A student studying on a laptop in a library.
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It can be difficult to study on your own if you’re easily distracted. Studying as part of a group might help you maintain your focus, but that’s not always possible. That’s why many students are turning to online study groups to get work done instead.

Why Use Online Study Groups?

Studying often works best in a group setting, but it’s not always possible to get together with your friends. Libraries aren’t always open, and social distancing requirements might make meeting difficult depending on where you are in the world.

Online study groups existed before the coronavirus pandemic, but they exploded in popularity throughout 2020. While many institutions switched to online learning using apps like Zoom, many others took matters into their own hands and established their own study groups.

An online study group is a webcam lobby that you join with the aim of getting some work done. Other people can see your webcam feed and you can see theirs. It’s a bit like being in a classroom or lecture theatre where you’re expected to be quiet, respectful of those around you, and focused entirely on work.

It’s a means of holding yourself accountable. Many study groups will meet regularly at scheduled times to maintain a routine. You might want to join a group that shares a similar field of study, common interests, or local area to you.

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While the general idea of a study group is to quietly get on with some work, there’s also a social aspect to group study, usually in the form of a group chat.

How to Find Study Groups Online

If you have friends or classmates who you think would be interested in setting up a small study group, you can go it alone using a video conferencing app of your choice. Zoom, Skype, and Hangoutsย are all ideal for this since they can be used free of charge.

If you’d rather join an existing study group, check out Mooclab’s Study Groups. You’ll need to register with Mooclab to join a group, and you might need to answer a few questions to meet any group-specific requirements. You will then be able to join any video conferences posted in that group.

Mooclab Study Groups

If you’d rather use a simpler “turn up and study” service, StudyStream offers 24/7 “Focus Rooms” for students and young professionals at all levels of study. The service is free, with premium rooms available for smaller groups and social events.

There’s also a thriving study group scene on Facebook. Just search for “study group” and filter by groups.

Cut Down on Distractions

Study groups can help provide a sense of accountability when you’re trying to work, but distractions can still derail your concentration. Learn how to block distracting websites outright so that you can’t access them at all.

RELATED: How to Block Facebook (or Any Distracting Website)

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Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf.
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