August 9, 2021
August 9, 2021
August 21, 2021
Online communities are quickly growing with the current unprecedented reliance on distance-based learning. It is imperative to understand how to properly structure and utilize an online platform to foster community, education, and inclusion. As far as the University of Maryland is concerned, GroupMe is the dominant platform for student-led, course-related, high occupancy communication. GroupMe serves well, but lacks in formability, creativity, and inclusion. There is a need to form a space where students are comfortable to meet and speak with each other, regardless of their course section or physical location. This work-in-progress (WIP) paper discusses an overview and the initial findings of creating and using a Discord Server for the Introduction to Engineering Design course at the University of Maryland, College Park. The piloted implementation of this discord server occurred over the Fall 2020 semester, including 12 sections and 228 users (teaching assistants, professors, students, and community members). The goal of this server is to build community between students in an environment where online learning prevents in-person conversation and connection between peers. If successful, Discord usage will lessen the communication gap between students. Throughout the semester, we were curious of how students would utilize the platform. This project’s motivation was to ensure that students do not get lost or isolated on “zoom university” and have a constant source for engagement to interact with other students and receive assistance from the teaching faculty. Discord presents the unique ability for role-assignment and the opportunity to vary access depending on assigned roles. This allows for separate sections of the Discord to be dedicated to social or academic resources. Further, within these categories is the opportunity to speak within “Voice” channels or message through “Text” channels. This paper presents a strategy of implementation and structure, results found from a student survey and interviews, faculty impressions of student behavior, and future work for upcoming semesters.
Farah, F. A., & Eagle, W. E. (2021, August), Applicability of the Discord platform in the advancement of learning in the Introductory to Engineering Design course Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/38370
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