Learner Engagement: Encouraging Study Groups


Study groups are beneficial for active engagement, deeper understanding, and preparing for assessments. Study groups, just like independent study, require particular conditions to support learning. Instructors can guide and encourage the formation and efficacy of study groups.



Study Group Form (for students)

Interleaving Study technique

Email steinhardt.technology@nyu.edu for assistance.



Forming study groups

  • A Google Form is an excellent way to ask and identify learner’s different needs and preferences. 


We recommend using a Study Groups form. You may request a copy of the form or to create a similar form tailored to your needs. The following information is general study groups 

  • Group size
    • Recommended to keep groups under 
  • Preparation
    • Members should bring questions and notes. 
  • Establish Ground Rules 
    • Be respectful of everyone’s questions, names and pronouns.
    • Find a quiet location and determine if being held in-person, Zoom, or alternate each week.
    • Establish a day and duration schedule to meet regularly. E.g. once a week for an hour or more.
    • Consider adding time for a break to avoid burnout.
    • Contact:
      • Share each other’s emails and/or phones numbers for group messages. This way information can be shared quickly, e.g. someone cannot make the session, the study location changed, etc.
      • Google Calendar can schedule and hold spots for meetings.
    • Roles:
      • Consider assigning or rotating a “leader” or “note-taking” of the week. 
    • Participation:
      • Establish goals and activities for the group (this can be a weekly leaders responsibility). E.g. practice exams, review readings, engage in problems sets, teach each other, etc. 
      • Consider taking turns talking.
      • Consider going around and asking everyone if they have questions.
  • Review
    • Reserve time (5 - 10 minutes) at the end to review/summarize/wrap-up..
  • Next Steps
    • (If applicable) Discuss who has the next “roles”. 
    • Discuss expectations and preparation. 


Shaw, D. M. (2011). Promoting professional student learning through study groups: A case study. College Teaching, 59, 85-92.

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