At the Student Counsellors' Office, we often meet students who contact us because they find group work challenging and would like some tools to help them work well and professionally with others. These may be students who:
On this page, you will find some exercises to help you identify your needs for group collaboration and how you can get the most out of it.
Students get the most out of their studies in different ways. As student counsellors, we always encourage students to be part of an academic community, such as a study group, since this can be both academically and socially beneficial. We see that many students enjoy their university life more when they can share experiences, discuss academic issues, and have a place to raise their questions and doubts.
Study groups can supplement teaching by offering students the chance to:
Being part of a study group can also help you to not feel alone in your university work. Many students also become really good friends with the others in their study group and meet up socially – not only to study and complete assignments.
If you would rather not be part of a study group because you work better on your own, that is also okay. In the next section, we have posed some questions you might like to reflect on depending on whether you are or are not part of a study group.
By answering these questions, you can become more aware of why you want to be in a study group; you can get more from your study group, and you can become more conscious of group dynamics and what they can and cannot achieve.
In group work, people often take on different roles. Some are talkative and outgoing, while others are quieter and more contemplative. Some are good at being create, while others are better at gathering academic knowledge. Some take on a managerial role, while others take on a secretarial role. It is therefore important that you are aware of your own role in the group and that you thrive in the role you have. Remember that diversity is your strength.
You can find inspiration, good advice and digital collaboration tools for your study groups on Studypedia.
For some students, it works better not to be in a study group. There may be several reasons for this:
If you are not sure whether or not a study group is for you, it could be a good idea to make an overview of the pros and cons of joining one:
|Being part of a study group - pros||Being part of a study group - cons|
|Studying alone - pros||Studying alone - cons|
You may also benefit from asking yourself the following questions:
You can find inspiration and exercises for good professional collaboration on AU Studypedia.