In addition to their Teach-Meets, EDLAB now happily presents the Student-Meet: an informal session in which students, from all UM faculties, gather together to chat about their educational experiences at this university. At November 13, the first Student-Meet took place. It’s focus was on the topic of effective learning.
At EDLAB, effective learning receives significant attention. Which learning strategies are effective and why? EDLAB’s project Study Smart examines this question. Moreover, they facilitate workshops and give advice to students. Felicitas Biwer, an expert in the field of educational psychology and member of the Study Smart project group, was also present at the first Student-Meet. Practice and research were therefore united.
The evening was divided into two parts. First, the students gathered in groups around three tables. Each table focused on a different topic related to effective learning. These topics were:
- Information retention during PBL sessions
- Balancing concentration & relaxation
- Learning strategies
Every table had its own moderator guiding the discussion. Then, for fifteen minutes, the students discussed the topic at hand. After that, each group moved to a different table. The moderator took notes and gave a quick summary to the new group about the previous discussion.
These discussions were especially interesting, since the students present came from different faculties. Several people commented it was reassuring realizing that other students encounter the same struggles or obstacles. The learning experience is thus not fully faculty-depended, yet rather, a shared student practice. Knowing this makes it easier to exchange study strategies or discuss university-wide issues, such as how to deal with stiff group dynamics in tutorial.
The second part of the event was a plenary discussion in which the three moderators summarized the discussions of their table. Moreover, they had created statements related to these discussions, such as:
- The tutorial group size should be smaller to enhance group discussion
- I don’t have enough time to experiment with my learning strategies
- I feel well informed by the university about what learning strategies are effective.
Additionally, Felicitas Biwer added insights from academic research to these statements, such as that the perfect size of a tutorial is actually six to eight people.
As a student present at the event and writing this text, I can state from first-hand experience that the first Student-Meet was a success. It was refreshing meeting students from different faculties in order to discuss topics we all encounter during our time at university. A fruitful exchange of experiences and tips is not limited to a similarity in the field of study. As always, there is more in common than at first might seem to be. I would therefore have enjoyed diving even deeper into the different and novel learning strategies the other students presented. Perhaps, this is an idea for a future meeting. For now, the topic of next Student-Meet is: Group dynamics. Find more information here: https://edlab.nl/aboutus/edlab-and-students/
Are you also interested in meeting students from different faculties in order to exchange experiences concerning education? Then feel welcome to join one of the future Student-Meets. Keep an eye on our Facebook event page for updates.