Posted: August 7th, 2013
A contrast between group study and studying alone
Academic study carried out by students is important as it equips the student with the necessary skills required in their future occupations. The kind of skills gained during the exercise are the ability to clearly express an idea or given information, the ability to communicate the idea to others and pass the information to them. There are various study methods employed by different people in the course of studying. Apart from individual gain, some types of studies also lead to the exchange of ideas between individuals which results in further development of the mind through growth of knowledge. The type of academic study engaged in may vary based on the individual’s preference or the nature of the material or subject of study.
The two major study types commonly used are individual study and study group. Hence, I will contrast between the individual study method and the group study method. The study method employed will be based on the nature of the subject under study, the aim of the study being undertaken, the individuals’ personality and preferences, the availability of resources and the overall benefit of the study method employed.
Individual study method is the method in which an individual studies alone in an environment less prone to distractions. Based on the nature of the subject under study, one of the advantages of studying alone are that it makes studying of some subjects that are hard to grasp a lot easier than studying in groups. This is so as studying alone provides a quiet and serene environment not prone to distractions hence allows one to concentrate hence the brain is able to fully focus on the task making it possible to synthesize the information acquired leading to easier understanding of the intended idea. In contrast to this, studying in groups has its own benefit in relation to dealing with complicated subjects since through brainstorming over a difficult problem, arriving at solutions becomes easier and faster hence saving time. Since the solution agreed upon is based on the different opinions of a variety of people it is more likely to be correct than if each individual in the study group came up with their own solution.
Another reason as to why individual study may be more appropriate than group study is that individual study leads to development of the person’s brain. This is because once someone encounters a problem when studying individually; one is forced to come up with a solution, as they do not have others to rely on for assistance. This enhances the person’s problem solving ability as the brains ability to come up with solutions grows. When participating in a group study, where an individual encounters difficulty in an area of study they turn for help from their counterparts hence does not challenge the brain to think past its comfort zone, which hinders growth in the persons thinking capacity.
Yet another advantage of studying alone is that it allows an individual to have an opinion of their own that is not influenced by the thinking of their peers. This encourages the individual to be independent in thinking hence they do not get used to basing their opinions on what others think but what they view as the correct opinion. This will manifest itself not only in that area of study but also in the individuals overall perspective on life issues. This enables the individual to become a reliable person in life who is not easily swayed by other people’s views but one who takes a strong stand to their ideas and views. In contrast to this, studying in groups will lead to opinions that are influenced by the views of the other group members hence one’s individual opinion is dwarfed, which can lead to the suppression of an individual’s growth both mentally and psychologically.
The study method applied may be based on the individual’s personality. Some people prefer studying on their own while others prefer working in groups. This may be determined by their personality with introverts preferring to study alone and extroverts who tend to be more social preferring to be involved in a group study. Individual study may be considered appropriate for those individual with high concentration ability, as they will be able to maintain their concentration no matter the period of time they will be required to cover the subject of study. However, for an individual with a low concentration span, group work would be the more appropriate approach as the monotony involved in studying alone would be eradicated. With the heated debates and activities, involving different personalities the interest of the individual will be sustained. The individual will also get a chance to contribute and reason with his group mates and that will make him/her feel like a part of the discussion hence enabling him/her to maintain concentration throughout.
Group studies may also be enforced in the learning process in an attempt to aid an individual to gain a certain positive trait. For example, group work encourages each individual to be participatory hence, it teaches the members the virtue of paying attention to others people’s views and patience. It teaches the members the importance of dialogue and brainstorming. Through this, the members are able to understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion but not every opinion is correct. This enables them to accept correction from their peers enhancing the learning process. In contrast, studying individually encourages the learner to become too opinionated that may lead to their believing their view is always the correct view hence not accepting correction from others.
Yet another factor that could influence the method of study incorporated in the learning process could be the availability, or lack of it, of resources. This refers to resources such as books, computers or apparatus in the case of practical studies. In a setting where the necessary resources required for study are in abundance they could be allocated to each individual hence group study would not be necessary. In contrast, in settings where the resources required may not be readily available, for instance, due to economic reasons, studying in groups will be convenient and applicable. This will ensure that every individual gets access to the available resources where they share, a step that will result in the creation of a good relation between the students with them learning the virtue of sharing while at the same time achieving academic growth.
The other criteria that would be used to base the study method used would be the aim of the study. Some studies are set with an aim of studying a certain criteria that would require discussion where in this case, study groups would be more appropriate. Other studies however, are set to challenge the students thinking capacity and to enhance the students’ ability to solve solutions where in this case individual study would be more appropriate. The overall aim of study is to enhance an individual’s brain capacity, to enhance problem solving ability, creation of communication skills and enhance critical thinking ability. Therefore, both individual study and group study should be incorporated in the learning system in order to ensure all-rounded development is achieved.
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