Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to start a study group

I am a big fan of recommending forming study groups as a great academic tool for first generation and low income college students. Study groups give you the opportunity to really understand the class material and build relationships with your classmates. Study groups are awesome.

Photo credit: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/

But, I realize, you may not know how to go about starting a study group of your very own. So here are a few tips for you to get a study group started:

Put the word out. First, you have to let your classmates know that you are starting a study group. You can create a sign up sheet and pass it around class, talk to your friends in the class or major, post to your class' website or email listserv, make an announcement before lecture or discussion (with instructor's permission), or ask the instructor to make announcement on your behalf.

Logistics, logistics, logistics. Get available times and contact information from your study group members and set a time for everyone to meet. Arrange to reserve a room or space on campus or at a convenient local spot. Let everyone know when your first meeting will be and to bring study material like textbooks, notes, or lecture recordings. , decide on how often to meet

Get on the same page.
At your first study group session, talk with your study group to agree on how often the group will meet, how the group should function, and what roles people want to take on. Roles might include leader, organizer, moderator, and notetaker. Also make sure you talk about expectations, accountability, and commitment to the study group.

Nip it in the bud.
In any group setting, problems might arise like a lack of attendance, preparation, or motivation. Whenever issues like these come up, make sure to openly discuss it with the group so everyone can benefit from the study group.

Don't go it alone.
Study groups are great to bounce ideas off of each other, but you may come to an impasse sometimes or may not collectively understand a particular topic. If this happens, go to the instructor when the group disagrees about course material or are all confuse. The instructor is the ultimate authority when it comes to class material.

Have a great day of academic achievement with your study group.

Got questions? Please feel free to ask The Advisor about it.

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