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Social College Students May Receive Higher Grades



By Chris Hassan
Posted February 04, 2013 11:00 AM

Social students may be more successful students.
Social students may be more successful students.

In college, some students like to find a quiet spot on campus and study alone, while others prefer to prepare for an upcoming exam with a few classmates. Based on the results of a new study, those who are more comfortable studying and completing course work with their peers may do a lot better academically than those who work in solitude, according to a press release from the University of California, San Diego's (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering.

The findings of this study, which appear in the journal "Nature Scientific Reports," reveal that tackling course work with more than one person can yield positive results, such as better test scores. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after analyzing 290 college students in a collaborative learning environment, as well as the 80,000 interactions shared between them.

Overall, students who interacted with one another, whether online or in person, were more likely to achieve higher scores than fellow degree seekers who tended to work alone. This was partly due to the fact that high-performing students often formed stronger connections with one another, which led to more complex ways of exchanging information.

"For the first time, we showed that there is a very strong correspondence between social interaction and exchange of information - a 72 percent correlation," said Manuel Cebrian, a computer scientist at UCSD and the study's co-author.

Based on this research, associate's and bachelor's degree seekers who want to do well in their studies may want to consider a more social approach to handling their course work.

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