Whiteboards are a familiar aspect of group study sessions, and their presence remains relevant despite the pandemic.
by Mariah Rossi, Alumni Scholarship Recipient and MA student in the Department of Economics and Business
Form study groups! I heard this from my professors, previous students, and know it from my own experience. In any field, but especially quantitatively heavy ones, I think they are important. During the pandemic this has been particularly hard because you can’t all be in the library huddled around a whiteboard practicing derivation. Many students in my program reach out to one another with specific questions about the problem sets. While the pandemic has changed the nature of study groups, a whiteboard still has utility.
I like to practice problems on a whiteboard first, that way when I make mistakes, I don’t have to throw out a sheet of paper. It’s frugal, environmentally friendly, and less confusing than shuffling arounds hundreds of pieces of scrap paper. If a friend asked me a question on a problem, I found it was much easier to write it out on the board and explain it in a video, kind of like a YouTube tutor. Helping my classmates this way also reenforces the knowledge for me and improves my comprehension of the material. I was once bringing the whiteboard over to a friend’s house to study and was stopped on the street and asked if I was an artist, so it turns out making yourself look interesting is an added perk of investing in one.
Collaborative group work has suffered during the pandemic but investing small amounts in simple tools can be a game changer. While my classmates and I haven’t formed a “traditional study group”, we do collaborate and help each other through problems by sharing resources or our insights. For me a whiteboard is still relevant for my own studies and for helping friends regardless of where we are located in the world.