In 2023, online schooling is expected to pick up even greater momentum than before. Today, the top online schools provide the scholastic balance that parents and students covet: quality education, MA/MSc/PhD qualified teachers, flexibility, provision of resources, a low student-teacher ratio, one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support, room for personal, social and extracurricular growth, and a safe learning environment.
As the year continues, we expect to observe an increase in the number of students who attend online classes.
As an online student, you can secure top grades, enjoy a healthy personal and social life, and prepare yourself for a future career. However, many online students fail to utilise all the benefits online learning offers. They also fail to further enrich their learning process with additional tools and practices.
At Cambridge Home School Online, we have a strong focus on helping our student body make the most of its online schooling experience. In this blog, we’ll focus on a critical component of the online learning process: group study. While this isn’t a direct part of the online learning experience, it’s a vital additional practice that can supplement your journey.
We’ll walk you through the benefits of group study for online students and the importance of incorporating this practice into your routine. How can it help you elevate your performance as a student? Moreover, what’s the right way to plan group study sessions? Keep reading; our education specialists are breaking everything down.
1. An Opportunity to Socialise with Your Peers
Group study is extremely beneficial from an academic standpoint, and we’ll cover that in just a bit. However, its ability to help students develop strong social connections is the most pivotal factor.
The online learning model allows students to interact with their peers online. At Cambridge Home School Online, we use an advanced online learning software to ensure that classroom interactions are smooth, glitch-free, and high in resolution.
While students communicate via a screen, cutting-edge video and audio technology results in almost lifelike interactions. This helps enhance communication across the board. However, in-person learning is still vital. Well-planned group study gives students the opportunity to socialise with their peers, share educational insights, and exchange ideas.
Students can reflect on their lessons and connect with their classmates outside of the online schooling environment. This plays a vital role in strengthening social connections and promoting social growth.
At CHS Online, we encourage students to plan group study with their peers and teachers. When the classroom environment is taken outside the screen for a few hours each week, students get a change of pace and enjoy the diversity of education.
2. Improved Academic Performance
When students attend group study once or twice a week, they get to discuss their lessons with their peers and bring new insights to the table. Since group study is more informal and casual than a structured online lesson, the exchange is more candid. Students have a free-flowing discussion without any time constraint, which helps reveal new dimensions of curricular topics.
Students also enjoy group study immensely owing to the casual setup. A group study session doesn’t feel like a formal lesson; it’s a lot more relaxed in comparison. Its casual nature makes it extremely effective. Students perceive it as an educational hangout. They get a chance to meet their friends and discuss their progress. As an enjoyable, relaxed, and stress-free opportunity to learn, group study yields impressive outcomes.
At CHS Online, we encourage students to plan group study with a teacher or moderator who keeps the discussion on track. This is a great way to add structure to the session while keeping it enjoyable. Of course, you can and should plan sessions with just students. However, there’s a risk that the discussion will become too informal. When a moderator is involved, they steer the discussion back in the right direction to maintain focus and structure.
The moderator doesn’t have to be a teacher; they can also be an older family member or an educator. Students’ academic performance improves significantly when they develop the right group study environment and pace.
Make sure you select a quiet, distraction-free environment that helps everyone stay focused. To further streamline the group study process, establish shared goals for learning. This is extremely important. Once you start group study, you’ll notice that everyone has different goals. Some students may be interested in improving their academic performance, while others may be focused on enjoying themselves with little to no interest in learning.
If you continue group study with students who have a non-serious attitude, the group will collectively start lagging behind. Yes, the group study process is enjoyable by nature. However, this doesn’t mean that you exclusively approach it as a way of having fun. The ideal shared goal is learning and fine-tuning your academic strengths. Make sure everyone shares the same goal, with deviations here and there. When the overarching purpose of the sessions is the same, you’ll manage to stay on track and check the right boxes off the list.
We also suggest setting a regular agenda for the session. For instance, if you’re planning group study for your A Level English Literature examination, your agenda can be something like “Unpacking The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare”. Throughout the session, you should focus on The Winter’s Tale, with all connected tangents falling under the same theme. When you outline an agenda beforehand, you’ll limit unrelated side conversations.
Yes, the relevant commentary is completely acceptable. However, make sure the group doesn’t veer entirely off track. Be careful about the time as well. If you’ve planned group study for three hours, make sure you set a purpose for each duration.
For instance, you can spend the first hour unpacking The Winter’s Tale. In the next hour, the study selected texts more closely and discuss complex themes that the group has trouble with. Spend the final hour exchanging opinions on the play and answering any questions you may have. Careful planning will help you enjoy the session and maximise productivity.
Recommended Read: 10 Grade-Saving Habits Every Student Should Develop in 2023
3. Strong Teamwork and Communication Skills
Teamwork and communication are critical soft skills that benefit students during their scholastic journey and in their professional life in the future. A well-planned group study session will help you strengthen your teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills.
