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How to Set-up a Virtual Study Group

Since CBIC is limited in how we can provide tools to study for the initial CIC® examination, we have created a guide on how to set-up your own virtual study group. There are a couple ways that you can do this from setting up a very basic free group where members can post questions freely, to a more in-depth virtual study group with facilitated presentations and discussions. Please note: if you need assistance with any of the platforms outlined below, please contact that company/organization for help. CBIC cannot provide technical assistance for these platforms.

Free Discussion Forums

There are many free options for creating online groups. These platforms are linked below with instructions on how to set up a group and what features they offer. 

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups is an easy way to set up an online study group. Groups can be public (meaning anyone with a LinkedIn account can join the group) or (private meaning group members have to be granted permission by the admin before joining). Each discussion post, or question, will appear on the home page of the group. Anyone in the group can post discussion questions. Once a question or topic is posted to the group any member of the group may respond to the post by clicking on it and commenting. In this way those studying for the exam can ask questions and either group facilitators or others studying for the exam can help answer the question. The steps for setting up your first LinkedIn Group are outlined below:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your LinkedIn account (If you do not have one, you will need to set one up)
  2. Along the top of the page you will see tabs. Hover over the tab “Interests” and click on “Groups” in the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on “My Groups”
  4. Click on “Create group”
  5. Fill in all of the starred boxes
  6. Click “Create group”
  7. Once you have successfully created the group, you can manage the group settings by clicking on the group and then clicking “Manage”

For more in-depth answers on what you can do with LinkedIn Groups, click here.

Google Groups

Similar to LinkedIn, Google Groups gives you a platform to meet online and post questions and discussion topics. Once again, the group can be public or private and anyone in the group can post to the group and comment on the posts. Here are instructions on how to set-up a Google Group:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your Google account (If you do not have one, you will need to set one up) and on the Google Groups page.
  2. Click “Create Group” along the top.
  3. Fill out the applicable sections in the form. (This is where you can set the permissions.)
  4. Click “Create”
  5. Once the group is created, you can post topics to the forum and users can comment on them.

For more in-depth answers on what you can do with Google Groups, click here.

Groupbox or ProBoards

Groupbox and ProBoards are online forums that offer more structure to your online study group. They both have more advanced features than Google Groups and LinkedIn Groups. They allow you to set up specific discussion boards, have more administrative control, and are more customizable. For more information on both of these forums, please use the links below.

How does Groupbox work?
Getting Started with ProBoards

Online Learning Platforms

There are many online learning platforms out there, both free and at a cost, that allow you to set-up more facilitated virtual study groups with educational presentations. You can learn more about these platforms and their capabilities by clicking on the links below.

COURSEsites (Free)

There are a number of other free and subscription based online learning platforms and group forums that you can search for on your own. Be sure to look at the platform’s features to find what will work best for your study group.

Watch this Webinar on How To Set-up a Virtual Study Group