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Benefits of Group Learning
By Michael K on August 7, 2021
With the movement to online learning last year as the global COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world, schoolhouse.world provided a free platform for students to learn the subjects they’re interested in from certified tutors in the comfort and safety of their own homes. What makes learning at schoolhouse.world particularly impactful is that each session is a group lesson. While private tutoring certainly has its benefits, group tutoring — when used to its full potential — has its own set of perks that simply can not be achieved without this unique dynamic presented at schoolhouse.world. Among these are the opportunities to work with others on problems, hear the questions and thought process of others, and prepare better for your future both in and out of the classroom.
Working with Peers on Problems
The first benefit of being in a group lesson is that you get to collaborate with others on classwork. Regardless of the subject, feedback from the rest of the group can greatly improve your work. For example, in English or when writing, hearing the thoughts of peers is often a lot more impactful than hearing from a teacher. When I work in a group, I find myself a lot more receptive to feedback from my peers. I’m also far more comfortable asking follow-up questions and requesting further explanation because the entire process is mutually beneficial: you review each other’s work and learn from each other. Even in more analytical subjects such as math — where collaborative work is less common — working on problems together allows you to move along at your own pace, and then consult with other students when you get stuck. This makes learning a lot faster and keeps you accountable to others. As the saying goes, “two minds are better than one,” and there’s no more applicable setting for this phrase than an academic one. Not to mention, working together is a lot more fun than working by yourself and let’s you truly enjoy the learning experience.
Hear the Questions of Others
Another benefit to learning with others is the ability to hear the questions of others, as well as the teacher’s response. I can’t count the number of times I have come home from school, sat down to do homework, and quickly came up with another question that I wished I had asked the teacher in class earlier. Having other students in your class could increase the number of questions asked ten-fold, making it far more likely that you understand the material when you get around to applying the concepts learned. They may even ask questions that you wouldn’t even think to ask at the moment, but find very helpful regardless. Though the few extra questions asked may seem insignificant, these questions can provoke more conversation and encourage you to look at something from a different angle.
Prepare For Your Future
As you progress through your academic career, you will gain a lot more agency in how you learn and your choices will have a greater impact on how productive you are as a learner. Being a participant in a group setting, you quickly develop the communication skills necessary to succeed in future learning and work environments. For example, in a group learning setting, you may not be able to get all the help you need in the session. This encourages you to seek out help after sessions. Becoming comfortable with asking for assistance is critical in an environment where teachers are not able to give you all of their attention and might not often be there to help you such as now during this global pandemic.
Another important skill you develop as part of a larger class is concentration. When you’re in a group of people, it’s very easy to hide and to not answer questions. However, if you do this, you’ll quickly find yourself struggling to understand the concepts. That’s where you will adapt by coming up with ways to make yourself focus better. When my school shifted to remote learning, I found myself constantly distracted by my phone’s notifications. So I decided to keep my phone in a drawer during class periods — a very small change with a very big difference.
Lastly, being one of many students helps develop confidence in asking and answering questions. One of the most important things to learn is to not fear failure in front of others and embrace making mistakes as opportunities to learn. Though this may be challenging at first, once you become well-acquainted with your classmates, it will come naturally. Step out of your comfort zone, and you will be a much better learner.
Unleashing the Benefits
Ultimately though, these benefits can only be reaped if you, as a learner, make an effort during the sessions and in preparation for sessions. The only way you can effectively learn from others when working together is if you actively contribute to the discussion and choose to take the advice of others into account. The only way to gain from hearing the questions of other students is if you truly listen and apply the teacher’s answers to your work. And the only way group lessons will help you prepare for your future is if you seek out help outside of sessions, look for ways to concentrate, and expand your horizons. So as you go back into school, and join other group learning environments, continue to seek knowledge with passion and be sure to make the most of this unique educational style provided by schoolhouse.world.