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Developing Effective Study Groups. Working Collaboratively. Studying for Memory & Application. Many quick repetitions strengthen recall Tying current material back to material or analysis from past classes may reveal important patterns – (Another type of repetition) Give context

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developing effective study groups

Developing Effective Study Groups

Working Collaboratively

studying for memory application
Studying for Memory & Application
  • Many quick repetitions strengthen recall
  • Tying current material back to material or analysis from past classes may reveal important patterns – (Another type of repetition)
  • Give context
    • What is like this that I know?
    • Try to find current examples of the principles being studied.
  • Discuss purpose of principles
    • Are there public policy issues to explore
learning cycle supported by study groups
Learning Cycle Supported by Study Groups
  • Learning involves:
    • Input: gathering information
    • Processing: contexting, organizing, and storing information for future use
    • Output: applying information to new contexts and situations
  • Unfortunately, what goes in may not come out clearly or accurately. Study groups increase effective learning by:
    • Identifying and clarifying gaps or misunderstanding
    • Helping students learn to apply information to new contexts, reinforcing learning
the purposes of a study group are
The Purposes of a Study Group Are:
  • To clarify information
  • To apply legal knowledge and reasoning to factual situations
  • To test understanding through discussion and debate within the group.
  • To practice writing exam questions.
  • Study on your own before and after session
    • Review what you learned in study group as part of good study practices
how to form a study group
How to Form a Study Group
  • Seek 2 or 3 others
    • Check assumptions with potential members about what a study group does.
    • Clarify the time commitment each wants to make?
  • Choose members on the basis of common goals and commitment to those goals.
  • Do NOT form study groups primarily on the basis of friendship, similarity of thinking, or political conviction.
  • Diversity is a plus in study groups.
guidelines for forming study groups
Guidelines for Forming Study Groups:
  • Optimal size: 3-4 persons
  • Rotate leadership
  • Role of leader is to involve all participants in discussion
  • Set purpose and goals for the group.
    • At the end of each meeting set an agenda for the next meeting to help members focus and prepare
  • Establish set meeting and ending times. Stick to the set time schedule.
  • Hint: Talking about school is a diversion. It often happens when students feel anxiety about material. Some people establish a “fund” to which people who divert the focus must contribute. This provides resources for a party after exams!
agenda choices
Agenda Choices
  • Focus in meeting
    • One subject or more than one each meeting
    • Stick to set subject or jump to course that provides current confusion
  • Type of Focus
    • Oral discussion
    • Writing problems
      • Remember that you get good at skills you practice and the exam is a written exercise!
      • Try having group write answers to a hypo and trade answers. Then construct a group answer.
      • Creating hypos is an excellent exercise for groups and for individuals to bring to the group.
    • Taking turns explaining and questioning
organizing
Organizing
  • Organizing is important to learning and to writing exams. In a study group, note some of these important elements:
    • Patterns
    • Legal tests
    • Steps of analysis
  • Answers to exam questions must be organized
    • Be sure to have a planning step when approaching exam questions and hypos in a study group
      • Brainstorm issues and facts that support your legal theories, and then organize them to be most responsive to question
      • Use your outline/organizing tool to help plan
tasks change with time in semester
Tasks Change With Time in Semester
  • In the beginning groups commonly clarify class notes, but quickly they need to move to applying what they are learning to test their understanding.
  • Don’t put off planning and writing practice problems
    • Easier to understand material by using concrete examples
    • Try to create hypos in your group – then vary the facts and see if or how that changes your analysis
  • Organize materials individually, but:
    • Test your organizing by using your system in study group with writing answers to hypos
    • Trade answers, read, critique, discuss, and improve
  • Before exams groups often meet frequently to do practice questions.
work together teaching and learning
Work Together: Teaching and Learning
  • Commit to the success of each member of your group!