Study: Groups foster love-hate relationship

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Student organizes daily study groups.

By Pam Paz

When it comes to study groups or group class work, students either love it or hate it.

Group work usually means students are assigned to work together on a project, and group study involves students teaching each other outside of class.

Mike Burton, chair of English, reading and education, said a common complaint about group work is that the most ambitious student does all the work.

Of group study, Burton said peer teaching is highly effective. “Probably the most effective way to learn is to teach someone who knows it a little bit less than you do.”

Burton said team projects completed by a group are not the same as peer teaching. In team projects, the students only focus on their own part and there is no teaching going on.

Burton said in his composition classes, the only type of group work he assigns is peer editing. He finds it more successful than breaking students into groups.

The writing center in Room 203 of Gonzales Hall provides students the opportunity to learn from peers in a group environment.

Music sophomore Dallas Evans loves group study. He said group work and study groups are beneficial and students get more out of them, and it’s less intimidating to learn from peers than from a teacher.

Evans, a former enrollment management employee, bonded with students before he became one. He can be found daily on the second floor of Moody Learning Center with study groups he organizes at a table near the book drop.

Evans said anyone can meet with him in Moody; students don’t have to be in the same classes, but it’s nice to have others there to bounce ideas off.

Professor Bruce Davis of media creative services, a radio-television-film adjunct, sat with Evans Wednesday. “Dallas enables, facilitates and creates an environment that’s open and inviting to share ideas.”

Davis said students don’t like working on class assignments in groups because not all members participate.

He said when group work is assigned, it is important for all members to communicate effectively.

If a student is unable to meet with the group or if something comes up, then it’s important to let the other group members know so the group can make alternate arrangements, Davis said.

Visit and search tips for getting the most out of study groups.


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