Using Online Study Groups to enhance and share your learning

Using Online Study Groups to enhance and share your learning

Having a Study Buddy can enhance your learning, motivation, and problem solving, and can provide you with the necessary support. This is particularly true with online courses as a Study Buddy will ease feelings of isolation and frustration commonly associated with online study.

Once you have found a compatible Study Buddy with MoocLab’s Find a Study Buddy Online program, you’ll need to set about finding the best ways to collaborate online so that you reap all the benefits of having a study partner.

Things to think about before you start

To make the most out of having a Study Buddy, it is important to get organised before you start an online course. Here are some recommendations to help you with that.

Agree on a study schedule: Agree on set times and how to “meet” and communicate – it is best to have regular scheduled meetings that you can both stick to. Creating a shared study schedule that you can both access and edit is the best way of managing this. Discuss and factor in any potential dates or times when you may not be available.

Agree on how you will meet and communicate. Decide which method of communication works best for both of you and what channels you will use. Some people prefer to communicate via forums or live chat, others by video/conference call, or you may wish to use several methods depending on the focus of the meeting.

How do you plan to share your learning?: Modern technology makes it easy nowadays to share resources and work together on assignments online. An excellent tool for doing this is Google Docs which is a free Web-based Google Drive application in which you can create and edit documents, spreadsheets, slides and drawings and store them online. The great advantage of using Google Docs is that you can access your files from anywhere, and everyone can work together in the same document at the same time, creating a great collaborative learning experience.

Establish your roles: Before starting an online course together, allocate roles and responsibilities in your partnership to avoid any potential frustrations or time wasting. Determine each other’s strengths and skills and allocate tasks accordingly. For example, if you plan to work on an assignment together, decide beforehand what and how each person is going to contribute.

Agree on a work style & method: Not everyone learns in the same way, so it is important that you are both happy with the learning methods you use. Discuss what works best for you and agree on a format that suits both your learning styles. For example, you may want your Study Buddy to prepare quizzes for you to test your understanding of a concept, or simply explain a concept to you as they understand it. “Teaching” each other can be a very effective way to go over new concepts. You may also wish to provide feedback on each other’s coursework. Don’t be afraid to experiment with each other’s study methods as you may discover one that suits you better.

Agree on deadlines: If you are going to enrol on a course together, it is worth taking the time to go over the course curriculum and schedule beforehand and ensure that you can both stick to the deadlines. You may also wish to set your own deadlines and add these to your shared study schedule. Working to a common deadline will help you both keep focused and on target.

Using MoocLab’s Study Groups to share your learning

MoocLab’s Study Groups allow you to create study groups around a particular course or subject, providing a private space for you to study together, discuss your course with other members of your group, upload, edit and share your documents or start a live video chat– all straight from your group forum. You can quickly and easily set up your own study group and invite as many people to join as you like. With MoocLab’s Study Groups, you can also upload, view, edit and share your Google Docs files directly from your group forum, allowing you to work together on the same documents and discuss them as you go along.

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