Discord for students
With online learning still playing a huge role in many students' days, we at Student Experience looked into ways we could help students maintain communication with their peers outside of class time! Whilst normal lessons take place on 'Blackboard', when class is over the students need a space to gain feedback and ask questions and most importantly, just stay in contact with friends. Discord has given students a space to connect again!
Finding ways to adapt
The college has always been a place built on community, where many of us would be bouncing ideas off each other in the kitchens, playing games or writing up work in the breakout space and even debating the latest episodes of the newest series at the front desk. With distancing measures and limited amounts of students on campus, we created a discord server for each year group to give our students a level of communication back.
I completed my final year as a student in May. With the rapid switch from in person to online working, discord was a huge part of our online community. We used discord to reach out for feedback outside of lessons and to share cool things we found online. We would also sit in voice calls while working so we could gain rapid real time feedback by screen sharing to our teams.
When I first joined the team, my first task was to set up the discord channels for students to reach out to each other and also gain general feedback outside of class times. Discord came with lots of learning curves as it was hard to find examples of people using discord for large scale education. The beauty of discord is that it is always updating and getting new features, and we can always learn through use and add new features to our server as we discover new needs and uses.
We currently use Discord for file sharing, project discussions and also social things such as game nights or catching up in the voice channels. Seeing the students talking on the servers has been a wonderful experience for me, and I hope the addition has been wonderful for them too!