By George Stergioulas from AKADIMOS
Since the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, online learning has grown in popularity, giving individuals the freedom to pursue their educational objectives while balancing other commitments like employment and family. However, from the standpoint of both adult educators and learners, the enhanced flexibility of online education comes with the difficulty of efficient time management.
The technique of managing time in order to use, save and avoid wasting it so as to effectively proceed with a task and achieve success is known as time management. The creation and implementation of a timetable, the division of subjects, the number of periods allotted to teachers, lesson planning, teachers’ regular attendance and punctuality in online class, the advance planning of activities, teachers’ counseling and guidance, the allocation of class time to individual students and the planning of extracurricular activities are all aspects of time management (Sahito, Khawaja, Panhwar, Siddiqui, Saeed, 2016).
Regarding poor time management, Stephen R. Covey, a renowned author and time management expert, viewed poor time management as a result of a lack of focus on what matters most. In his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Covey emphasises the importance of prioritising tasks based on their urgency and importance and aligning them with one’s values and goals. Covey argues that poor time management stems from not setting clear goals, failing to plan effectively and not focusing on high-priority tasks.
It is needed for educators to have time management competencies, since it affects both the educational instruction’s quality and the students’ learning results. However, poor time management abilities, from the perspective of adult educators can have a variety of detrimental effects on students, since it results in unclear course objectives, missed deadlines and disorganised delivery of course materials.
What are the consequences of poor time management of educators and their emotional repercussion to students?
- Negligence: Usually, when adult educators are behind schedule, they may feel the pressure to rush through educative materials in online class, a phenomenon which will result to the lack of engagement and the development of the sentiment of negligence, from the perspective of students.
- Increased stress: The usage of poor time management methods and strategies by adult educators can increase the level of anxiety and stress of students, as they may feel overwhelmed by the complexity and the amount of tasks they have to complete and frustrated by the lack of support they are receiving from the educators, due to their incompetence of managing effectively the time intervals of their educational tasks.
- Frustration and anger: It is common for students to become frustrated and particularly angry, if they feel like there is no time cohesion to the provided assignments and tasks they have to complete, result of the poor time management skills of educators. This phenomenon may lead to a negative classroom atmosphere and even to disciplinary issues.
Sentiment of inadequacy: Adult students who are already struggling with their time management skills may feel like they are the only ones who are having difficulties to keep up – the responsibility for the poor quality of the course is solely theirs and that the educators are not to blame. This occurrence may lead trainees to feel they do not have what it takes to continue with their studies, resulting in the creation of a negative self-image about themselves.
Adult educators can begin by embracing the following tactics, in order to enhance their capacity for time management in an appropriate and effective manner:
- Prioritise work and set clear objectives: One of the most important time management techniques for adult online educators is to prioritise tasks and set clear goals. This entails identifying the course or programme’s objectives, decomposing them into smaller, more manageable activities and deciding which tasks are most crucial to achieving the overall aim.
- Making a timetable: For adult educators, making and following a schedule is another crucial time-management technique. Setting up a regular work plan and allocating time for particular tasks and activities are required for this.
- Development of ‘’have to do’’ list: Online educators frequently teach many courses at multiple institutions. As a result, to-do lists are essential for ensuring that all obligations and responsibilities are done on time.
- Usage of technology to automate tasks and streamline processes: Using technology to automate tasks and streamline processes is a time management method that can help online educators to save time and reduce manual workload. This involves leveraging technology tools and software to automate routine tasks and streamline processes, such as grading assignments and tracking student progress.
In conclusion, effective time management skills are crucial for online adult educators to promote a positive atmosphere in their online classes. By setting clear goals and priorities, creating a schedule, using technology to streamline processes, online educators can manage their workload, maintain productivity and create a respectful and inclusive learning environment. By implementing these time management methods, adult online educators can achieve successful learning outcomes and help their students reach their full potential.
American Psychological Association. (2008). Anxiety. Psychological topics: https://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety
Amy Hankins. (2016). 5 Time Management tips For Managing an Online Classroom. Elearning Industry: https://elearningindustry.com/5-time-management-tips-managing-online-classroom
Arsal Hamayun. (2022). How Technology and eLearning Have Made Time Management Easy. Elearning Industry: https://elearningindustry.com/how-technology-and-elearning-have-made-time-management-easy
Stephen. R. Covey. (1986). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits/
Zafarullah Sahito, Mumtaz Khawaja, Uzma Murad Panhwar, Abida Siddiqui, Humera Saeed. (2016). Teachers’ Time Management and the Performance of Students: A Comparison of Government and Private Schools of Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan. World Journal of Education: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1157611.pdf