CircleIn app makes connections possible for students

Roger Coda
logo for app

Students who missed being able to interact with their friends on lectures and related classroom material last fall will be able to make those valuable connections through CircleIn, a new study app they’ll find embedded in every OnCourse template in the spring semester.

CircleIn allows students to study remotely, collaborate with peers in order to communicate and exchange ideas, access tutors and stay productive.

The Office of Academic Affairs acquired the app in response to a campus-wide survey last fall that asked students what the campus could do better in the spring semester, said Associate Provost Judith Horowitz, particularly with continuation of remote and hybrid learning.

“Students indicated that they really missed engaging with their peers; they miss the community,” Dr. Horowitz explained. “CircleIn provides the ability for students to engage with their peers in an academic way. Institutions using CircleIn report increased student retention and increased student satisfaction.”

Upon downloading the app, students can connect with fellow students, asking them questions and start earning points toward gift cards or scholarships. “It’s really a gaming app that allows students to excel and to engage academically,” Horowitz said. Use of the app is free to students.

“In a psychology course, for example, a student could ask a question about something in a lecture by Dr. [Jack] Croxton, and five students can respond and provide details,” Horowitz said. “Students can share notes with each other, share flash cards to help them study for an exam, and they can provide support for one another.”

Faculty trained to monitor the app can find out common questions being asked by students. Lectures can be modified accordingly and areas where students need more help or guidance can be identified and addressed, Horowitz added.

CircleIn will be especially valuable with students learning remotely and seldom coming to campus, Horowitz said. “They miss having physical contact with other students. This app creates the opportunity to engage and create a community for students.”

Use of CircleIn last fall at Monroe Community College resulted in a significant increase in retention among students, Horowitz said. “I think this will be tremendous for students. The students at Monroe Community College really liked it.” Administrators there highly recommended the app to Fredonia.


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