Thursday, July 28, 2005
On July 6, I provided some links for Academic Support professionals looking for study group information (see Blog "archives").
Now, let's find out if study groups help law students.
In their paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association in San Diego, California last year (April, 2004), Penn State educational researchers Dorothy H. Evensen, Sarah Rzasa, and Stephen Zappe delved into every nook and cranny of wunnelle study groups.
The researchers had noticed that: "Despite ... limited yet clear evidence that study groups might not provide the competitive edge to students set on achieving grades that can assure them coveted spots both within and outside of the law school, study groups continue to be recommended by professors, law school graduates, upper-classmen, and numerous how-to-do law school publications ... ." Oops. I guess we ought to find out if they work before we recommend them too strongly.
The three-year survey was conducted with support from an LSAC research and development grant. The researchers focused on six questions, including:
- How pervasive are study groups?
- What are the patterns and practices that surround the formation and initial operations of study groups?
- What is the relation between group orientation and academic performance?
I don't want to give away the ending to this page-turner, but here's a hint: "From this study, all that can be said is that students who belong to formal study groups for both semesters have significantly higher LGPAs than all other students." (djt)