Aarhus University Seal

Rotating study groups

Subject: Education Science Course: Throughout the first and second semesters. Study level: First year of study. Size of class: Approx. 35 students.

Motivation for the activity

A strong focus has continuously been placed on study groups in our Degree Programme Board meetings. We have tried various methods over the years, and this initiative was launched after a Degree Programme Board meeting where we discussed how to ensure that study groups and, not least, exam groups might become slightly more robust. In this context, a wish was expressed to have a clear distribution of responsibility for study group formation and facilitation, respectively, in the first and second semesters of Education Science. The students requested that teachers made more active use of the study groups in both lectures and classroom instruction, for instance by including special tasks/exercises. The rotating study group initiative is therefore intended to contribute to the well-being of students in their Bachelor’s programme. The initiative creates better students and a better academic environment in the programme through the study group work and the improvement of the students’ collaboration skills.

Brief facts about the course

The activity is a framework for group work in all courses in the first and second semesters.

Description of the activity

Administrative study groups are established for the entire first and second semesters. The study groups are formed three times during the first semester and once at the beginning of the second semester. The first formation takes place during the introduction week, when class teachers and student advisers divide the new students into groups. The second and third study group formations are carried out by the class teacher. The fourth formation takes place at the beginning of the second semester, when the study groups are formed on the bases of expectations and needs. See the handout: Script for the pilot project. (Awaiting translation)


Outcome of the activity

This is a new initiative, but at this stage, the students have said that the rotating study group structure works really well, and that they are happy to try working with more of their fellow students.

Worth considering

Teachers should be aware that working in rotating groups is time consuming and requires support from them during the process. They might need, for instance, to provide suggestions for agreement forms or group working methods in class.


    Examples of practice

      This example of practice is developed in connection to "Projekt 1. studieår", where initiatives for retention at the faculty of arts at Aarhus University was mapped.