Two heads are better than one, and when studying for exams, this statement is especially true. In fact, peer learning is positively correlated with success in the classroom.

Often, students might find it difficult to connect with others in their classes for the purpose of creating study groups. Two online services, Cooplearn and Finals With Friends, exist purely for the purpose of matching students up into groups to meet up and discuss assignments. Both have their own unique goals, and are available for free to every student.

Cooplearn:

(www.cooplearn.com)

Cooplearn, founded by Bassil Eid of Ottawa University, came about when Eid realized that he enjoyed studying and learned a lot more when collaborating with his fellow students.

Eid’s first ideas for Cooplearn were formed when he was studying for his masters degree, and decided to collaborate with other students in his classes after spending the first semester doing the work alone.

“I found that the masters students really bonded together and did assignments and studied for exams always in a communal and collaborative manner,” he said. “This type of academic fellowship really allowed me to sit down and learn the actual material being taught…I realized that school should not be a lonely venture and that there had to be some way to constantly be in contact with your classmates to get the work done.”

After joining the program, students are placed in studyrooms, which are structured environments that correspond with the students’ class. The classes link the course directly to the room.

Students can then upload assignments, notes, books and past exams, as well as ask side questions and set up meeting points.

“We found that the studyrooms actually help decrease stress as the students are aware…that they have a support group to lean on always,” Eid said.

Juniors Kevin Smith and Brad Kettlemen both used Cooplearn for their English class, and agreed that it was  extremely useful.

The members of their studyroom posted assignments and exams and helped each other to the work.

“It was great because we did [all of our work] from our [rooms] and didn’t actually have to meet up physically,” Smith said. “It just provides that environment to connect with friends and go through school with them, not just socially but also academically.”

The most used subjects are English, Business and Philosophy, but Cooplearn offers programs in many other subjects including Economics, Math, Science, Computer Science, Languages, Physics, and many more.

Finals With Friends:

(www.finalswithfriends.com)

Finals With Friends (FWF) was started by UR junior Bram Adams in a similar effort to connect students with classmates looking for cooperative study opportunities.

“It actually came to mind while I was studying for Math 162 in ITS and was completely unaware for an hour that the people literally two tables down from me were studying the same thing” he said. “It’s intended to allow students who are already at say ITS witha group of four to find two more people painlessly and vice versa.”

FWF allows students to set up study groups for a class that they are in as well as find out about other preexisting groups on campus. To set up a group, students simply register the class they’re in, the number of people in their group, the time they’re studying and any additional information, such as identification info or study goals. A student can easily locate other study groups simply by using the course number.

Creating and finding groups is easy every step of the way, and is a valuable resource for finding people, others who are working on similar tasks.

“It was […] important to me to get it out there and let students know that it’s a tool available for them if they want to use it,” Adams said.

An anonymous freshman student decided to use this program on a Saturday afternoon to see if anyone else near her was working on WebWork for Math 162. She was pleased by how easy-to-use the interface was. Though no one showed up, she said that she would definitely use it again, and maybe as it becomes more popular, more groups would be posted and found.

Which program is right for you?:

To answer that question, it would really depend on what you’re looking for. The two websites have different goals but are not mutually exclusive. Cooplearn is designed for studying throughout the semester thanks to the use of “studyrooms” to connect with others.

The purpose of FWF, on the other hand, is for arranging study groups at a specific time during the day for any given class: it’s an application meant for the short term. Though you may become friends with your new “study buddies” and arrange meetings with the same people multiple times, the purpose of FWF is to simply make the process of making and meeting with study groups easier.

Don’t feel as though you are restricted to one program: feel free to use one, the other, or even both. They’re very easy to set up and use and have incredible value to students looking for a new avenue of help.

Kanakam is a member of the class of 2017



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