Scheduling, Planning, and Rhythm
It feel be daunting to plan for an entire semester of Study Group sessions. Remember, you don’t have to map out the content for an entire semester of sessions and before you begin-- you can plan a few sessions, see what works, what the needs and skills are in the Group. Here are a few tips for planning:
- Survey your Group. Find out what people most want and need to learn, and tailor your sessions and content to meet those needs.
- Be consistent. Regular meetings will ensure that your Group has a chance to stabilize and grow. Depending on the availability of your members, weekly or every other week meetings may work best.
- Be realistic. Give yourself plenty of time in sessions and over the semester to tackle topics, troubleshoot, and work through examples. It’s easy to overestimate what you can cover.
- Start at the right level. Take on activities that are targeted for your group-- don’t dive into advanced material if most of your members are at a beginner or intermediate level.
- Use existing resources. Explore the Study Group lessons repo, and ask other Leads what's worked best for them.
- Listen to feedback. Be sure to ask group members, or send out a quick survey to find out what people want to learn. Find out how people feel about sessions and formats you've already tried. Be flexible and responsive to requests.
- Expect ebbs and flows. Your Group will probably follow the rhythm of your institution’s schedule-- during busy times, you might not get many attendees.
- Mix it up! If you can, bring in guest speakers or teachers to get the members working on a new topic.
- End the period (semester, term, or quarter) with a party. Thank members for participating and ask them what they'd like to do next term; this party is a hacky hour with lots of advertising push, and a celebratory end of semester/term/quarter feel.