STRATEGIES FOR CLASS REVIEW AND DISCUSSION
PRESENTED BY THE ELMHURST COLLEGE LEARNING CENTER
WE HAVE FORMED A STUDY GROUP.
NOW WHAT DO WE DO?
HOW DO WE STUDY AS A GROUP? HOW DO WE MAKE IT WORK?
There are several strategies which study groups can use. The group can use only one strategy or a combination of strategies. Group members will find what works best for their group.
If you are unsure as to how to incorporate the strategies into your group or the academic discipline of your group(psychology, anatomy/physiology, art appreciation, etc.) contact the Elmhurst College Learning Center. We accept both e-mails and human beings with questions.
Use the study guides which your professor provides throughout the course of the semester. These guides may be a list of questions or topics or specific formatting of questions such as multiple choice.
Some groups prefer that all members do all the questions. The group then meets to review the responses. Other groups like to divide the work among the members; each member must be willing to complete the assigned task. Otherwise, the study group concept does not work because only one or two members are committed to group work.
Take good notes during regularly scheduled class sessions. Use the notes as the focus of the study group.
There are several ways to use the notes. Sometimes members develop questions based on the notes; they share these questions. Other times, there may be unclear concepts. The sharing of notes may help to clarify the concepts or at least pinpoint an item which the group feels the professor needs to clarify. Other study groups may incorporate the notes with the textbook readings. This method will be very helpful for those professors who place equal weight on class lecture and textbook readings.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Think of your group as the tough ones.
Two members may find some material very difficult while the others understand it. Next time, the opposite situation may occur. In a study group the "teachers" frequently change. This is a GOOD because you want to learn from each other.
It is helpful to decide in advance which are the really tough concepts. Each member is then better prepared to come to the group with questions or examples/explanations to help everyone understand the material.
Develop the art of questioning and quiz each other on the material. Remember that test questions do not always end with question marks. There are such questions as matching, multiple choice, identification of terms, true/false, listing, and labeling of diagrams or pictures.
Test questions are also at different levels. Some questions merely require that you memorize accurately. For example, you may need to provide the definition of terms; this task requires you to memorize the specific definition for the discipline which you are studying. Other questions require higher levels of thinking. For instance, you may be asked to compare two philosophers according to specific belief systems. You may be asked to apply concepts in real world situations. A scenario might be provided and you must determine which psychological theory is illustrated.
Group members should bring a set number of questions to the session(remember - group, not individual, effort) and all members can take turns in submitting their set to the entire group.
If the development of test questions seems difficult, visit the Learning Center for some pointers. You may also wish to borrow study guides for your subject area from the Learning Center's library of texts.
Most people enjoy playing games. An easy to develop yet fun game is a Jeopardy-style game in your subject area. This strategy is great for review before tests. The game moves quickly and is an interesting way to test the understanding of concepts.
To equalize the organizing tasks for the game, a chapter or portions of a chapter can easily be assigned to individual group members. The game "inventor" becomes the emcee while other group members are the players. In this way, everyone gets a chance to play and earn points. Perhaps the winner gets a cup of coffee or candy bar donated by the other team members.
Be creative and enjoy.
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