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The Golden Rules of Conducting an Engineering Study Group

What are the factors that make a study group successful?


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It’s not always that engineering students can study efficiently alone. There will always be subjects that need thorough discussions and collaborative ideas, which can only be done when you go on a study group. But the success of the study group lies if you are doing it right.

Engineering study groups become a great learning experience if you just follow these dos and don’ts.

The Dos

Know what you can contribute to the group.

Having an engineering study group is a win-win situation: you get to have information from others and others also get to have information from you. So it important that you know your strengths.

Identify which knowledge you can contribute to the group. Do not be a leech who just waits for others to speak up. Share your knowledge!

Choose the best candidates for you engineering study group.

An efficient study group is one that has efficient study members. Take in mind that if you let engineering students who are potentially going to ruin your study group, you put the study group at risk for zero productivity. So do not let them in.

Check your fellow engineering students about their study behavior. Once you’ve done that, you are good to go.

Get a leader who will facilitate discussions.

If you don’t have a leader in your engineering study group, the odds are just everyone will just point fingers on which topics you will be working on. It takes at least one leader so others can follow on the discussion.

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Source: Pie Per Bar

Divide and conquer.

It pays to be still in contact with each other after a group study session. In the future, you can split work assignments and lectures that you can share resources with.

Reach out to other study groups and collaborate.

This means that you seek other engineering study groups for their practices and best ideas. It is possible that their group may have a different and shorter, solution to some problems that your study group failed to do.

Have the right amount of fun.

When you take the study group seriously, you get bored. Joke around once in a while. Make small talk over the breaks. But do not let the fun overpower the discussion – even after the session – because having too much fun may be distractive. Socialize after, not during the study group session.

The Don’ts

Don’t forget why you are in the group.

You are in it to study. The focus should always be learning and not making arguments just for the sake of it. Join the discussion as deemed necessary. When you don’t have anything valuable to contribute to the group on a certain topic, don’t force yourself into it.

Don’t make your study group too large or too small.

It takes two to tango, but three or more for an engineering study group. Don’t make it way too many though as it will be hard to facilitate and may not be conducive for learning. Two to six persons can do in one study group.

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Source: Texas Tech University

Don’t make poor locations for study sessions.

Of course the environment while having the session is also an important factor. Nobody wants to conduct a study group where your discussion is overpowered by external noise.

Make it convenient and large enough for everyone to be accommodated. Having tools also helps, like WiFi access, whiteboards, and copier/printers.

Don’t ignore common courtesy.

Be nice to everyone especially when you’re arguing over something. Healthy debate is good. Other opinions matter and you don’t need to be rude. Always keep your composure and encourage healthy responses from others. Your goal is to collaborate as a study group, not challenge each of its members. Respect begets respect.

Don’t forget to evaluate.

Always ask after each study group session if you’ve learned something out of the discussion. Think about the advantages of being in a study group. If you feel like it’s not helping, you’re better off studying alone the next time, or choose another study group you want to be involved with.

Source: Study Group It | Study Princess

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