Following in the footsteps of last year’s Advance Placement United States History students, sophomore Daniel Tenbusch is making use of every resource he can think of in order to succeed on his semester exams.
After a recommendation by junior Benjamin Moor, Tenbusch started a Facebook group — “APUSH Class of 2014” — in hopes he and classmates could use the social network’s many services to study together and share collective knowledge without the restrictions of traditional study groups.
“I thought a group would be a great way for a large number of people to get together, and share resources and knowledge, like a normal study group,” Tencbusch said. “But I’ve only scratched the surface.”
The group currently has 28 members, and not everyone is always able to participate at the same time, but Tenbusch said he feels the online study group is helpful because it can take a distraction like Facebook and turn it into a better study tool.
“It’s a great reminder, for when assignments are due, or when we have an upcoming test,” he said. “I also feel like it’s a better way for us to stay focused. Students would much rather click on a notification from the group than to bring themselves to read an outline or flip through note cards. It’s also a much easier alternative to simply join a chat-room discussing the material than it is to manage a study group in person.”
Before the group was created, some students tried using Facebook to communicate with friends about the class. Others would post, reminding fellow students of upcoming assignments, planned study groups and tests.
“It was a great idea,” sophomore Paige Neihart said. “It’s helped me focus on studying much more. I used to try to use Facebook to study with my friends, but when only 28 out of 300 people on your friends list are actually in the class, anything useful that would be posted would get lost in the news feed. It’s much easier and organized with a group.”
Despite generally positive feedback on the group, Jayanth Kundumadathil remains skeptical about its effectiveness.
“Discussions stray from the topic much too easily, and people don’t take studying serious enough,” the sophomore said. “We get sidetracked too much and not everyone is on at the same time. It just doesn’t really work for me.”
With increased class sizes from last year, the group offers students a chance to speak more than they might have time for in class.
“An important part of APUSH is sharing information with one another. In previous years, with classes as small as 16 students, people had plenty of time to share,” sophomore Nick Etrick said. “However, this year, we can’t all share as much as we’d like to because there just isn’t enough time. The group helps because we can still share information with everyone whenever we want to.”
By Nick Baker