Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Savings Challenge #3 - Time Matters

For adult learners time is money, literally.  Trips back and forth to campus mean higher gas bills.  Tight schedules mean more fast food for the family. Reducing job hours (if that is even an option) means less income. With pressure from all sides what's one more loan?  But first, consider counting minutes along with those pennies.

A great way to save time is to mix and match online and face-to-face courses. You'll save travel time & parking expenses.  Rather than grabbing a $4 mocha and bagel (aka "dinner") on the way to class, you can throw in a load of laundry, grab some leftovers and a Coke from the fridge, turn on the computer and you are in class.  Traveling for work?  Debrief the day over happy hour, then head up to your room and log in to class without missing a beat.

Already studying online? Connect with your classmates and professors outside of required posts and assignments.  Think of the group as a unique resource.  You are all adults, from various backgrounds, reading the same material.  Tap into that brain trust!  Stuck on a question?  Post it to the group.  Having a hard time finding a paper topic or good resources?  Ask for others' favorite resources.  Research time can be cut from days to hours, often with better quality results.  Truly great groups become incredibly efficient at completing their work while getting the most from the course and building long-lasting professional relationships. 

And remember the 80/20 rule of adult learners.  As an adult learner it is very possible there may only be time to complete 80% of the reading (or create an 80% perfect assignment).  The trick is being ok with less than perfection (or guessing which is the right 80% :)