Procrastination. I think we all suffer from this human problem. And we all probably have a sense that it rarely leads to optimum outcomes, though the ancient Greeks and Romans thought it was preferable to do things later after more reflection. (Partnoy, 2012)

Studies of the impact of procrastination on outcomes in online courses tell a different story. Waiting until the end of the window to complete quizzes and exams leads to lower grades. (Cerezo, Esteban, Sanchez-Santillan, & Nunex, 2017) (Levy & Ramin, 2012)

It is as simple as that.

Some of this is due to the “cramming” effect our teachers warned us about all through our schooling – not really having time to adsorb the exam material. Some is possibly due to just running out of time to complete the assignments – students kicked out of an exam at midnight on the due date. But waiting until late in the week to do the work will likely lower your grade.

One reason many students choose online education is the freedom to choose when and where to study. And work and family life does happen while in an online course, restricting our ability to study. But where you can, plan to work on assignments and quizzes/exams as early in the week as you can. It will pay off in higher grades.

Cerezo, R., Esteban, M., Sanchez-Santillan, M., & Nunex, J. (2017). Procrastinating Behavior in Computer-Based Learning Environments to Predict Performance: A Case Study in Moodle. Front. Psychol, 8: 1-11.

Levy, Y., & Ramin, M. (2012). Procrastination in Online Exams: What Data Analytics Can Tell Us. Proceedings of the Chais conference on instructional technologies research 2012: Learning in the technological era (pp. 41-49). The Open University of Israel.

Partnoy, f. (2012). Wait: The art and science of delay. New York: Public Affairs.


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