I completed my first term this summer. This is the first term our program is being offered mostly online. We go to class one full day for lecture, one full day for lab, and have most of the material presented online and lots of self-study. Overall I think this works well for me because I have children and a job and the fewer hours I have to actually be sitting in a classroom the better. BUT..... it was difficult at first for us to figure out where our classes were posted online, where our assignments for each class were posted online, what was due for whom and when.
What ended up working for me, since most of our written information was posted online was to print out EVERYTHING. I then organized by class in a binder with sticky tab notes for all of that information. I organized it by week, by subject, by study guide etc. That way if I needed to know what was due for a particular class I could look at the tabs for that class and see "assignment #1, pharmacology, due 07/21/2006", etc. and then flip to that section and get everything I needed to know. I guess just breaking it down into as little chunks as I could and making it impossible to miss, was what I did.
I also lived by a planner, which I have never done before. I always like the idea of having one, but lack the diligence to actually write everything in there. But I found it helpful to have one place to look for final deadlines for papers, projects, exams, etc. That way, I could look at a week and know if I had any big deadlines looming, and then could go the binder for everything I needed to know about it.
I dont' think any of these things is terribly innovative, it's just a matter of breaking down the big chunk of information into smaller chunks that you can manage over a specific period of time. Sometimes I found I could do that by weeks, but toward the end I found I needed to do it day by day depending on how much I had going on.
For studying, note cards works well and we also had a lot of online quizzes and such available.
In the end I got 3 A's and a B, so whatever I did must have worked! I think that's the key though, it's looking at what is in front of you and figuring out, for yourself,
how you are best going to be able to manage it.
I'm rambling now, but I also did not stress out about doing all of the reading. There was SO much. There is no conceivable way I could have read word for word everything that was assigned. I learned to skim, take in what I didn't know, and from the assignments go back and read again the sections that seemed to be emphasized. Do not panic if you hear that someone else in the class does ALL of the reading! Maybe they need to, maybe you need to, but if you don't really
need to, don't panic because someone else is doing it!
I toyed with the idea of not even attending lecture because it was SO boring! But, I made myself go. I wanted into nursing school
so bad, how could I not go to class?! Honestly though, the way they are teaching our program, I could do it on my own (lab excluded). The lectures consist of our professors mostly reading to us the notes we have in front of us, and let's face it, I can read on my own.
Anyway, I don't know if this helps. It feels more of a reflection of my personal experience this summer, which apparently I needed to get out!
Good luck to you, I'm sure you'll figure out what works.