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Virtual Study Group Tips for Online Learners

Jayne Miller wrote this on Oct 28, 2015


Online learners can benefit from study groups, too. Granted, the whole “let’s meet in the library” option probably won’t work out, here’s how to get around that - and why it’s worth trying.

Why You Should Pursue an Online Study Group

Study groups aren’t just about completing group projects or sharing notes before a big exam. It’s an opportunity to capitalize on the knowledge and strengths of classmates while sharing your own know-how throughout the semester. Course-long study groups can provide a much-needed support system and hold members accountable. This motivation to stay on task can be especially helpful when navigating the challenges of online coursework.

If you’re an online student, it’s worth trying to form a virtual study group because it’s something you can only benefit from.

And the same rules should apply to a virtual study group as would one that could meet in person. Here’s a quick refresher on some of those ideas - setting goals, deciding how to work together, defining roles for group members, etc.

Materials Library

When connecting in a virtual space, it’s not like you can open your notebook to share notes or scribble on a whiteboard in front of everybody. One of the first items you’ll want to iron out is setting up a shared materials/collaboration space.

Google Docs are always a fantastic option. Our shared materials library in Chalkup is another place that’s great for dropping shared resources.

Software Sync

You’ll also want to think through what platforms are easiest to use for group meetings. Maybe it’s Skype or a Google Hangout for study sessions and talking through projects.

For connecting between those formal meetings, you might want to set up a group chat via text or a messenger tool.

Open Hours

Identify an hour or two each day - or maybe just a few times a week - when all members would be able to be online and working on assignments.

It doesn’t mean that the group must meet during these times, but rather that groupmates would be available for quick questions and/or feedback via messenger or email. Think of it as office hours for your study group. You can study whenever works for you, but if you dedicate time on Sundays at 8 p.m. EDT, you know there will be classmates available to work with or bounce ideas off of. This method works particularly well for online learners.


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Topics: Student Engagement, Chalkup, College, Lifestyle