Go The Distance: Study Skills – Social learning

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1. Make the most of your student community

Welcome back to the 'Study and Exam Skills' area – the home of our video series with top tips to help you on the way to successful studying. This time we're bringing you a guide to an area of study that's becoming more and more important: social learning.

Distance learning: isn’t it perfect? You can study when it suits you, where it suits you – and you can save money! There’s just one problem. You can feel lonely. Don't! Scroll down to watch the video and get the advice you need to make the most of your student community.

2. Study well with your fellow students

It's not just about you!

Learning well isn’t just about you and a lesson, it’s about you, a lesson and your student community! So, you need some study buddies. But you’re a distance learner. What can you do? Watch the video for some suggestions!

To do

While you watch, listen out for THREE advantages of studying in pairs or groups and FOUR tips for using social media and online technology with a student community. Write them down if you like, and you can check your answers – in two infographics – later on this page.

3. Three advantages of studying with others

We asked you to identify THREE benefits of working in groups – did you spot them all? Click on the image to check your answers.

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4. Four tips for talking with other learners

To do: In our Study Skills video guide there were FOUR tips about communicating with other distance learners using social media and forums – did you get them all? Click the image to check your answers.

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5. 9 social learning study tips

You're well on the way to building your student community and discovering the power of social learning! Let's get you set up and review what we've learned so far about learning on social media with other distance learners.

  • Being a distance learner can seem lonely – but learning is all about you, a lesson and your student community – work with each other!
  • Discussing and sharing information allows you to process it a number of times – a good way to help you understand and remember the information.
  • Working with others lets you question all the angles – you'll get a broader understanding of your topic and you won't feel stuck in your own head!
  • 'Study buddies' can share your successes and failures – you can celebrate, compete and commiserate together to stay motivated.
  • One way to build a student community is to join an online forum – there might be one provided by your course, or you can set up your own.
  • Check if your course has a page or group on social media that you can follow. If not, you could set up your own social study space.
  • Make the most of technology! You don't just have to write each other messages – you could use other chat apps or even make video calls!
  • Don't forget to have a structure! Rules and guidelines are important when you're setting up groups and forums.
  • Your course might ask you to do formal social tasks like collaborating on a project and might provide you with online tools.


Click the 'Downloads' button to get free pdf transcripts and extra practice activities for Go The Distance. Visit our partner The Open University for more on study skills – just click on the link in the 'Where next?' section.