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  • Writer's pictureHeather Saigo

Using Discord for Higher Education

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

There has been some news coverage of Discord recently, calling it an app for gamers. While it was primarily used by gamers for a while, it has become a mainstream platform for online communities. With more than 300 million users worldwide, Discord supports online groups for hobby clubs, nonprofit organizations, and academic communities.

I prepared this presentation for a class in social learning theory and new media. It is a quick introduction of Discord for education and its potential use in supporting students. With an eye on student retention, it seems that Discord offers another tool to help foster a sense of belonging. This may be especially helpful for online students who do not have opportunities to hang out with friends in person. I believe Discord is a powerful way to meet students where they are (literally on the devices they carry everywhere). Using Discord for education includes not just course-related activities, but also gives students a space to socialize and develop peer relationships. Students who feel they belong tend to drop out at lower rates than those who feel isolated.

Although they may not be considered "educational technology," social media platforms like Discord can be incorporated into learning environments. If you have any ideas or questions about how to set up a Discord server to support your learning community, let me know.

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