Frequently Asked Questions:

Why study in a group?

Group study is a great way to enhance your understanding of a subject or particular course! Having a chance to discuss anything from minor details to major concepts with classmates allows you to gain a more in-depth understanding of course material and a greater ability to articulate what you know.

Why won't the website allow me to create a group for my course?

Some professors don't allow for group work and collaborative approaches to studying in their courses. If this is the case, the Study Groups website will not allow groups to be formed for that particular course.

There are no groups available for my course. What can I do?

If there are no existing groups, go to the Create a Group page. This will allow you to post the type of group that you're looking for, and other students from your class can contact you to form a new group.

I'm not sure exactly what type of group I'd like to create. What should I do?

When creating a group, you can be as vague or specific as you like. The only thing you must fill out is the course you want to meet for, the other information is optional. Once you meet with other students, you can figure the rest out as a group.

Another option is to join an existing group — if you don't know exactly what it is you're looking for, meeting up with other students might help give you some ideas.

No one has replied to my study group posting. What can I do?

Take a look at the other groups available for your course, since one of those might be similar to the group you're looking to create. If you're flexible about the type of group you want, broaden your description to be more inclusive.

You may want to explore other ways to meet up with students — ask other students in lectures, seminars or labs if they're interested in meeting to study together as a group.

Where are the best places for our group to meet?

You can meet anywhere that's convenient for the members of your group — in one of the many on-campus spaces, off campus at a coffee shop, or even on a GO bus. It's important for your group to consider where you'll be most comfortable. Check out our page on Where to Study.

What are the first steps our group should take when we meet?

The most effective study groups are those which are organized, flexible, and whose members are all on the same page about what they want to get out of their group. The first meeting is a great chance to discuss why you're there and agree on how you want to work together. Check out our Being an Effective Study Group page for more information.

What information and resources are available for group study?

There are a number of different ways for your group to operate effectively. Some common approaches can be found by clicking the Resources tab on the right side of the page, including Being an effective study group, Dealing with Conflict, and Resources on Campus. If you require more direction, contact us to arrange a meeting with a Learning Specialist.

A group member isn't pulling their weight. What are the best ways our group can approach this?

Most groups will run into a rough patch at some point, but thankfully there are a number of strategies for working through these conflicts. Check out our page on Dealing with Conflict.

Are there any safety issues with study groups?

As with many websites, it is important that you use discretion and protect your personal information. While you must provide your email address to join a study group — any other information is optional.

Picking an appropriate place for the initial group meetings is also important. Meeting in a well-lit, public place is recommended.

Are we breaking any rules by working together as a group?

In most classes at the University of Guelph, collaborative group work is a very effective method for learning, reviewing and discussing course content. Some professors give specific directions in class telling students not to engage in group effort — it is important to pay close attention to your professor's instructions in order to understand what you are able to do for a particular course. When studying as a group, be aware of what counts as plagiarism or any other form of academic misconduct. Inform yourself about academic misconduct and plagiarism by reading the Academic Integrity section of this website and www.academicintegrity.uoguelph.ca.