Academic Assistance, Ronan Hall 250
Phone:  989-774-7506


Many students can have more effective tutoring and/or learning experiences when they participate in small, serious, and focused study groups. The guidelines that follow are meant to assist you in forming and/or participating in such groups AND help to keep your group on track--it is so easy to just socialize!

Setting up a group: Pick fellow students you like and respect. Limit the group to no more than five. In the absence of a tutor, someone needs to be the 'leader' to set up times and keep everyone on track. When the tutor leads the group, the tutor should not be put in the position of teaching or being the one who is able to answer all questions. If the tutor cannot clarify issues of content, the tutor will assist students in devising a plan in which they get the answers they need. DO NOT use the group to replace class attendance.


You are in the group to share, learn, and gain greater meaning of course material, and not to judge your knowledge against others in the group. Be prepared. Others in the group are not there to give you the information you should have already gathered.


Begin by comparing notes from class and readings. Clear up any and all discrepancies by referring to the text or professor. Everyone shares what specific points they want discussed, agree on content for the meeting, and then proceed. Learn material on 2 levels: 1) 'Know' material by drilling one another--learn to paraphrase class notes and text. 2) Discuss material with one another to make sense of what you are learning. Ask questions. Compare and contrast material. Apply material to broader issues. Brainstorm on possible exam questions.

Study groups do not work if they simply become last minute cramming sessions. If a group member comes to the meeting asking for notes and/or the content of an unread reading assignment, he or she should be asked to leave the group. This is the tutor's responsibility, if one is present.