Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3.30-4.30pm the Senior Centre is available for the Later Years Homework Club. The Later Years Team recommends that students form small groups with like-minded students in the same class to collaboratively review what they have been learning in class, and to develop effective study notes.
Here are some reasons why study groups are an effective form of study and a few tips to get you started:
Why study groups?
Forming study groups is a very effective strategy for enhancing learning. Groups share insights and learn from each other. Group members can also teach confusing concepts they understand to other group members. Study groups are particularly effective for completing projects, developing presentations and preparing for exams. The following are advantages of study groups and strategies for making study groups effective.
Improve your notes - Study groups allow students to compare notes. This allows students to fill in any information or important concepts they may have missed.
Share your talents - Everyone has individual talents, so group members can learn from each other. Study groups provide opportunities to benefit from the skills and knowledge of other group members. By being aware of the division of labour, a study group can support students who are weaker in certain subjects, and teaching others will strengthen the knowledge of stronger students. E.g. Dividing an English text study - one does characters, one does themes, one does setting/background history etc.
Get a support system and be a support person - School can be stressful, so it is good to have support from people in similar situations. A study group is a great way to give and receive motivation and support from fellow students. And if you are unable to attend class, you can get notes from members of your study group.
Learn new study skills - By joining a study group, you will have opportunity to observe a wide variety of study methods in action. After considering the pros and cons, you can improve your own study regimen by incorporating the best methods with your own.
Cover more material - Working in groups makes it possible to focus on more concepts since multiple people can review more material than just one. Groups may assign topics to individual members to study and summarise for the group. This allows students to learn more in a shorter time.
Beat procrastination - When in a study group, students have to be present at a specific time, and they are not able to procrastinate (unless they skip the study group completely). If you struggle with procrastination, a study group might just be the solution for you!
Real world practise - Working in a study group gives you an opportunity to hone your people skills. In the future, you will often find yourself working with colleagues on projects in a group. If you come across a difficult situation in your study group, you can use it to practice
It's recommended to keep study groups between 4 to 6 people. People may socialise too much in smaller groups, and cannot cover as much material. In larger groups, not everyone will contribute equally and organisation can be a problem.
The most effective group is one where members have a common goal of earning good grades. Students dedicated to succeeding in school usually complete assigned reading, take extensive notes, and clear up confusion by asking questions and contributing to the group.
It is best to study in environments without distractions and areas where group members can communicate freely.
What protocols can you develop to ensure the study group is productive and effective?
- Be on time
- No phones
- What else can you suggest?
A few strategies:
- Memory cards
- Practise tests
- Find an online quiz
- Active or passive study