Best Learning Practices; Study Groups

A study group or discussion group (DG) is a number of individuals who come together to share ideas on a topic of interest.

In order to be a productive nursing team we ought to inculcate within us the dynamics & benefits of interdependence, self to group discipline, creating strong communication skills & group support.

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Why a study group?

There are many learning techniques that can be utilized in education systems. The unique aspect however is that study groups provide immediate feedback. By combining the social aspect of peer group meeting and the educational front, D.Gs encourage learners to express themselves freely which further reinforces their knowledge.

Presentation of a large amount of knowledge from diverse sources from members. The data can be constructively critiqued or reaffirmed.

Study groups provide essential support systems for Nurses. Considering the pressure to excel in nursing school plus the bulk of learning material, study partners serve to encourage one another. The discussion members can better simplify what is t

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When to start a study Group;

  • Nursing education and profession is built on the concept of team work and proper communication. The foundation should be set as soon as you join nursing school. You will realise that with time there are people whom you ¨Click¨ with and others whom you do not share the synergy. Starting early will give you the allowance to make adjustments.
  • In preparation for exams
  • For group presentations and projects

How to start a study group;

  • Select participants wisely; Seek to have intellectually stimulating members who have a common zeal for learning, actively speak and are open to discussions. These are groups of people who pose as positive challengers. By so doing, you will make each other better

Avoid creating a group from your social circles as you may be prone to digression. However, in unique circumstances, you will succeed. That is, if you can get serious with your pals then do. I had such a group and we worked extremely well. Do not make one based on romantic reasons, it will be a disaster!

  • A size of 3-5 members: Anything less is a dialogue lacking diverse points of view & is prone to socialization. Anything more than 6 is a social gathering rife with distractions where.
  • Have a first ¨strategization¨ meeting; In person or through social media groups (such as WhatsApp), set written/verbal goals that you will stick to such as covering a particular topic. Set a location and prepare the duration of meetings, approximately one to three hours. A University of Utah business school article shows that, less than an hour means you might rush through and longer, members might digress.

Select a facilitator on rotated duty. The person basically ensures the goals are met for each meeting, may share notes etc.

  • Location; Meet in a safe area away from possible distractions.

How To Get The Most out of a study Group;

  • Adhere to the set goals and or objectives; This way you will not lose sight of what is important. However, be flexible to reasonable structural changes.
  • Through individual and collective responsibility, strive to give and receive; Share the knowledge that you have and be open to being positively critiqued. This is basically correction and affirmation which  builds individual confidence, a personal & professional tool.
  • Prepare well before the meeting; Study prior to the meeting because the discussion is of knowledge you have acquired. The sessions are not about reading off of a book and discussing word for word. Carry all the resources you will require such as stationery.
  • Actively participate; Each member should have equal chance to air their opinions. A great way to do this is allocation of study sections which individuals present. Self explanation has been shown to be an effective memorization technique that aids in reinforcing your own knowledge.
  • Accommodate & respect the opinions of other members; This avenue is effective in bringing in opinions from various perspectives if the members are free to do so. The cocktail of knowledge only becomes richer if people add in their opinions without discrimination.
  • Recap 10 minutes prior to the end of the meeting; Summarization allows members to memorize the most important texts while eliminating insignificant information. Rethink, review and recite further boosts recall.
  • Have fun; Eat a banana. Laugh. Enjoy each others company!
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