Q: What are Peer Led Study Groups?
A: Peer Led Study Groups are offered through the Science Learning Center as an option for out-of-class learning for introductory level science courses. The groups, composed of no more than 13 students, meet weekly for two hours in the SLC or other designated areas. Students who have already successfully completed the course and who are trained in group facilitation and collaborative learning techniques serve as peer group facilitators. Study Group activities focus on engaging all of the group members in the learning process, and may involve collectively reviewing notes, working together to solve problems or critiquing each other's work. All students enrolled in the course are eligible to sign up for a Study Group.
Q: How do students register for Study Groups?
A: All registration is done through the SLC Study Group Student Interface. Registration typically opens the second week of the term and remains open throughout the term. Students are encouraged to register early as most groups meet the maximum member limit (13 students) soon after registration opens.
Q: How can I inform my students about the Study Group Program?
A: There a number of ways you can inform your students about the option of joining a Study Group:
- Provide a link on your course web site to the Study Group web page.
- Make an announcement about the Study Group program during class.
The SLC can provide overheads that highlight important Study Group information or we can send a program representative to speak briefly to your class about the groups.
To request either option, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
- Inform your GSIs about the program and encourage them to make announcements in their discussion sections.
- Refer students to the program during your office hour appointments.
Q: Do Course Instructors and Study Group Facilitators interact during the term?
A: We realize your time is valuable and, by design, try to limit the amount of contact that each individual facilitator has with the course instructor. However, we encourage instructors to interact with the facilitators, if they wish. For example, some instructors will hold a beginning of term meeting with all of the Study Group Facilitators for their course to provide them with an overview of the course and other important information about the term that may be useful. The Study Group Program staff (Director or Program Assistants) will contact you throughout the term with important program information and may request your assistance in securing resources such as course packs or access to your online materials for use by the Study Group Facilitators.
Q: Why do Study Group Facilitators need access to my course web site or other online tools?
A: Facilitators are expected to facilitate small group learning and as such, it is helpful for them to be aware of what is going on the course and have access to problem sets or required online exercises so that they can be better prepared for group meetings. Often, facilitators will work through problems ahead of time so that they can provide guidance to members as they work in small groups to solve the problems. Facilitators also gain more credibility if they are aware of what is currently happening in the course and can prepare activities that are relevant to the members' current coursework.
Q: What courses are Study Groups offered for?
A: The groups vary by term, but in general groups are offered for Biology 171, Biology 172, Biology 225, Biology 305, MCDB 310, Chemistry 130, Chemistry 130 Studio, Chemistry 210, Chemistry 215, Chemistry 215 Honors, Chemistry 230, Chemistry 260, Chemistry 451, Chemistry 452, Physics 125, Physics 126, Physics 135, Physics 140, Physics 235, Physics 240, and Math 156.
Q: If there is not a Study Group currently being offered for my course how can I request a Group?
A: To request a group for your course please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. While the SLC would like to honor all group requests, it may not be possible in all cases. The Study Group Program Staff will evaluate your request and the feasibility of offering additional groups with consideration for human and budgetary resources. It is ideal to request new groups before the start of the term, but requests will be accepted at any point in the term. Introductory level courses are generally given highest priority.
Q: Who leads the Study Groups?
A: Study group facilitators are undergraduate students who have successfully completed the course in a previous term. They are trained in collaborative learning and facilitation techniques. Their primary responsibility is to help the group members work together and learn from each other. Study group facilitators do not teach, tutor or lecture. Facilitators are hired at the beginning of each term and are members of the SLC staff.
Q: Who should join a Study Group?
A: All students enrolled in the course are eligible to enroll in a study group. Students of all ability levels are encouraged to join a study group. Study groups provide a great opportunity to have a set study time each week and the chance to work with peers to master course material. However, study groups may not be a fit for all students. Students should join a study group if they are interested in working each week with their peers, are willing to actively participate in meetings, and enjoy studying in a small group environment.
Q: Who should I contact if I have additional questions about the Study Group Program?
A: Send an e-mail to email@example.com and a member of the Study Group staff will respond to you as soon as possible.