Study Groups

Starting your own study group is a great way to enhance your knowledge and understanding of course content. When studying in a group, you can learn from each person’s unique insights and strengths. Study groups can help you engage in your coursework and connected to your peers.

The Academic Success Center can help established study groups work efficiently. While we do not have established study groups, we can work with you to understand the steps needed to form your own group. Request an appointment to get started.

Benefits of starting your own study group

If you are looking to improve your grades, increase your motivation, and learn new ways to study, study groups are what you’ve been looking for. Below are some additional benefits:

  • Consistent time to study
  • Stay focused and motivated
  • Learn new study habits and ways to problem solve
  • Better engagement in coursework and content
  • Gain teamwork experience
  • Improve your notes from class, help each other fill in the gaps

Getting Started

Start with your professor or TA

Your professor or TA may have suggestions on what to cover or how to study in groups. They also may know of other students who would be interested in joining a study group.

Where to find a study group

  • Contact your professor
  • Chat with classmates
  • Ask your TA

Starting a group

Start with your myCourses classlist: invite classmates you know and ask them to invite others. Also, use a common messaging platform (myCourses, Slack, or Discord) to get the word out. A study group can be as small as two people, but we suggest 4-6 members.

Decide on where and when your group will meet

Once you have a core group, determine a time, place and "location." that will work for everyone. Given the pandemic, video conferencing will be the safe and convenient option for most.   

Set expectations and an agenda

Take time in your first meeting to discuss expectations. Here are a few ideas to get your started. Review Best Practices below for more.

  • Prepare and bring work
  • Participate: listen to others and contribute
  • Communicate if plans change
  • Set a clear purpose and goal for each meeting

Example: Initial Meeting Agenda

  • Establish goals for the meeting
  • Decide on platform
  • Decide on roles
  • Decide session format
  • Discuss expectations
  • Learning time: review syllabus and assigned reading for next class meeting
  • Wrap-Up: Establish expectations for the next meeting.
    • Next birthday is next moderator.
    • Make question list of topics that need further clarification. Assign these for next session.

Decide on Roles

We recommend that your group is about 4-6 members. As a group, work on developing a responsibility or role for each member. Giving everyone a job or responsibility shares the work and helps to create investment in the group.  Roles can include a facilitator, time-keeper, note taker, etc. Remember, this is not a homework group, it's a study group. Everyone must contribute to make it successful.

Best Practices

  • Be on time
  • Proactively communicate with group members
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Everyone contributes and is held accountable
  • Provide constructive feedback, not criticism
  • Assign roles for group members
    • Facilitator keeps the group focused and on task
  • Listen without interrupting
  • Come prepared to do work, come with your materials and questions
  • Practice conversation flow
    • Avoid the awkward silence by narrating what you are doing. If you are pulling up a file for example, this will help the group stay engaged.
  • Create an agenda together
  • Look ahead to the next meeting and prepare, set responsibilities and roles
  • Brainstorm possible test questions and quiz one another
  • Create something to take home, an outline, study sheet, diagram etc.

Resources

Tools for Collaboration

Please note: The Academic Success Center does not have established study groups. Once you have a study group, or know you want to form one, we can provide you with the tools to make it happen!