Organizing courses in college
I'm trying to figure out how i should organize my next actions and project list in college. I usually do homework either at school or at home. It doesn't really matter where i do it, depends more on what books/school supplies i have with me. I use Remember the milk to organize my setup.
Here is an example from one of my courses:
- read page 10-20 in book (NA)
- review notes from class (NA)
- written assignment (Project)
*read page 11-39 (NA)
*write a report
*send report to a fellow student
- waiting on test to get graded (Wait)
Should i treat each course as a project? If i should, what do I do with projects within the different courses? What contexts should i use?
I know this might be unclear, so please ask if there are any questions.
Your courses are not projects; they are areas of focus inside of a larger area of focus - your educational development. Tests and term papers are two concrete examples of projects that you may have and assignments that you can do in one physical step (reading, Q&A from end of chapter, etc.) would be a next action.
I have a similar challenge in that I have large client projects that have multiple deliverables within in. Some of these projects can be 1-3 years long. So what I do with my projects is I prefix the deliverables with the client name and project name.
Client A ABC Implementation: Project Charter Delivered
Client A ABC Implementation: 2011 Governance Meetings Structured and Scheduled
and so forth.
You may want to consider prefixing your projects with your course number or name.
Hi back -- I agree with ellobogrande on the difference between projects and courses. Each course can have any number of projects -- anything that you're going to hand in or present or be tested on is likely a project. I'd call anything that has more than one action a project. For me, projects almost always benefit from planning -- as described in chapter 3 of the book -- even if I don't always believe it when I first sit down to start planning!
Maybe, maybe not. How you set things up depends not only on you but on the list tool you use. I'm a university professor, and I assure you that my courses are projects. Any other structure tends to hide the connections between the different components of a course: reading, lecture, discussion, problem sets, tests, et cetera.
Originally Posted by ellobogrande
So if you were a student in one of your courses, would you want your list tool to provide a tree structure to represent what you need to be working on in the course?
Originally Posted by mcogilvie
I would have each course a project, each assignment a subproject. There is one objective - to get a high mark in the course, and all things you do relate to getting that mark, therefore a single project. But there are often many subprojects and open loops in the one project. As long as you have a good way to organise these, the use of subprojects works just fine. I use Microsoft Word to hold my project plans, and making a sub project is as easy as creating a sub heading and putting a smaller plan there.
I have also changed to using tags to identify energy levels. Because I'm a knowledge worker, most of these tend to be types of mental tasks that all require the same mental energy - project management, planning, detailed, abstract, administration. I use the one tag (physical) for physical work, like moving boxes, etc. I find that this helps greatly when working for many hours, you can keep energy levels higher by changing energy types. For example, if you have been writing a report for an hour or two, change to doing an admin task or some abstract thinking to give yourself a change of pace, before going back to the writing.
Originally Posted by tomata23
A mindmap might be helpful to see how concepts connect, and outlining can be helpful. These represent the state of my current understanding. You can consider them project reference material. Next actions are next actions, and can be in simple lists (which is what most students use if they use anything at all). Learning is usually non-linear, and often takes place at the frontier of our understanding. So reading assignments, problem sets, et cetera capture that frontier, the current reality. It might make sense to break out a term paper as a separate project, if it seems independent of the rest of the course.
That sounds similar to my set-up. (I'm a programmer.) I have one outline for project reference material that holds important information about how to perform various techniques that I've usually learned the hard way and don't want to forget. I have a second outline for planning projects and keeping track of my next actions. Everything there happens in the tree so that you can see a view of the big picture, but you can also flag certain items in the tree as actions (and pull all of the actions out in a separate flat list).
Originally Posted by mcogilvie
I think this is a great idea. When I get wrapped up in writing something it can be very easy to forget or ignore the physical stuff that would be a good break for my mind. Consciously mixing it up must help keep you from getting bogged down.
Originally Posted by Suelin23
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