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The phenomenon of studying in group, also known as ‘mass cramming’ in Dutch VUB lingo, is getting more and more popular. During exam periods students tend to choose a collective approach. Ever since it became more popular VUB has closely followed this trend. It has facilitated group study in collaboration with the student council. Recently the university board decided to go for a structural approach.
The trend of group study may have transformed to a basic need for the current generation of students. In times of social media and smartphones the odds for distraction and leisure activity temptations have taken a rise. “Studying in group offers support and structure. But it also has an added value on the content level”, says Christa Huijgens of the Study Guidance Centre.
“We witnessed in our collective study spaces the strong growth with our own eyes. Also in scientific literature a lot has been published recently.” As the coordinator of the group study Christa brought several services together in the joined group study project. The student council pointed out that group study not only is a trend, but a need of the student population.
Together escaping online temptations
“A sense of togetherness seems to influence study results in a positive way. Support and structure have a clearly positive impact on motivation. Social control of the public space on the other hand helps to resist the lures of digital media.” The social contact between students also adds to a deeper analysis of study content. “The contact in study spaces makes students learn from each other. They see how other students deal with the same content and can ask direct questions. Content discussions lead to new insights and diving deeper into the course materials.”
Group study for everybody?
The benefits of group study cannot be generalized. Some still prefer their own familiar environment or isolation. “In life there are no clear remedies for everything and everybody”, concludes study counsellor Christa on a philosophical note. “As a student you have to develop and constantly improve your own study method and habits.”
All practical information on study spaces during the upcoming period can be found on MY.VUB.