Putting together an effective study group
- Limit your group size. 3 - 4 four people is best, and certainly no more than 6.
- Look beyond your friendship circle for members. This'll bring you two benefits: first, you can draw on the unique strengths of others. Second, you'll have the opportunity to get to know someone new...and create a new friend in the process.
- Take a bit of time in your first meeting for each member to talk about their strengths, and how these strengths can help the group. You can also talk about the things you are struggling with. An important part of learning is understanding yourself, your strengths, and things you need to work on.
- Have a plan. Identify the important topics or concepts you need to cover, and develop a schedule. Expect your group members to prepare in advance of each study session.
Ideas for study group activities
- Ask each group member to put together some practice questions and test each other. Your textbook can be good resource to help with this. Most texts include chapter review questions that you can draw on.
- Assign an essay question and have each group member prepare an outline of how they would approach the question. Share and discuss your outlines.
- Assign each group member a topic or concept, and ask them to prepare and present a one page summary to share with the study group.
- Assign each group member a topic or concept, and have them 'teach' it to the rest of the group. Teaching others helps you to master and remember the material...so everyone benefits.