It is a common question, “Is it better to study alone or in a group?”. And definitely, there are some advantages and disadvantages of group study or team-based learning. Success will be sure if every group member actively participates in the learning process without disturbing anyone. Group studying with peers provides an environment for each student to share their knowledge and thoughts freely.
Students can learn better by discussing and questioning each other. Discussing opinions and reasoning allows them to develop different perspectives on how they can complete a task easily and quickly. But we need to know the self-study vs group study and which one is better for us.
When joining a group study, it is necessary to know the pros and cons of becoming a part of group learning. Every group member should follow the group rules. When forming a group for academic preparation or for any other learning, there should be a definition of the strength of the group and the student’s level of knowledge.
The study groups may be formal or informal. Informal study groups are formed by the students by their own perspectives for studying together. Students define their own rules and regulations for informal groups. The formal groups are formed by the authorities in schools and colleges or universities. Rules and regulations are defined by the authority.
I’ll discuss all the pros and cons of self-study vs group study and how to form a study group.
Advantages of Group Study:
Group study keeps students motivated. When a student sees another peer is performing better, he is motivated unconsciously. Meeting with other people keeps us motivated. Group studying inspired us to compete. Students work hard to be ahead of other students. If some students complete a task, and the same task others don’t, they think about ‘why we didn’t’. Motivation is the key to working hard and succeeding.
Boosts Work Efficiency
Group studying boosts the Efficiency of work. You can achieve more results as compared to studying alone. In a solo study, you have one brain, but on the other hand in a group study, you have multiple thoughts for one topic. So, multiple thoughts can increase your efficiency of work.
Keeping Us on Track
Teamwork with collaboration keeps everyone on track. No one compromises with excuses. No one can say I can’t do this work tomorrow. Every member is dependent on other members’ performance. Group studying makes a man punctual. Every group member is answerable about the task assigned.
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Support Each Other
Everyone is not perfect in everything. Everyone needs other help in some cases. In a group study, supporting each other can make things easy.
- In group studying, you can get help with your weaknesses in the study. If you are in trouble with a specific topic, you can discuss it with other group members. You can clear your clues by sharing them in a group.
- Helping weaker students is a work of goodness. If you teach other fellows, your own topic will be clear and it will be memorized by you.
- A support system can help poor students to share their equipment if they can’t afford it like a laptop, internet, and notes. Even you can fundraise for a weak student in your group or in the class.
Develops Teaching Skills
In group studying your study skills will improve. When you speak in a group of peers, your confidence will be developed. You will teach other students like a teacher. It is easy to speak and deliver with your friends, even some hesitate to speak with their friends. Group studying helps students to develop teaching skills.
Clarification of Doubts
In a class, there is only one teacher and his one way of teaching but in a group, there are a number of thoughts available to deliver a topic from different angles.
When a student studies alone, he/she may have some doubts related to the topic. He/she may have some questions about the topic so, in a group, students can ask in a friendly way.
Reduction of Workload
In a group study, you can divide a topic among the team members. In this way, the workload will be reduced. Everyone is responsible for his own task.
Every student is not an expert in every subject, your team should contain at least one expert or interested student for every subject. You have less stress when studying in a group.
Group study is a solution for lazy students about their habit of procrastination. Lazy people leave their work for tomorrow. But when you are bound with teamwork, you can’t let your task for later completion.
You have to complete your work within the deadline. Solo Studying can let you work on it tomorrow if you don’t want to complete it today.
Group studying develops your confidence. When you interact with peers, you feel free to talk as compared to your teachers or seniors.
It realizes that you can speak what you think. Group study is beneficial for developing students’ confidence.
Study Without Feel Boring
Another advantage is that when there are more people working on the same subject, they don’t feel bored. Even if there is a challenging task assigned, teamwork doesn’t feel boring.
So when studying in a group, you don’t feel bored and don’t watch the clock after a couple of minutes. You don’t feel how the time has gone and you can learn boring subjects for fun.
Develops Communication Skills
Communication is a golden skill for one’s successful life. Group study develops communication skills in students. If students work on their weaknesses, they can become good communicators.
In a group study, students share comments that what are your weaknesses and what are your strengths. If a student has low communication, he/she has a chance to improve his/her communication when going for group study.
Learn New Study Skills
In a group study, different students share their new ideas about the learning process. Your group may have a new kind of learning perspective that can help you learn easily. Students give tips on how you can prepare for this topic, and how can you attempt this question in the exam.
You share your ideas and thoughts with group members. You can broaden your mind with such new learning material from different styles of learning.
Fast Solution to the Problems
Group study helps you to learn complicated things fast. When a student is stuck with a problem in solo studying, he spends a lot of time on that solution. In a group, you can ask questions and can get the answer from a number of team members.
Group Study keeps students up to date on academic activities, institute news, and other general breaking news. If there is a free discussion, it can increase students’ general knowledge about current affairs.
Friend’s Loyalty Experience
A Group study predicts which one is loyal to you. When you ask for help another can. You can realize which one is supporting you with his skills and other types of equipment. This is a non-academic advantage for group studying.
Some Other Advantages
- You can improve your notes
- Students can share talent
- Learn different strategies for solving papers
- Can cover more material than solo studying
- You learn to compromise
- You learn to bear others’ company and attitude
- You learn social skills
Disadvantages of Study Groups:
As there are advantages of group studying, there also exist disadvantages. Loneliness can make you concentrate and memorize better. Everyone will have their own recipes to achieve good results.
There are chances of distraction from your study. You can’t manage a peaceful environment for study with full concentration. It is difficult to maintain silence and focus on one topic. If someone likes being alone, group study is such a challenge for that student.
Learning Speed Difference
Every student is not equal in picking the knowledge. Some students are more quick and efficient in learning. If a student is fast in learning but has to follow the group routine. And if the group’s flow is fast, it is problematic for weaker students.
Every day, you have new questions and arguments related to the previous topic. No doubt that the topic is clear to you but, you have to wait until it is clear to the whole group. You may face some unreasonable arguments that you don’t like in the study group.
Bearing a Negative Attitude
Sometimes, there may be a negative attitude in the group due to some valid reason. It affects the learning way and may break down the group into pieces. The patience of the group members is required to bear all students in the group study.
You May Become Dependent
When there are more facilities in a group study, one student may become dependent. In groups, tasks are divided into group members. If someone fails to prepare or he may be weak in the study, then other members help. If that student doesn’t struggle and doesn’t try to be creative, then it is a negative sign for that student. Such student becomes dependent on others.
How to Form a Study Group?
Here are some suggestions to form a group study:
Decide the Number of Members
Strength: A study group consisting of about 4-6 students will help you to discuss ideas and gather knowledge from your peers. More than 6 students can cause distraction.
Choose Members of the Group Carefully
Behavior: Select positive behavior students in your group to avoid distractions and misleading.
Knowledge level: Select geniuses and weaker students to keep the group balance. Expert or interested in every subject.
Choose a Leader
Select a group leader for instruction and guidance to keep the group organized and disciplined. You can arrange to vote for this purpose.
Find Right Place
There must be a suitable place where everyone can reach easily. There should be enough space for sitting all members. All necessary academic equipment and facilities i.e. fan, whiteboard, chairs, table, etc.
Predefine Group Rules
Make a list of group rules with the help of all group members’ suggestions and wills together. Predefine a schedule
- Keep Your Ego At Your Home.
- Only one can speak at one time.
- Should respect each other.
- No criticism.
External Advisor for the Group
Every group requires a leader or a captain. Request a teacher or other expert for suggestions and help if you are stuck with a problem.