How to Make Study Group Sessions 100% Effective

April 17, 2013 in Nursing TIps

Students Studying Together

Given the amount of information and data students must learn during their years in nursing schools, it’s no wonder that a majority of the time outside of the classroom is dedicated to studying. From memorizing medical terminology and understanding the relationship between medication and health conditions, students often have to amp up their study efforts to include not just individual study but group options as well.

Unfortunately, not all group study sessions end up becoming productive for all those participating. But there is a way to plan these meetings so that everyone involved gets what they need out of it to excel in their studies while being able to help one another. Below are just a few suggested measures nursing students can take the next time they plan to meet up and study together as a group.

Have an Agenda

Don’t just meet up and start going through the textbooks and materials randomly. Once you’ve chosen the people that will attend, talk beforehand as to what subjects need to be covered as a priority. Is there an exam coming up? Then structure the group study session around the topics that will be on the exam. Need to tackle some tough chapters for discussion in the classroom? Assign each group member a portion/section of the chapter to analyze and ask them to highlight talking points and/or write down questions about what they don’t understand.

Setting up an agenda for the study group is an effective way for everybody to be on the same page. It also guarantees that the time spent in the study session will be productive.

Come Prepared

Not all nursing students have a lot of extra time on their hands. Respect everyone’s time in the group study session by arriving at the meeting spot well prepared–that means having all your books, notepads, writing materials, electronic devices and beverages/snacks on hand. Do your best to arrive on time. Being late means having the group study session start without you or holding the meeting up altogether if the other members decide to wait.

Schedule Breaks

Just as with individual study, group study sessions need to make time for small breaks. Get up, walk around, eat something and chat about subjects not related to the study material. Depending on how long the group is scheduled to meet, set a timer to signal a break. 10-15 minutes is more than enough time to walk away from the material.

Create Your Own Practice Exams

If there are standard practice exams available to use during the study session, that’s great but to make things a bit more fun, it’s a good idea to have members of the study group create their own questions. After reviewing the materials, quiz each other. While things like medical terminology simply involve memorizing the definition, with topics like medications and diseases, structure the questions to be scenario-based. This type of quizzing requires nursing students to recall important information such as stating symptoms, matching it to a disease and suggestions as to which medications would be suitable (don’t forget to quiz them on possible drug interactions).

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