✓ You can help each other understand the material. People understand and explain material differently. Your group members might be able to explain a concept in a way that makes more sense to you or share a trick to remember information.
✓ You might learn better in a group. Some people understand and remember information better when they can talk about it with other people.
✓ It forces you to stay on top of your material. At the very least, you are committing to studying with your group. Depending on the structure of your meeting, you may need to catch up on readings or notes before you meet in order to contribute.
✓ You can build friendships. It’s a chance to get together with people in your program and form relationships.
Online Meeting and Collaboration Tools
How Do We Set Up a Study Group?
Watch the video (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2020) and read the information below for some strategies to help you create an effective study group.
Steps to Starting a Study Group:
Step 1: Define Your Goals
What do you want to get out of your study group? Possible goals include:
Step 2: Figure Out What Works For You
There are two basic approaches to study groups. You can choose how to approach studying based on the needs of your group.
Informal Study Groups: The group meets and either goes through class material or reviews questions. (Easy! Just get together with your notes).
Structured Study Groups: The group plans what to study in advance, and might even assign parts of a reading/different roles to different participants to cover more complex material.
Step 3: Find Out How You Can All Contribute
When different people work together, they can all contribute in different ways. People have different strengths and skills that they bring to a group, and they can fill different roles that match their skills. These roles, such as Facilitator, Innovator, or Resource Gatherer, work together to help the group succeed. You can learn more about some different roles under the Group Roles tab.
Step 4: Plan Your Study Group
When you decide to form a study group, begin by planning how you would like the study group to run. Decide on the following things with your group members:
You can use this checklist to help you form your study group.
How Do We Study in a Group?
In study groups, you can use the fact that you are working with others to your advantage. There are some study activities that you need other people for! Here are some study techniques that you can use with your group.
Predict Test or Exam Questions
Have each person come up with study questions from class notes or the textbook. You can also use a test review or the questions in a textbook. Once your group has come up with questions, you can all use them to come up with your own answers. For example, if you have an upcoming anatomy test, you can try to figure out what questions are most likely to appear on the test and practice answering them.
Come up with a list of terms or key concepts. Then, take turns having people summarize each term or concept in their own words.
You can even turn this into a game. Have each person write down what they think the definition of a term is, then have one person read the actual definition.
Games are a good way to make studying a bit more fun. Here are some examples of games you can use/invent to help you remember information:
Use Spaces and Equipment on Campus
On campus, you can make use of a range of resources, such as those that follow, to help you study:
Come up with Memory Tools to Share
Figure out what concepts group members are having trouble remembering. Divide these concepts up and have each person come up with a memory tool, a song, a rhyme, etc. to remember the idea. Share your tools with the group. For example, are you having trouble remembering the names of essential amino acids? Try an acronym (like PVT. TIM HALL) to remember. For more on this, check out the module on Memorizing and Understanding Concepts.
What Roles Can We Play in the Group?
People have different strengths and skills that they bring to a group, and they can fill different roles that match their skills. Read more about the different types of roles in a study group below so you can figure out how you and other members can contribute.
These roles are adapted from the following lists:
The content is available under CC BY NC SA 4.0
How Can We Meet Online?
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that you can use to meet with your group. Watch the video below (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2020) to learn more about how to use it. You can also use one of the other meeting tools listed on this page.