Tips for Establishing Effective Study Groups
Studying in groups is an effective way of mastering information taught in class. Here are some tips to organize your study group:
- Designate a regular time and place to meet that is free of distractions. The Skill Centre firstname.lastname@example.org can help you to arrange a meeting space. A Skill Centre tutor may be available to help you to direct your study group and plan study activities.
- Approach other students in your class to join your study group, if you don’t know the other students you can enlist the help of your instructor or the Skill Centre to get started.
- Communicate with your group members; a facebook page can work well as a place to share information or to post and share photos of any whiteboard notes you make. Use the discussion features of your course moodle account to inform other students of the time and place that you meet.
- Be a good study group member
- Attend the class so that you can contribute ; a study group is not a substitute for class attendance
- Arrive with the intention of participating in group discussions. Prepare for the group, review the notes from your class, and identify any topic areas that you found confusing
- Come prepared to work and bring all the materials you might need
- Stay on topic, save the social conversations for when the group meeting ends
- End the study session with a summary of what you accomplished and a plan for your next session
- Use collaborative learning techniques to engage members and keep the group on task. Activity planning can be shared among the group members:
- Note reading – take turns in your group reading aloud the notes taken in class to ensure that everyone understands them in a similar way.
- Predict an exam question from the day’s lecture and compile these questions as a study aid when preparing for final exams.
- Use graphic organizers to relate , connect and contrast concepts http://www.educationoasis.com/curriculum/graphic_organizers.htm
- Build flashcards based on the vocabulary and concepts of the class - quiz each other on these cards and concepts.
- Divide and conquer difficult concepts . Break the content into topic areas, assign the topics to the group members and have each member present summaries, create a concept map or teach the content to the other group members.
- Test your understanding, quiz each other, or ask your instructor for practice quiz materials that you can use in review.
- Check out the Skill Centre's collaborative learning strategies document for some great activities to use with your study group.
- Close your session with a summary of what you have accomplished! Well done!