UC Student Support Center
Helping Students. Enhancing Skills.
The best students are the ones who aren’t afraid to ask for help. The UC Student Support Center (SSC) in FADM 205 (FADM Building Map) works with students who need a little extra assistance in developing and enhancing the necessary skills to achieve overall academic success. We’ll help you identify, clarify, develop and maintain the specific skills needed to meet your academic goals. We’ll work with you to meet those goals and help you get connected to various resources available at UC such as tutoring, career services and disability services.
How Can The Student Support Center Help?
When in the UC Student Support Center, there is no limit to what you can achieve. We’re ready to help you learn better study habits and better note-taking techniques. We’ll even connect you with a tutor for effective one-on-one sessions. To make it more convenient for you, the program also offers online or face-to-face workshops, advising, library services, and resources. Participation is open to anyone who wants help developing time management skills, better study habits or test-taking skills. Click below to complete a short questionnaire to let us learn more about your professional/academic goals and needs; stop by FADM 205 or call 605-274-9517 anytime between 9a-5p Monday through Friday!
Start a Successful Study Group (Click Here)
Guidelines for Getting a Group Together
- How many? 3-6 students (If more are interested, form two groups and get together occasionally to share information and prepare for exams.)
- Who? Don't base study partners on friendship; look for people who stay alert in class, take notes, ask questions, and respond to the teacher's questions.
- Where? Hold study group sessions in a place free of distractions with room to spread materials out.
- How long? Study groups should meet for no more than 2-3 hours at a time.
- When? If possible, try to meet on the same day(s) and time(s) each week. Treating the study session like you would a class helps you keep to a schedule and ensures that everyone will attend.
Getting the Most Out of a Study Group Session
- Set rules and guidelines from the start. At your first meeting, make sure everyone has agreed on expectations, and then establish rules and guidelines (e.g. Will slackers be kicked out of the group?).
- State objectives or goals. Knowing what you want to achieve at each session helps the group manage time and stay focused. At the end of each meeting, make a plan for the next session and allocate times for each task. Make sure you have an ending time. Stick to your plan.
- Be prepared. Before a session, be sure to finish your assigned reading, review notes, prepare any group assignments, and list topics/questions you want to review.
- Communicate openly. Don't be shy about asking for your peers' feedback: “Am I rambling too much?” or “Did I present your point of view correctly?” If reviewing reveals points of disagreement or confusion that you cannot resolve as a group, record questions to ask your professor or TA.
- Stay on topic. For each session, assign someone to steer group members back on topic if they drift.
What Do You Actually Do When You're Together?
- Assign people to teach and lead a discussion on each topic in your agenda. Make assignments at the end of each meeting for the next meeting so that each person can prepare questions and think about the best way to address the topic.
- Have everyone create questions that test comprehension, application and memory of the material. Take turns asking, answering, and explaining why the correct answer is correct. (Collect questions at each session; then, take the cumulative practice exam you've created to prepare for the real exam.)
- Role-play: You can act like a parent explaining the ideas to a child. Or how about becoming your professor and deducing what questions will be on the exam? Here's another interesting exercise you can use in your study groups: the “Final Exam” procedure by Win Wenger of the Renaissance Project.
- Studies show that connecting knowledge to kinetic activity (characterized by movement), rhythm and music significantly helps retention. Create songs, movement, chants, etc. that will help your group remember key information/terms.
- Periodically evaluate your performance as a group (the Teamwork Rubric provides some worthwhile criteria you can use to evaluate your group), then work to fix areas where you are weak.
Material adapted from Anastasia Pryanikova, “How to Form an Effective Study Group,” Lawsagna: neuroscience-fueled tips for productivity, creativity and influence; The College Board, “The Power of Study Groups,” The College Board; Latino Scholars Network, “How to Form a Study Group,” Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
UC Student Support Center Materials/Resources
Posted: September 15, 2016
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