Creating a Study Group for Online Courses

Taking online classes can help you take necessary courses for your job or get a college degree, but there are also some drawbacks. One of the biggest drawbacks as compared to traditional college is that you don't get the support you need for studying. While at a local university or community college, you have access to study groups with your peers, this isn't as easy when you're getting your degree online. However it isn't impossible. There are many ways to start a study group online with others taking similar classes.

Work Space

The first thing you will need to figure out is where to hold your study group. Since you take online classes, it won't be as simple as reserving a classroom or study area at your campus. Your study group will most likely be online, though one thing you should think about is if you are getting your online degree through a local community college, you might be able to set up a local group. However for online study groups, you have a few options. First check with your school because they might have designated programs for online study groups. You can also start a group with other websites such as Google+ (specifically

Google Hangouts

) and many others. These will let you do everything from finding members to holding study sessions and discussion groups.

Putting the Group Together

Now that you have chosen a location, you will need to get a group together and set some rules. If you have chosen an online study group option, you will most likely have instant access to others in your same class or one similar to study together with. You should set some goals for the group from the very beginning, such as studying for a big final at the end of the term, having weekly study sessions, or discussion groups. Ask the group in the beginning what they need help with and what areas to focus on. This gets everyone involved from the start.

Set Rules

You may not like this step, but it is essential for a successful virtual study group. You need to set some ground rules. Nothing too strict but just a way to let each member understand their role in the group. Things like who is responsible for a portion of the study materials each week, setting days and times to get together for study sessions or discussions, and contributing a certain amount to the group.


Lastly, it helps tremendously to have an agenda for your study group which follows along with the course you're taking. Be sure to include enough study sessions with the group virtually so that everyone knows the materials for big exams and the finals.