Study: Study groups require focus

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Study groups offer better understanding of course material.

By Cory D. Hill

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

A study group can improve a student’s grade and overall understanding of class material when conducted properly.

Dehlia Wallis, student development coordinator, said “We all have different learning styles and for some people what happens in the classroom isn’t always the teaching style that best matches up with their learning style.”

Learning styles are broken up into three main categories.

Auditory learners retain information better through listening to explanations as opposed to reading them.

Visual learners grasp information through things like diagrams, charts, graphs and reading.

Kinesthetic learners prefer to use a “hands-on” approach. Activities and writing things down are preferred over sitting still in a classroom.

“So in a study group, the students can help enhance everyone’s individual learning style,” Wallis said. “In class, you can’t slow down all the time for one or two students. Study groups move at the pace of the students in the study group.”

There are also potential negative aspects to study groups.

Wallis said to have an effective study group, participants must have self-discipline to stay on task.

“The negative aspect could be not staying on topic, but there are ways around that.”

Wallis suggests roles be assigned to members of the study group to help set and keep on track with the group’s goals.

“You’re our leader today or timekeeper, you know. If we are not on to the next problem in 15 minutes, bring us together,” Wallis said.

“Sometimes, that helps cause we’re all people. We like to get together and it’s easy to wander off.”

Wallis said people in study groups tend to have higher test grades and usually have better attendance.

“They check and know what is going on with each other a little bit better. It’s really nice, and they help each other out.”

For more information on study groups, call Wallis 210-486-0776 or email dstrong2@alamo.edu.

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