If you’re thinking about or have joined a Global University study group in your local church, you may be wondering what a successful study group looks like. In today’s blog post, Global University outlines good work and study habits that every student and facilitator should incorporate into their group.
Traits that Every Study Group Should Have
Every successful group has a set of core traits and beliefs that are embraced by every person in the group. This is what makes it successful. When you join a study group or if there’s someone wanting to join the group, make sure they have the same goals as the rest of the group’s members. You may want to create a contract or charter for the group with clearly defined goals and expectations for each member. This will alleviate any misunderstandings and assumptions that could arise later.
Here are some key traits a successful group possesses:
- Common goal. In this instance, the goal should be not only gaining knowledge but also working toward a certain grade.
- Similar interests. You don’t have to love basketball as much as the person to your right, but you should both be interested in learning and growing through your education at Global University.
- Commitment. Everyone in the group should have a clearly defined commitment to study, such as two hours a week for six weeks. Members ought to be prepared to uphold the goal and not stray as much as they possibly can.
Size of a Study Group
You’ve heard the old saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”? While this adage was initially penned in 1575, its meaning is timeless. The greater number of people involved in a project, the less accurate the outcome. This can be true for a Global University study group as well.
Some educators suggest limiting the size of any study group to between five and ten people. This creates an atmosphere primed for greater discussion and accountability as well as support. More than ten people and the discussion can become disjointed and muddy. For the facilitator, it may be difficult to manage and effectively track more than ten students at a time.
Facilitating a Study Group
Instituting effective study and learning while encouraging fellowship is one of the key goals for a facilitator. Studies have shown that when students make friends and feel as though they belong to a group or institution, they retain information better, get higher grades, and achieve overall success. But keeping a good balance between friendly conversations and studying can be a challenge.
If you have not purchased an Instructional Facilitator Manual (IFM) here are some ways a facilitator may run a Global University study group:
- Pick a format. Identify what is going to be studied, how it will be covered, and what the final outcome will be.
- Issue a study guide. Issue a study guide with an overview of the chapters and topics to be covered.
- Develop study questions. Offer study questions at the end of each chapter.
- Develop chapter overviews. Give a synopsis of the chapter, along with study questions. This can be an effective way of studying and retaining information.
- Quiz students. Quiz the group at the end of a discussion topic or chapter.
- Create discussion topics. Give students a list of discussion topics that will be covered over the course of the study group session. These, along with the study guide, questions, and quizzes, should all be working in tandem with the studies in the classroom.
- Coordinate timing. To ensure one discussion doesn’t take too much time, place time limits on subjects. This will help all members stay on pace to cover all the material in a given time.
How Long Should a Study Group Last
How long a study session should last can be up to the discretion of the facilitator and the group. It can be dependent upon the amount of material being studied and the timeline, however, a typical study group lasts one to two hours.
If the study group lasts more than an hour, there should be a break to allow for restroom use. This will cut down on the distraction of people coming and going in the middle of a discussion.
Study Groups at Local Churches from Global University
A study group can be an excellent way to not only make friends but to increase self-discipline and teach more effective ways to study. This will be the cornerstone of your academic success. Contact Global University or call toll-free 1-800-443-1083 for more information.