Get Your Study Buddies: Making Group Study Work
- Agree on a peaceful place
The best places to hold your discussions are those with minimal distractions. Otherwise, you may kill the allocated study time changing locations or engaging in social chats with passersby. If possible, book a classroom at a time when there is less traffic. You could also go to a nearby café. Another idea is to ask if the library can host your group discussion as long as you do not violate the policies. The most important thing is to choose a location that will encourage optimum productivity and that is easily accessible to all of your study group members.
Find a relaxing location for your study group
- Set the duration each session should last
Figure out how long it may require you to discuss a topic thoroughly and efficiently. A study session of between 1 and 2 hours is reasonable. However, long sessions tend to cause members to lose concentration. They might begin chatting and waste the rest of the time. If need be, agree to have 15-minutes breaks between long sessions (more than 2 hours), so that members can reenergize before they continue with the discussion.
Also, prepare a structure for your discussions. This involves coming up with different aspects of the topics to handle within the given time. For instance, you could set 30 minutes for one person to take you through an overview of the entire topic, another 30 for general questions, and 30 minutes for specific questions you had. Create a structure that works for you. It is important to make sure that none of your time is going into waste.
- Agree on a suitable date and time
It is helpful to plan to meet at least once a week. If possible, choose a specific date and time of the week. This way, members will have an easier time planning their schedule for the rest of the semester.