When students work together in groups, they learn how to respectfully and politely exchange ideas with their peers. The group study model is also contingent on strong teamwork. Students must work together to unpack their lessons and explore new facets of the topics and subtopics at hand. This cannot be done alone; you must collaborate with your peers to make the most of your experience.
As you sit and study with your peers, you’ll also provide a lot of motivation and encouragement to each other. This helps make the experience even more positive and wholesome. Students who actively attend group study sessions perform much better in the workplace as adults. They collaborate with their colleagues and progress exceptionally well as professionals.
You’ll be surprised by the number of additional soft skills you develop through active group study. Time management is one of them. When students independently plan group study sessions without a moderator, the responsibility of managing them smoothly and seamlessly falls on their shoulders. As a result, they learn how to break the session down into relevant sections and keep the group on track. This is why moderator-free group studying is also vital from time to time.
Studying in a group helps students become more responsible and organised. Each member in the group study session must keep up with the lectures and assignments to be able to contribute to the group in a meaningful way. The group study environment compels students to become more organised and responsible with their studies. Students also develop strong critical and analytical skills.
4. Improved Mental Health
Since group study brings students together in a physical setting, it helps improve student mental health. Pupils get a chance to explore their academic interests together and identify opportunities for growth. After a few sessions, students develop strong friendships. Whether they’re struggling with exam preparation or any personal aspect of their life, they can connect with their friends and ask for help, guidance, support, and motivation.
As we discussed earlier, group study adds the element of socialisation to studying, which increases motivation levels. Students look forward to meeting their peers and revising their lessons for the day.
At CHS Online, we have a strong focus on student mental health. As an institution, we provide one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support to every student. However, we believe students must also be provided mental health support once they step outside the classroom and navigate everyday life. The group study model helps check this box off the list.
When students study, revise, and collaborate with their friends, they feel more empowered and supported. There’s no fear of judgment; students can let their guard down and study without any hesitation or reservations. However, for a group study session to be wholesome and positive, students must find like-minded individuals with similar capabilities and goals.
When group study members are compatible, the experience becomes much more enjoyable, memorable, stimulating, supportive, and productive.
Recommended Read: How Cambridge Home School Online Works Towards Mental Health Support
5. The Ability to Solve Problems Independently
Problem-solving is a vital skill for students of all ages. The group study environment helps students learn faster and devise solutions to problems as they arise. When students work alone, they often struggle to overcome problems and waste a lot of time feeling puzzled and confused about curricular content.
The group learning environment, on the other hand, helps students reap the benefits of combined learning. Two heads are always better than one. When multiple students address a problem, they devise faster solutions. As they exchange ideas, review course material, discuss concepts, disagree on different themes, and reason with each other, they progress at a much faster pace. The learning process improves significantly.
Students leave the group study session with rich insights and clarity. They also learn new studying skills and habits. As a member of a study group, you’ll learn a lot from your peers. Perhaps you have weak time management skills. As you watch your peers closely track the session and ensure that everything is timed accurately, you’ll learn how to manage your time much better.
Every student uses a set of unique study methods and practices. When students come together and observe each other’s strengths, they learn from them and adopt these practices. As a student, you’ll further polish your academic arsenal and improve your weaknesses.
Make sure you’re open to learning, engaging with your peers, and having a meaningful discussion. While you may feel slightly nervous at first, you’ll settle in once a few sessions go by. At CHS Online, we encourage students to keep the group size small. Ideally, 8–10 students should study together in one session. This is a great way to keep the group focused and prevent distractions.
When the group size increases, there’s a greater risk of students zoning out and losing the gist of the discussion. A smaller group size will help you collaborate more closely and effectively. Students will not talk over each other; the group will be small enough to remain organised.
You can always recruit more students and increase the group size. However, we recommend capping the group size at 15 students. Too many cooks spoil the broth. If you go overboard, you’ll struggle to get a word in edgewise and benefit from the session the same way you would in a smaller setting.
Keep the quantity and academic calibre of the members in mind. The right members and group size will help you enjoy greater academic growth alongside your online schooling journey.
If you’re looking for a prestigious online school, Cambridge Home School Online should be your top selection. As one of the most trusted, esteemed, and reputed British online schools across the globe, we provide a quality Cambridge online education to students living in the UK, Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
We offer four competitive homeschooling programs: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 (ages 7 to 10), Lower School/Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/AS & A-Levels (ages 17 to 19). Explore the following resources to get started:
- Admissions Process
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At Cambridge Home School Online, we’re committed to helping students enjoy academic success and a bright future. By equipping students with the right tools, teaching expertise, academic support, and flexibility, we help them secure top grades. Our pupils attend some of the most prestigious universities across the globe and become responsible, successful, and high-achieving citizens.
Thank you for trusting our institution. If you have further questions about the benefits of group study for online students, feel free to contact our team. Let’s take the first few steps towards a brighter future for your children.