Forming study group is a very effective strategy for enhancing learning. A study group creates an environment of productivity, which can increase your retention and motivate you to study more. A good study group requires the right mix of motivated people with the right balance of skills. Members of study groups share unique insights and learn from each other. Groups that are effective generate positive energy, encourage active participation, instill discipline and require commitment from members.
Other benefits of study groups are:
GAINING BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF SUBJECT OR COURSE
Actively engaging in reading, learning and studying a topic or course helps students to be empowered and motivated to do well as a group. Through group studying, you can hear different perspectives on the subject and therefore understand it better.
GAIN WELL-ROUNDED INSIGHT
By having each group member read, study and summarize important points in a chapter, other students in the group gain the capability of understanding chapters at a deeper level. Studying with others can be an eye opening experience.
HELPS YOU LEARN FASTER
Students in study groups usually learn faster than students who study alone. In a situation where a student doesn’t understand a concept, the student can ask fellow group members questions that will help him or her understand.
SHARPENS YOUR STUDY SKILLS
Being part of a study group allows you to observe different types of study methods that your group members are using and you might want to adopt a suitable study method that differs from the one you have been using.
A study group solidifies and clarifies course materials, leading to more promising classroom experience, and potentially a better GPA. Also, while some students might be better at explaining some course materials to their mates, for others, it is a great way to review and refine their understanding of it, and for others who may be struggling, they can gain a fresh perspective to suit their learning style better.
IT COMBATS PROCRASTINATION
If you are the kind of student who procrastinates your study hours, study group helps you combat procrastination and achieve more. Through group study, you are surrounded with other students who are motivated and serious and who can become building blocks to success.
MAINTAINS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Study group is a good way of studying which enables students share ideas and thoughts about a particular course. Presentations can be made among members who will be highly beneficial to the learning process.
TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN FORMING OR JOINING A STUDY GROUP
- The first step for making an effective study group is to find classmates who are also interested in teaming up.
- Your group should not exceed five effective members. They should all be committed to achieving a good grade.
- Weekly meetings are essential. Appoint a group leader who will determine meeting locations, study session time and keep the group informed about the next meeting and the subject or topic to be treated.
- During the group study, choose group roles and be sure to review together, go over difficult homework questions, and address any other problems group members face during class. If you have multiple chapters to review or multiple topics to cover, you could assign each person in the group specific topics or chapters to present to the group.
- Study groups are about reviewing materials, not learning it the first time. Trying to wait until it’s time for the study group to meet and deciding to learn in the group will derail studying and make it less effective. Members should read on their own then review with the group.
- Study sessions should not be less than an hour so that studying won’t be rushed and it should not be too long so that productivity won’t drop and then members won’t lose focus.
- The leader should always pick a format for the group study session. The study group session will be more effective if the members know ahead of time what they will cover in that session and in what order they will cover it.
- Discuss and quiz each other on the material. Treat this like an oral exam. Every member should come into the group well prepared but should be ready to identify areas they do not understand. Teach others material you understand and learn from others who understand some materials better than you do.
- There should always be a quick “review” or “wrap-up” at the end of the study session to recap on what was covered.
Study groups when done the right way can be incredibly helpful. They are actually one of the best ways to prepare for tests or exams. Before you join a study group, find out if the group is actually studying and not just socializing. Choose a group in which the members are as motivated as you to succeed in their studies.