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CircleIn app allows students to study together while apart

Published on January 28, 2021

CircleIn app allows students to study together while apart

CircleInCOVID-19 has created stress for students challenged by remote learning. In response, the Academic Success Center at Eastern Connecticut State University is partnering with CircleIn, a free, peer-to-peer studying app, to empower students and help them solve difficult problems together.

“CircleIn’s website says the app is “the place where students study remotely, collaborate, chat and brainstorm together just like they would in a coffee shop, but online, and with a much larger community. CircleIn provides students “an immersive learning experience that helps to make success more attainable, common and inclusive.”

“CircleIn is backed by the National Science Foundation and helps students to stay productive around a very critical studying experience,” said Tiffany Goodall ’18, university assistant in the Academic Success Center, who is promoting and managing the app for Eastern students. 

“CircleIn’s mission and approach align with our focus on student success,” said Goodall. “CircleIn transforms the classroom into a digital community and creates the space for students to brainstorm together, just like they would in the dining hall or a library.” She said CircleIn can be used on any mobile device and has a web version that can be used on a laptop or desktop computer.

Previously, CircleIn had been available to only first-year students, but this semester it is open to all Eastern students. CircleIn reports that 64.4 percent of students experience an increase in productivity; 65.7 percent gain more confidence; and 80.1 percent realize an increase in academic performance.

Goodall said this past fall, 43.5 percent of first-year students downloaded the app. These students created 8,712 study actions — flashcards, posts, workflow time management activities, helpful links — with an average of 24 study actions per student.   

Goodall said CircleIn is great for keeping first-year students connected to one another after class as well. “The app is not only a great resource, but it also works to create extrinsic and intrinsic motivation for our students in a format they are familiar with. This app has become a great addition to student resources at Eastern, so we are very excited to now make the app available for all students.”

She said due to the challenges students currently face, now is a great time to promote an application that aims to overcome the challenges of remote learning.

“Utilizing CircleIn gives students the opportunity to continue their learning, ask questions and connect with one another after class in a format with which they are familiar.”

Many Eastern faculty were trained virtually on CircleIn this past December, when they learned how the platform is changing the culture of studying to help students be more productive.

Goodall said the beauty of CircleIn for faculty is that it is virtually hands-off. The app is designed to be student-centered, meaning the students are the ones helping each other, so there is no additional work for faculty. However, faculty can still be involved with their courses’ CircleIn accounts.

“Through CircleIn, faculty can gain insights into their students’ studying behaviors, which can help them to close any potential learning gaps,” said Goodall. “CircleIn is also another way for faculty to understand their classroom dynamic by seeing who is participating and how.”

She said CircleIn recently created a “feed” section on the website so that faculty can quickly view everything students are posting.

Written by Dwight Bachman

Categories: Library, Academics