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How To Organize Your Own Online Study Group

Whether you are learning a new skill or studying for a major exam, study groups can be beneficial in the learning projects. The ability to bounce ideas off of each other and get new perspectives on topics can be very helpful while learning. A good group can help smooth out problems with projects, but a bad group will only lead to more problems and frustration. With a little effort, you can conduct your own online study group. Here are some tips to help you get started.

First, it is essential to choose a good group. Decide on how large of a group you need. Too few people and it will be difficult to continue if someone cannot make it to a meeting. Too many people and everything will become chaotic and difficult to manage and coordinate. You will also want people who are committed to the group. You have enough work to do on your own Ė you donít need to be doing anyone elseís as well.

You will want to find interested and helpful people to join. Beware of those who would come to try and get an easy way out of courses. Look for students who ask questions and participate in online discussions or group emails. Or send out a general email to students in your class. Or make a post on campus bulletin boards. Look for students who have similar goals and coursework. Remember, this is not a social group, and you do not have to be friends with everyone, just able to work together.

Try a trial run of the study group to see how all of you work together. If it seems to go smoothly, you can pursue making the group a regular thing. If it does not, then it is easily disbanded.

Next, choose a person to run the group. The person in charge will need to be someone who is responsible and well organized. They will also need to be a people person and able to smooth out disagreements between members and keep the group on task. They will want to create an agenda for each meeting to help keep the group focused. This can be the same person every time of can be a duty rotated throughout the group.

Next, it is important to agree on how you will run the study group. Will you create a group online? Discuss everything through a chat room? Use instant messaging to share ideas? Or maybe just use standard email to get your point across? Finding a way that everyone in your group can participate in is essential. You will want to set meeting times during times that will work for all group members. You will want to decide how long meetings should go. Creating an agenda for meetings will help things to run smoothly and keep everyone on task.

Next, decide what needs to be covered. Are there assignments that are specifically group assignments? A major exam that you need to take practice quizzes on? Will you offer homework help? It is usually more effective to go over topics that have already been taught than to try and skip ahead in the courses. Save time at the end of each session to go over questions that people might have. It will be helpful to be able to compare notes on topics covered. If several people in your group have a question on the same topic, elect a group spokesperson to speak to the professor about it. This person can then report back to the group the explanation.

At the end of each study group period it is essential for everyone to know what they will be responsible for at the next meeting, as well as the specifics of when and where the next meeting will take place. Make sure that everyone knows what is going on before ending.

It is also crucial that all members understand that study groups are tools to help them with classes. Your group members are not going to take exams for you, so you are still responsible for learning all of the information. If there are topics that you are still unclear on after a meeting is finished you will ultimately be responsible for finding that information out on your own.

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