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Cornell University

Assignment and Study Partners

Your students might now be looking for partners on assignments, as well as study buddies to help them stay accountable and on track. You can support students in these helpful, collaborative efforts by creating partnering opportunities and referring them to campus resources, such as Learning Strategies Center’s study partner matching service. Here are some more ideas…

Within Your Class

  • In a smaller class, try creating a mixer opportunity in the last 10 minutes of an upcoming class meeting. Instead of asking the vaguely-incriminating question, “who still needs a partner?”, provide a more social scenario. Have students physically move around the room a few times to group around common interests, which could include serious or silly concerns. This activity can get students to talk to each other and break down the social boundaries that otherwise might interfere with partner formation. Some possibilities include:
    • Theory vs. practice
    • Front-end user experience vs. back-end technical design
    • Night owl vs. early bird
    • North campus vs. West campus
    • Okenshields vs. Trillium
  • In a larger class, you might be able to do the above in discussion sections or labs. Or, if those aren’t a possibility, you can post a “megathread” for partner formation on Ed Discussion. At an even more involved level, you could endeavor to provide a matching service. MTEI has some resources for that, including our GroupEng software for automatically forming groups based on best pedagogical practices.

Campus Resources

Cornell’s Learning Strategies Center helps students study together. They provide: