Semester 1 of 2o16 has been quite challenging for students due to external factors like the measles outbreak, classes have been emptier than usual and students have been falling heavily behind in their coursework. I have seen this within my courses as well. Students have been stressed about being sick, missing class and falling behind.
Three weeks ago, I was standing outside the lecture hall, collecting some feedback on the course when one of the students said that he was feeling overwhelmed by the course because, due to an illness, he had missed a month of classes. I proposed that we start a study group, based on past experience, this was an extremely effective study tool. We could sit together and make our way through the coursework and figure out the work together. At first it was just the two of us but he started telling his friends and whenever I spoke to someone in the class, I'd tell them about this idea of sitting together and solving the problems together. by our third get together, we were 8 students discussing the work. This is how we started the study group for Business Economics. We have a facebook messenger group chat in which we can ask specific questions and arrange meeting times. Although it's not a massive group of people, it has shown positive results. The group members are up to date on the work we've been doing in class, it has also helped me to stay up to date with the coursework and we are planning a massive study session for the December exam diet. We are all confident about the work and less overwhelmed by the work (at least in this subject). This is a basic concept that works wonders.
This study group is a good way to, not only improve the academic results of the participating students but also to meet people with shared interests.