Learning is much, much easier if you have a support group of people in the same situation. I strongly recommend that you find other learners and work alongside them.
The other massive benefit is that employers will want to assess your teamwork abilities. The work you do with your study group gives you examples that you can share in an interview; How did you split work between team members? Where did you have disagreements and how did you resolve them? How did you help a team member who was having trouble understanding a concept?
How do you find people to study with?
Post on LinkedIn that you are planning to do the course, and ask who’d like to do it with you. Ask in the LinkedIn Learning UX Learning Group. Ask in other forums (there’s a list in the Resources section). Use the #UXsyllabus hashtag. You can also search for all other posts that use it (just type the hashtag into the search field) and see who else is looking for the same thing. Find a local meetup and ask there.
It can be scary working with strangers, but let’s face it, you’d be doing the same thing on any other course and you’ll have to get used to working with people who are different from you when you start in industry.
What size study group?
A group of 4 people is ideal. More than 8, and it gets hard for everyone to contribute. Even just having one study buddy is better than working alone!
How should we work together?
If possible, agree to watch each course in the same time period, and set a date when you’ll do a group discussion of what you learned. For each course:
- Agree a date/time for the discussion in advance, so everyone has a deadline.
- Watch the course on your own. Take written notes as you watch. Writing makes you process the information at a deeper level. It’s OK to pause the video so you have time to write all you want.
- Structure the discussion. Use a shared document or whiteboard/stickynotes app to list the course chapters, and talk about the key takeaways from each chapter in turn.
- After the structured discussion, talk about how you could apply this knowledge in real life. Linking the new knowledge to real events helps you to internalize it. For instance, is there a situation you’ve already experienced where the particular skill would have been useful? Or for more theoretical courses, can you think of real-world examples where you see that concept applied (or where it should be applied but isn’t).
- If someone in the group had trouble with a concept, try to help them understand it by using other examples. If you can teach someone else the concept, it shows you’ve learned it!
For projects, you can either work together on each step of the project, or you can work individually and report back to the group in a similar manner to the course discussions.
- Some projects are better suited to a group with varied skill sets. Because everyone in your study group is learning UX skills, it might be better to do this type of project with a different set of people and then report back to your study group and share experiences.
- Some projects are UX-specific, and you can either pair up (useful because this is what happens often in industry) or work individually and report back.