Student-Initiated Study Groups for STEM Classes in Community College Settings

  •  Elena Sandoval-Lucero    
  •  Eileen Blasius    
  •  Libby Klingsmith    
  •  Cheryl Waite    


This article describes a focus group research study that examined the experiences of community college students who initiated study groups for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses based on self-identified needs for learning support. Results indicated that students identified early in the semester that they needed assistance with studying, negotiated group roles including identifying a group leader, and utilized technology to communicate and study with group members. Students who participated also believed they benefited from their participation by learning the material from different perspectives, and learning new techniques for studying, but also saw potential negative consequences for students who were not able to join study groups. They recommended that the institutions be more intentional about encouraging students to form study groups, especially in STEM classes.

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