Studying does not need to be personalized every time, you can get more motivation and more knowledge if you study with other colleagues. But choosing the right people is not an easy task, and often the groups are not beneficial. Discover some of the attributes for functional study groups.
1. People are nice
It may be an understatement but having nice and respectful people in a study group is essential for everyone to have a positive experience. No one enjoys meeting proud people, even if they are smart and proud. Thus, kindness, respect, and being pleasant are key to having a good study group.
2. Everyone has the same responsibilities and is willing to collaborate
This may not be reflected in the first session, as each one’s strengths are undoubtedly different. However, in the long run, everyone should lend a hand, be ready to help, and use their strengths when they can.
In a good study group, everyone has something to learn and teach; that is, everyone can share content, ideas, and explanations. Each member of your group has something they are talented at. If one of them is a good analyst, for example, he can be a great instructor in subjects related to humans, such as history or geography. Identify the strengths of each of the members – including yours – and point them out to all group members.
After each of your colleagues has known your qualities and those of the other group members, take advantage of this in your study routine. Put the best in each subject to help those who have difficulties.
Also, no idea should be ignored during a discussion. There would be space for all participants to make suggestions and criticisms, which leads to the ultimate conclusion.
3. Classmates attend regularly and are punctual
Sometimes some colleagues are inevitably absent, but in general, the group members will need to attend and be consistently punctual if they want to obtain true benefits from the meetings. The group’s idea is for everyone to understand the class material, whether for a particular semester or exam, and this isn’t easy when you do not attend meetings frequently.
4. All members get the same group benefits
If some find the study sessions extremely helpful while others don’t perceive the value as clearly, the group may not be the best for everyone. People should contribute and benefit in equal measure. You don’t want your study group to become one student tutoring to the rest.
5. You feel great after study meetings
If you have an effective and positive group, this will be noticed after the meetings. You will have a better understanding of the materials, you will have saved time collaborating with like-minded people, and you may even have enjoyed the process. On the other hand, if you leave the meetings with a feeling of frustration or that you have wasted your time, you may need to find a different group.
6. The group helps you save time
Time is a sacred resource for students, and time management can be one of the greatest challenges of this stage. If you spend 1, 2, or more hours a day in a study group, make sure it is a good investment, and you are saving time. If your study session preparation, attendance, and what you learn later helps save time, then you have a good study group, and you should keep it.
7. There must be objectives
Have an open discussion with your colleagues to define what goals each of you want to achieve. Besides, it is also important to define a list of common goals to engage in the same things. The group must pre-establish which disciplines will be studied at each meeting and go deeper into them. If necessary, set up a study schedule and already leave the content scheduled to be reviewed at each meeting. So, you do not waste time and make the most of the meeting.
8. Group members don’t judge the needs of their colleagues
The attribute of a good study group is evident in the non-judgmental behaviour of the participants. You need to understand that the needs of each member of your group are different. As silly or unnecessary as they seem, don’t judge. Be understanding and patient; think that your needs can also seem silly to your colleagues.
9. There will be discipline
The group must have discipline and respect the dates and times set for the meetings; otherwise, the studies will be of little benefit.
10. The group will be focused
As much as students are with their friends and people, they find comfort around; a good study group won’t let the disorder take over the meeting; all group members must be aware that they are there to study and take the group seriously. Ofcourse, games can happen, be careful not to let them dominate the whole group.
11. There must be commitment
As mentioned earlier, be honest with your colleagues; say what you expect from the group and each of them. Discover their commitment to studies and the established routine and feel free to say – or listen! – when something is wrong.
It may seem like an exaggeration, but if you realize that the study group is not being taken seriously by your colleagues, one way out is to sign a formal agreement. Write down on paper each of the objectives set by the group and all the details, such as days and times they meet, etc. Ask all your colleagues to sign this and remind them of the commitment.
It is advisable that in a study group, if anyone does a good job teaching someone else or achieves a good grade in a subject that they had difficulty with before joining the group, tell that to others. Show your friends that you care about their progress. Everyone wants to be recognized for a job well done.
Indeed, being in a study group might look dysfunctional for some people; however, when you find yourself in one, ensure you try your utmost best to uphold its values and goals.