Studying is important for any form of education. Many future students find study groups to be a useful technique. This is because being surrounded by peers can yield a productive learning environment.
So if you do most of your studying online or you are attending an online school, it can be a good idea to create a virtual study group.
Yet, forming a study group online can be challenging. If you want to know How to create a study group online, simply follow these easy steps!
How to Create a Study Group Online
Devising a study group online can take a little time, but these simple tips can make the process much simpler:
Ensure That There is Interest
One of the first steps that you must take is to find students who want to join an entire group. It can be a little intimidating to reach out to other students, especially if you are studying online.
This is likely because you have not met these people in real life or know very little about them. Thankfully, this step can be as easy as sending emails to the other students on your course material.
Alternatively, you can contact them through social media.
All you have to do is message them saying something along the lines of: “Hey, would you be interested in joining a study group?”
This will not only make people aware of the study group but will allow you to gauge whether or not there is interest in forming this group.
In most cases, people will want to join a study group given the numerous benefits that they provide (more on that later)!
Opt For Shorter Meetings
Most people will not find long study sessions to be very productive. This is because they will lack the endurance to study for hours on end.
Additionally, students are unlikely to absorb all of the information that they need if they study for too long.
To keep your study group engaged, you should try to make your study sessions no longer than an hour. If you are determined to go over this length of time, ensure that you take breaks from studying.
Arrange When To Meet
Organizing meetups as a group is always tough, as people will likely have conflicting schedules. Yet, it is important to find a time that works for everyone so that you aren’t leaving any students out.
Ideally, you should arrange your study sessions so that they are at the same time and day every week. For instance, you should meet every Tuesday at 5 pm.
Presumably, if you are attending an online school, you will want to meet virtually. This is often more convenient than meeting in person, as you won’t have to find a location that works for everyone.
You can even attend these virtual sessions from the comfort of your bedroom!
Of course, if your study friends live nearby, you can arrange in-person meetings alongside your online study sessions.
Local libraries are the ideal place to meet for group studying, though you should make sure that you keep the noise to a minimum.
Smaller is Better
Though large study groups allow you to meet more people, they can become a little overwhelming. Not to mention, it will be difficult to organize meetings if you have a massive study group.
The larger a study group is, the more likely you will become distracted. This will make the group somewhat redundant.
Therefore, we advise trying to keep your study group quite small. Ideally, you should have between 3 and 6 members, though it is okay to go a little over this.
If you get more interested students, it might be worth creating multiple study groups.
You could even alternate the membership of these groups every few months so that you can interact with different students.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is a great way of keeping in touch with the members of your study group. Therefore, you may want to set up a group chat on Facebook, WhatsApp, or whatever social media platform you prefer.
This group chat can be used to ask questions pertaining to your studies. Additionally, it can become a social space for your study group.
Select Your Platforms
When you are starting this study group online, it’s a good idea to plan which online platforms you are going to use. This is especially important if you are going to meet virtually instead of in person.
As mentioned above, social media is a great way of getting in touch with the other members of your study group. But you should carefully consider which is best.
If you fear that having a Facebook group chat might result in distractions, you can communicate via email.
It’s best not to have class discussions on this group chat.
While this is a perfect place to arrange meetings and socialize with one another, trying to have serious discussions on a group chat may cause you to lose focus.
Among the best platforms for class discussions are Discord, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, NowComment, and Backchannel Chat.
Meanwhile, Dropbox and Google Drive are great platforms for sharing resources. This can include lecture notes or agendas for your group study sessions.
Devise a Plan
Every study session should have a purpose. For instance, it might be to discuss a specific topic or solve a particular problem.
It is best to outline this plan before the study session. This way, everyone has the chance to prepare. You can then send this agenda to your classmates before you meet with them.
You should not only outline the main purpose of the study session, but also the aims and objectives.
These session goals will increase focus. If you spend the study session focusing on these goals, you can ensure that they are achieved.
Create a Set of Rules
Conflicts can arise during any form of group meeting.
To prevent your study group from devolving into a massive argument, you should establish some rules about how these study sessions will be organized.
For instance, you should encourage people to listen to one another. This is because you will likely all have different opinions on the subject matter.
