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Value of study groups among learners

Educational Journey with EPHAT MUDENDA
IN SCHOOLS and colleges, forming study groups among learners often proves to be very effective in exam preparations and completing projects or developing presentations. It is actually a great strategy for

enhancing learning.
A student who studies alone can keep on rescheduling sessions as they may not feel the urgency to prepare for a test or an exam, for instance. But when they are in a group, they will be motivated to be present at an agreed time with the rest of the members. Encouraging learners to belong to study groups can therefore be a perfect solution to one terrible problem that affects most of them – procrastination in terms of studying school material.
When students meet to discuss a topic, normally there are some who understand it far much better than others. It is in such an arrangement that individuals can learn faster than when working alone. Simply asking other members a question with regard to the area that one finds difficult to handle, will certainly provide an answer.
Group members learn from each other since everyone has individual talents and unique insights into school material being discussed or analysed. Thus, learners are provided with a great opportunity to benefit not only from the talents, but also the knowledge of their fellow group members. Confusing concepts, too, can be effectively handled in group discussions to enable the rest of the members easily grasp them.
Besides, getting involved in group tasks and discussions provides different points of view regarding a topic at hand. Various perspectives on the same idea are provided, and this helps learners to develop critical thinking skills required to enhance their intellectual ability. Studying alone, though not bad in itself, may make one only see their material from ‘one angle’. Different methods of studying effectively can also be learned through engaging in school study groups.
Naturally, schoolwork is stressful, so learners must always be encouraged to seek support from people in similar situations. Joining a school study group is good for students as they are assured of receiving motivation and offering the same to others within the group, thereby supporting one another academically and emotionally. Even when one is not able to attend class due to sickness, for example, they will still ‘catch up’ through discussions and notes from members of in groups.
Studying with one’s fellow students is simply enjoyable and generally makes learning fun. It gives a learner chance to break away from the habit of spending long periods of time alone in a room or library which sometimes may become monotonous and draining, making one unable to fully comprehend what they are studying.
There is a crucial social aspect in getting involved with a study group. A student will always have someone with whom to discuss the topic that a lecturer or teacher has delivered to them in class. When one is struggling with or finds the topic – in any subject – extremely tedious, chances are high that, once he or she discusses it with other members, everything that seemed difficult becomes easier to understand.
Auditory learners who don’t enjoy the silence of studying alone will find study groups a very interesting platform where they can grow, both socially and academically.
Apart from providing an excellent opportunity where students can evaluate their accuracy and correct their mistakes, groups that are seriously focused on achieving academic success in school also help to improve one’s people skills. Collaboration abilities are greatly enhanced, such that even in one’s career later in the future, it will be easy for one to work with colleagues on various projects at their workplace.
It is important to always promote seriousness and hard work for any study group to achieve its purpose, whether at secondary school or college/ university. Otherwise it may just turn out to be a social gathering where little or no study occurs.
emudenda@daily-mail.co.zm/ ephatm@yahoo.com

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