Math and science study groups are effective tools for students to develop new problem solving skills and practice peer learning. Each subject requires different skills, and as such, each subject should have a slightly different meeting setup. Here are some tips for maximizing the success of math and science study groups based on the course subject.
- General Chemistry
This introductory course can prove to be challenging for many undergraduate students. For an effective general chemistry study group meeting, students can try to work through tougher, multi-step problems together, talking through the different problem solving approaches and tossing out ideas. This will not only help students learn how to solve the problems, but it will also help them learn different ways of thinking about the problems. Similarly, lab reports are often easier in teams, and students can explore different ideas and compare their results for a better understanding of the material.
Like chemistry, math students can often benefit by working through problem sets and challenging problems together. Conceptual learning is incredibly important in math classes. Working in teams can be beneficial because it allows students to explain their thought processes and lean how their peers have developed a different conceptual understanding of the material.
Working in teams is especially important for physics labs, where students will build circuits together to learn about electricity and magnetism, and work together to understand mechanics. Some physics students might be interested in pursuing a career in engineering; study groups that focus on hands-on activities, labs, and lab reports can give these students practice working in groups, which will help them later on in their careers.
Biology can entail a great deal of memorization, so students in biology study groups can maximize their success by quizzing each other and creating flashcards and study guides together. Problem solving together can be helpful for topics such as genetics, biochemistry, and population ecology, as these topics often involve more math-based problems.
With these strategies in place, a study group can become more streamlined and effective.