Independent student study groups
Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2005
Volume 39, Issue 7, pages 672–679, July 2005
How to Cite
Hendry, G. D., Hyde, S. J. and Davy, P. (2005), Independent student study groups. Medical Education, 39: 672–679. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2005.02199.x
- Issue online: 9 JUN 2005
- Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2005
- Received 17 April 2004; editorial comments to authors 16 June 2004; accepted for publication 29 September 2004
- group processes;
- educational measurement/*standards;
- problem solving;
- problem-based learning
Background and Objectives Teachers and students regulate learning to varying degrees in educational programmes in higher education. We present evidence that students in a student-centred medical programme self- and co-regulate their learning in independently formed study groups. We describe the perceived benefits of study groups and the effect of study group membership on student achievement.
Setting Years 1–2 of a 4-year, graduate-entry problem-based medical programme.
Methods We surveyed 233 year 2 students about features of their study groups and their study group membership in years 1–2. We compared study group membership with students' scores on a written summative assessment held at the end of their second year.
Results For students who joined 1 study group, the length of time their group stayed together was positively related to achievement in the written summative assessment. There were no differences in summative assessment results between students who had been in a study group and students who had not been in a study group.
Conclusion Effective study groups are supportive, socially cohesive groups who generate mutual trust and loyalty, and self- and co-regulate their learning by giving and receiving explanations and summaries and motivating individual study. Teachers can support the formation of study groups by using small-group teaching/learning activities, providing clear learning outcomes and assessment criteria, minimising competition for grades and allocating room space.