Study groups can be helpful for preparing for many types of assessments including but not limited to multiple-choice and short-answer tests, open-book tests, and practical assessments. The following information from the Learning Curve may be helpful for how to create a study group.
Creating a great study group
Study groups are great tools for learning. Perhaps you will understand a classmate’s way of explaining it better than the instructor’s, or perhaps teaching a subject to a friend gives you a new understanding of the material. It is a ready-made pool of people you can borrow notes from if you missed a lecture, and a great way to get quizzed on all the facts you were sure you knew five minutes ago.
Below are some tips for creating a study group.
- Keep it small: The fewer people whose schedules you have to juggle, the easier it will be to meet together. Recommended size is three to five people.
- Talk with each other: How often will you meet and when? What do you want to achieve with the group’s help? Communicating what you want out of the study group is important and should be discussed at the first meeting.
- Make sure everyone has a say: It is a study group for a reason, so make sure everyone agrees on how things will be run right from the beginning.
- Be committed: This is part of your education, and should be treated as such. Agree on what to do if someone isn’t pulling their weight in the group. If it’s agreed on in advance, there’s less excuse for grumbling later.
- Meet regularly: Marathon cramming sessions are not as productive as regular, shorter ones. It is also easier to find one hour in your day than three.
- Stay focused: Appoint a leader in advance to be in charge of keeping the group on track and on time. Rotate the person each time so no one has to do it for too long.
- Plan ahead: Having a set topic or task for each session helps break up your workload. Have group members prepare for that topic, bringing pertinent questions and material to your study session.
- Build in breaks: Everyone can focus better if they know that they have break coming in a little while. It’s a great time to go to the bathroom or get a drink.
- Remember your surroundings: If you’re meeting online or in person, try to do it somewhere that does not have a lot of background noise (like traffic, construction, or television). When you’re meeting online, a headset cuts down considerably on noise level.
- Keep things enjoyable: You are setting aside this time to interact with other people — remember to enjoy it! Use your breaks to talk about non-school topics, or crown someone MVP of each session. Have some fun!
For more information on Study Groups see : Study @ Home: How to Set Up and Maintain a Virtual Study group