Distance-Learning Courses

Learn tips and time-management skills to keep you on track when taking courses online.

What To Expect

The first two weeks of spring semester classes, Jan. 11-15 and 18-22, will be virtual. (And remember, January 18 there will be no classes in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.)

For a distance-learning course, you will have all of your classes, assignments, and exams online. There will be no in-person requirements as part of the course, and you will not see a location on your class schedule. Some distance-learning courses are completely asynchronous, meaning you have no scheduled live class sessions and are responsible for completing coursework - most often in Carmen - by assigned due dates. Other distance-learning courses may have a synchronous requirement for a live virtual meeting one or more times a week.

For a three-credit semester course, expect to have approximately three hours of instructional content and six hours of homework and class preparation. 

Quick Tips

  • Give your brain a break when in the middle of long work sessions. Create art or music with tools such as Adobe Fresco (log in using your Ohio State credentials for free access) and GarageBand. Use the timer on your phone or iPad to remind yourself to get back to work. 

  • Because you won’t be engaging in live sessions in asynchronous courses, it will be important that you plan time to complete course work like required readings, pre-recorded lecture videos, and assignments. Access course work in Carmenand use Microsoft Plannerto help you prioritize and plan when you'll complete assignments. 

  • Remember to customize your Carmen notification settings. You can choose which course activities will trigger an email or push notification on your mobile devices.

Time blocking

Time blocking is a proven method to help you focus and accomplish the things you need to achieve in a set amount of time.

For distance-learning courses, you will want to build your schedule around any live, synchronous sessions or virtual appointments with your instructors. After you have blocked time off for scheduled Zoom sessions, build the rest of your asynchronous classwork, homework, and projects around them. 

As an example, for a single three-credit distance-learning course that meets synchronously, you could plan to do homework on non-class days. For classes that require more asynchronous work through Carmen, you could block time to complete those modules before moving on to any homework or projects you have associated with that class. You should plan for approximately three hours of instructional activity or class interactions and approximately six hours of homework and class prep per course.

Example of time allocation for a distance-learning course: Scheduled class in Zoom twice a week and tentative blocks for homework on all other days.
Example #1 of how a student's time may be allocated for a distance-learning course.

Example of time allocation for a distance-learning course: Scheduled class in Zoom once a week and tentative blocks for Carmen Learning and homework activities on all other days.
Example #2 of how a student's time may be allocated for a distance-learning course.