of the same form as that shown at the website link: Learning Plan Example.
Preparing a Time Management plan: An example of a Time Management plan can be found at this link: Time Management Plan Example. Time management is critical to ensuring that you allocate the time necessary to review and complete assigned tasks for each of your courses, as well as having scheduled time for yourself. To create a Time Management Plan (using the link Time Management Plan Example as an example):
- Using Excel, create a spreadsheet table such as that shown in the example plan. Fill in the time you have for scheduled classes, indicating lectures, tutorials and labs.
- Next, add in time to complete personal tasks — thing like meals, personal preparations, transport to and from class, etc. This time is indicated in purple on the example plan.
- At the end of each day, schedule about an hour for overall review of material you have covered in lectures that day. This shouldn't take long — the review involves reading quickly through class notes, etc — but this creates a 'memory trace' which enables your brain to more readily retrieve the information later on.
- Schedule a similar review on Sunday evening — for a couple of hours — to review the material you will need for upcoming lectures in the following week.