I got a heads-up on twitter this morning about monthly ARE4 study sessions put on by @yafphilly. Now before you disregard that link because you don’t live anywhere within the greater Philadelphia area, note that you’re able to remotely login to the talk with a quick RSVP before the 2/12/13 date. Obviously this is awesome news for those with AIA chapters that don’t have ARE programs and are looking for some help. But could it also mean something more?
This tweet got me thinking about ways that we study and how groups will be shaped in the future of ARE preparation. Do we really have to meet around one large table with books and flashcards anymore? Are we stuck waiting for lectures to happen in our city? Given the multiple ways to connect online, skype and google+ instantly come to mind, it would seem that we no longer have to rely on those in our actual location to learn. Perhaps our study communities are becoming global, and with a standard exam across the country, is there any reason why they shouldn’t be? I think we’re already heading away from localized learning. For example, posting vignette attempts on areforum is a way to reach out and get feedback on our process from others almost instantly. That being said, I’ve never felt the same level of connectivity from forum members when it comes to discussing concepts on the multiple choice portion, so maybe we’re not entirely digital yet, at least on that website.
Personally I’m a solo studier so I’ve never given ARE study sessions a try, digitally or physically. That being said, in Portland the Center for Architecture has an ARE lecture series underway, and coincidentally this month is on Building Systems. I’m wondering if I should give it a go, but I’m hesitating based on how I know I learn best. Study sessions are an opportunity to come together to discuss topics and struggles and it’s exciting to think that the possibilities to connect are limitless for our generation of emerging architects. Still, at the end of the day it ultimately comes down to how we learn, and the amount or type of actual face to face time or online conversation is meaningless if we don’t process new information in that manner. I guess I’m still undecided.
So how about you? Do you benefit from study groups or are you a go it alone type? Have you found any good study sessions that have helped you pass the various divisions of the ARE?