Study groups can be incredibly helpful in college, but they can also be a distraction if you aren’t careful with them. You can find study groups for just about anything nowadays, even if you take classes online. Most of the top online colleges have forums built into their classrooms so students can converse with one another about their school work. Before you sign up with a study group, you need to know what you may be getting yourself into. Here are the pros and cons of study groups.
Pros of Study Groups
- Idea Exchange: When you talk out your problems with other people, you may be able to get your mind thinking in the right direction. Exchanging ideas is a beneficial part of the learning process because it gives everyone a chance to learn from one another. You can help other people, and they can help you in return. You’ll all be better for that in the end.
- Free Help: You can pay to get into certain study groups, but most of the ones you will come across are totally free to join. All you have to do is find one related to a class you are struggling in. For students on a limited budget, this could be an ideal learning solution for you.
- Good Practice: Working in a study group could be good practice for you before a test. You can setup fake tests to take as a group, and then you can discuss any problems you have when you get done. You will feel like you’re in class, even if you aren’t.
- Support: There is nothing wrong with getting support while you work through your assignments. Sometimes all you need is the sight of other struggling students to get enthused about learning. Your study group could be the perfect support system for you.
- Time Consumption: Study groups can be very time consuming. You have to prepare your study materials, drive to your meeting location, talk to other people about your meeting, and do everything in between. If you have a tight schedule, this may not be an ideal situation for you.
- False Information: The information you learn with your study group may not always be right. I’ve actually missed questions on a test because other people in my study group told me incorrect information. You have to make sure that you double check your facts, just so you don’t go into a test or homework assignment with the wrong mindset.
- Easy Distractions: If you’re in a study group full of your friends, it is easy to get distracted from your studies. Conversations almost always lead away from class work, especially if you study with couples. You may be able to bypass that if you work with people you don’t know really well. Then the focus will be on school, at least for the first few meetings.
- Difficult Scheduling: Sometimes it is difficult to get everyone in your group together at the same time. If you all work and have other classes to manage, you may struggle to find a time that works for everyone. This is not always the case with online college students, but it usually is for everyone else. You will just have to work with a group of people that have a similar lifestyle to you.
Study groups can be great, but only if you work with the right people. Find others in your class that you can look to for positive educational support. Your group as a whole will be blazing through the class in no time.