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ADHD Adults

Online Classes and Adult ADHD

I work full-time and go to school part-time, mostly online. I wanted to see if anyone could recommend resources that would be useful to assist in getting work done, understanding the work, and so forth.

I do have an accommodation plan through disability services at the college. I just wasn’t sure what might be useful in that regard.

Thank you!



I am right there with you - i work full-time and go to school online full-time.  I am glad you posted your request as I also would benefit from any advice!  It is very hard for me.  Here is one site I am still looking at but seems PACKED with time management information - I believe it was recommended by my school.

The link is:

I would love any others that you or anyone has to suggest.  I feel like there has to be resources out there for ADHD/Online learning.  I do not have any accommodations through my school and it is VERY writing intensive - started the new semester today and am kind of freaking out.

Best of luck! grin

Posted by SuzieSubie on Jan 22, 2014 at 6:31am

Hello again Lmrb19!

After posting the link I shared, I explored a little more and found that a fair share of the links I was interested in were expired!!!  But I did discover a great resource for college writing put out by Dartmouth.  (This is essential for me because I struggle immensely with writing.)

Free, packed with information, bookmarked immediately!

Posted by SuzieSubie on Jan 22, 2014 at 6:59am

Oh - this is how I got to the writing page.  This is another supportive free resource put out by Dartmouth.  Learning strategies….endless resources for students.

Posted by SuzieSubie on Jan 22, 2014 at 7:01am

Okay, I. was a college professor and used to teach online courses, so maybe I can offer a tip or two, and a warning.

The warning is this: there is less structure to an online course, since you don’t have to be in class, normally, unless there is a real-time session scheduled. So all those really bad ADHD habits are just waiting to rear their ugly heads: procrastination, distractions, etc. These can be deadly to online learning.

Tips: like any other big project, break it into manageable chunks. With any luck, the online prof will have a suggested schedule: read the assignment on Monday and Tuesday, participate in online discussions on Wednesday and Thursday, have your weekly essay handed in on Friday (or maybe you get the weekend to finish it).

If the prof does not have a suggested schedule, and you aren’t sure about when to do what, ASK.

If you are not sure what is required for a specific assignment, ASK.

If you have difficulty with writing (as some folks with ADHD do), TELL the prof, and ASK about both online and campus resources. The Writing and Learning Center where I taught would work with people online, with their drafts or outlines or whatever. Moreover, the Writing Advisers usually have access to faculty, so if you can’t figure out even how to ask your questions, they can usually go to bat for you—using your name or not, according to your own preferences.

Hope this helps! BTW: grading assignments in an online course is even less structured than the assignments, and that’s where I ran into problems. :(

Posted by ADD me on Jan 22, 2014 at 7:54am


Kudos for you.  That’s quite a load you’re carrying.  I find I so far haven’t been able to do an online class.  It’s too easy to put it off and I just never get to it.  Understanding the work and getting it done are two very different questions.  If you are having trouble understanding content, hopefully there are study centers open when you can get there.  If not the disability services might be able to find a tutor.  Is there a study group in the class that you could get to?
Getting work done is something I think all ADDers struggle with.  So I think the answer is an extension of what works for you in other areas of your life.  How do you get to work on time?  That might help you in getting your assignments done on time.  How do you make things important enough they get on the top of your to do list (or actually get done)?  That may help you in getting the work done.
Keep talking over your questions with the disability people, and if you feel comfortable, with people in your classes.  I think it’s a lifelong problem to be wrestled with.  I struggle to get to work on time and I only live 7 minutes away.
Good luck and keep going!
Posted by whizinc on Jan 22, 2014 at 5:30am

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 22, 2014 at 6:04pm

Try wearing headphones when doing computer work. It helps you to focus on what’s being said when you are listening to/watching lectures, but it also helps to limit distractions.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 22, 2014 at 6:11pm

I might have a few other ideas that might help. When I was taking a few online courses, a few of the professors would record their in class sessions and post the video. I’d watch the video as if I were in class and take notes. If I don’t take notes, I’m a lot more likely to drift. The best part was that if I did drift a bit or I wanted to take a few small breaks, I could pause and rewind the class video. Try and email the professors of the courses you are interested in and find out if they offer that option and take the ones that do. As others have warned, you’ll really have to talk yourself into getting the work done as soon as possible so as not to have to cram so much. See if they offer digital (PDF, etc.) versions of your classroom books so that you can upload them to your phone. Study for 5-10 minutes at a time when you get breaks.
I use technology to its fullest ability. At the beginning of the semester, on a motivated day before the classes really start, I would input as much information about assignments and projects into my tablet/phone calendars. It really doesn’t take that long to do. Then I would set reminders for all of them.
The classes that I did attend I recorded with my phone. You don’t have to do video, but that’s an option as well with many of the phone stands they have. That way I could go back and listen to the professor as I needed during an assignment.
Try and figure out when you are most attentive and use that time to study or do work. Whether it’s early morning or late at night (my preference), it doesn’t matter. As long as you are able to work around your own learning abilities. We all have strengths and weaknesses in our lives, not just with Add/ADHD, and we all learn in our own individual ways, so trying to understand what is conducive to your way of learning is important. If you prefer interactive media for learning, turn to YouTube. There are plenty of people that seem to love to record stuff about college courses.
I would study for 30 minutes, then have to play a game on my phone for 5-10 minutes before I could get back into it. Obviously, I had to play a game that only lasted a short duration to make sure I didn’t get obsessed with it, but it helped relieve the stress. Maybe a quick game of Bejeweled or Tetris.
Anyway, this is what worked for me. And while it may not be your method, hopefully the advice will help inspire some great ideas. Change the way you look at it and decide it’s something you really want. It’ll be challenging, but it can be fun as well. Be creative with your learning methods, it doesn’t always have to be boring flash cards and highlighters, there are a lot of useful learning apps. Good luck!

Posted by Indubious1 on Jan 25, 2014 at 8:56am

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