Create your own learning network

How to study with others: Creating a learning network

The most valuable resource you have at university is other students. At university engaging with your peers is good for learning and just as important as your relationship with your teacher. Recognising who is within your learning network and having a structure around these interactions enhances your own understanding of your studies and helps you put realistic expectations on your study habits and performance.

You have a lot of agency to improve your own learning experience: studying with others can help you increase your learning, whilst also getting to know other students and creating networks. A learning network is a peer-to-peer learning approach that is highly effective in sharing knowledge and strengthening approaches to study. These learning networks might be formally organised by your teachers or informal study groups.

Study groups have a multitude of benefits, including helping you revise and learn new content, and adopt different perspectives. Importantly, study groups also allow you to develop team work skills, something employers often look for in applicants.

Creating a study group

Informal learning networks, commonly known as a study group, are a type of learning network that can be both informative and fun, and can also be instructive in developing group work skills. These informal learning networks are also great places to form friendships.

Managing the academic integrity of study groups

Study groups are great for learning, but can be problematic if you become too dependent on them. Your personal learning journey is essential to your life journey, and becoming overly dependent on a study group is counterproductive.

A study group is there to help you develop your own thinking, not replace your thinking with the thinking of others. Always approach study groups with academic integrity.

In addition to informal networks with your peers that you may start or join, there are also formal learning networks available to you at Monash University. These formal, often facilitated, learning networks are great places to expand your learning and social opportunities, meet fellow students, and benefit from the experience of mentors.

Dos and Don’ts of study groups

DO DON'T
  • Learn from others
  • Make time for others
  • Share perspectives
  • Discuss ideas
  • Share resources
  • Forget about your own studies
  • Prioritise the group
  • Be disrespectful
  • Copy ideas
  • Collude on assessments
  • Become dependent on a dominant voice

Formal learning networks

In addition to informal networks with your peers that you may start or join, there are also formal learning networks available to you at Monash University. These formal, often facilitated, learning networks are great places to expand your learning and social opportunities, meet fellow students, and benefit from the experience of mentors.

Examples include the Monash University study programs; student association networks organised by the Monash Student Association or the Monash Graduate Association; or disciplinary specific networks facilitated on Moodle or via social media platforms.

Taking it further