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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Study groups still happening despite remote learning

Students are still participating in study groups remotely in order to prep for projects and exams

Illustration of people studying for finals. // Illustration by Emily Bishop

By Emily Bishop

In the weeks leading up to finals, the library is usually full of students preparing for exams. However, with the closing of campus and a necessity for remote learning, the library sits empty. Despite this, students are still finding ways to participate in study groups.

Elliott Khilfeh, a second-year physics major at Western, is in two study groups. One for a course in the modern physics sequence and one for cosmology. Both groups consist of the same four students, who studied together in person for both fall and winter quarter

The move to online courses has changed the way that students interact not only with professors but also with their peers. Khilfeh and the other students in the same study group saw no reason why they wouldn’t be able to continue working together. Through Zoom, the group is able to help each other with projects and prepare for exams.

“It’s really helpful just getting a way to work with other people so you’re not always doing everything on your own and getting stuck in your own world,” Khilfeh said. “It’s a good way to keep connections and also better yourself in your education.”

Parker Rivas, a second-year music education major at Western, also formed a study group with his fellow classmates prior to remote learning. The group has a Snapchat group chat where they are able to ask questions about assignments and projects, help each other with exam preparations, and keep in touch with one another.

“Even though this is remote, since I’ve known these people since the very beginning of last year, my freshmen year, I’ve gotten pretty close with them,” Rivas said. “I feel there’s no tension between the group chat. We can be very open; we can be funny.”

Rivas said the chat has a very friendly and homely feel to it. It’s comforting to be able to still connect with classmates and friends even though everyone is apart. He said it’s difficult doing online music courses, but he feels the professors are making the best of the situation, and so are the students.

Students who are not part of a study group can still get help with assignments and test prep via Western’s tutoring center. The tutoring center usually operates out of the library, but has moved to an online version for spring quarter.

By going to the tutoring center’s website, students can chat through an instant messenger with tutors for the subject they need help in. There is also a video call option via Zoom, where students and tutors can chat face to face and use the screen share option to walk through assignments together.

Raina Shaw, a second-year physics major at Western, is a tutor for math and physics. She has worked as a tutor since fall quarter and will continue working as one next fall. Shaw recommended that people utilize the tutoring center, especially now since online learning can be especially difficult.

“I would definitely suggest utilizing the tutoring center more because we can help prepare study skills for finals,” Shaw said. “And we can answer any questions with your STEM GURs.”

Shaw recommended that going into finals week students keep their focus, try their best and utilize all the resources available to them.

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