Instead of allowing this to become a source of conflict, you should use this to create useful discussions.
Moreover, it should be mandatory for students to respect one another. Otherwise, this can lead to bullying within your study group.
By setting these rules from the start, you can ensure that everyone meets your expectations. You should also try to create these rules as a group, as everyone’s input will be valuable.
Ensure That You Remain Focused
Focus is essential for an online study group. If you do not stay focused, the students are unlikely to get any benefits from these study sessions.
One way of doing this is to assign a moderator. This responsibility does not always have to belong to the same person. Instead, you can rotate the moderator weekly.
It is the job of the moderator to ensure that the session runs smoothly.
This may involve ensuring that everyone stays on topic. Alternatively, this can mean making certain that every member of the study group has the opportunity to get involved.
What are the Advantages of Study Groups?
Now that you know how to set up an online group, you might be wondering what the benefits of these study groups are. The truth is that many students find study groups to be incredibly useful.
Here are some of the main reasons why:
They Provide an Environment For Debates
Study groups are the perfect place to have discussions with your students. As a result, you can learn more about a topic whilst also developing your communication skills.
They are also a great space to raise any questions that you may have about the subject matter.
They Help People Focus
Do you find it hard to focus when studying? If so, study groups might be the perfect solution.
This is because being surrounded by other students will create a group focused studying environment.
Team Working Skills Are Developed
Most careers require people to work as part of a team. Therefore, it can be incredibly valuable to be a good team player.
Thanks to the collaborative nature of virtual study groups, your team working skills will be enhanced. After all, you will have to learn to effectively work with your fellow group members.
Students Have Increased Access to Notes
Did you miss one of your classes? If so, you will not have been able to make notes in class, meaning that there will now be a gap in your knowledge.
Luckily, a study group can help you to catch up on anything you’ve missed. This is because you can ask to borrow a fellow student’s notes.
Moreover, if there was a topic that you want more information on. Comparing notes can cover any gaps. Therefore, it is worth sharing your notes with other members of the study group.
They Allow Students to Socialize
Studying can be hard. Online school is particularly hard, as students often feel isolated.
Study groups are a great way of overcoming this, as they allow you to converse with your fellow students.
As a productive student, you should try to only talk about class-related topics during these group study sessions.
However, this does not mean that you can’t socialize with other students outside of class or during study time.
If you want to make new friends with the other people in your study group, you can organize to meet up with them for lunch or a few drinks.
Students Can Perform Better
An online study group could even help you to perform better. Why is this? Well, they create an environment in which students can learn from one another.
So by creating this online study group, you could end up getting better grades!
Problem-Solving Skills Can Be Enhanced
If you use these group study sessions to solve problems, your problem-solving skills will be enhanced.
The great thing about group studying is that people will be able to recommend solutions to problems that you never would have thought.
As a consequence, you can learn to overcome problems in different ways.
You Can Experience Alternative Perspectives
Everybody has different ways of understanding and thinking about topics and it’s key concepts. This means that every member of the group can contribute a different perspective.
When studying alone, you won’t have access to these thoughts and opinions.
However, as a group, you can discuss these perspectives so that you can come to more nuanced conclusions about a topic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Virtual Study Group?
A virtual study group is simply a group of people who are meeting virtually to study. Instead of meeting in person, these students have arranged to meet via a virtual platform.
An online study group and a virtual study group are the same.
Are Online Study Groups Successful?
The answer to this question is that every online study group is different. Some are successful, while others are not.
Many find these virtual groups to be valuable, though they often require hard work and lots of motivation.
To ensure that your study group is successful, you should minimize the number of members and create a list of study rules.
By following the above tips, you will give your online study group the best chance of being effective.
What is an Online Study Buddy?
An online study buddy can be extremely helpful for students. Essentially, a study buddy is another student who can help you to revise and study.
This help can come in the form of quizzes or joint study sessions. Moreover, online study buddies can motivate one another.
If you want to enhance your online or in-person learning experience, it can be extremely beneficial to create a study group.
Thankfully, it is now easier than ever before to set up an online study group that allows students to connect and learn from each other.
So what are you waiting for? Why not create your own online study group today?