From classes to extracurriculars to games, most students have experience with the social media platform Discord. It’s become a safe place for students to chat about homework, mental health, and video games via text or voice call. But what’s in creating an ideal server? And what are these servers like for UW students?
Discord is organized into individual servers. Each server has many channels that can be configured for voice or text messaging. Inside a class server, for example, there might be a homework channel where students can ask for help with their homework or a casual channel where students can connect through memes or pictures. of animals. The ideal configuration for a Discord server and its channels depends on the purpose of the server.
“The ideal classroom Discord server for me would be a server with a majority of participating members,” said freshman Alex Mous. “No dead or empty channels, and a good environment to ask questions.”
No one likes the awkwardness of a dead cat over text or Instagram. Discord is similarly, but more extreme, as there is no limit to how many members can be on a server. Imagine needing homework help in a dead server of 700 people. Fortunately, this kind of situation seems rare.
“I think class discord servers are useful, especially for working on homework issues,” said freshman Kasia Perks. “Especially this term, because classes have started online.”
When classes went live at the start of the winter term, Discord servers became the main way for students to meet their classmates. While this all sounds friendly and helpful, distance learning also allows students to use social media platforms like Discord to cheat on exams and assignments.
“There have also been instances of students collaborating on exams when they weren’t supposed to, leading to them being banned from the server,” said freshman Audrey Yip.
In Yip’s case, the students took the repercussions seriously and took steps to avoid cheating in the future.
Cheating – a hot topic during online school – has students curious about how aware teachers are of the Discord servers used for their lessons. Some students even had teachers in their class server.
“I think it reduced a lot of the discussions that students tend to have, like posting memes because they knew a professor was reading their posts,” Mous said. “However, I also feel like it was a good way to get questions answered quickly.”
Despite the benefit of quick access to teacher support, most students think teachers shouldn’t be involved with servers.
“There are many ways to access professors for help, such as through Ed Discussion or office hours,” Perks said. “I prefer having Class Discords as a student space.”
Many teachers seem aware of – and sometimes involved with – their classrooms’ Discord servers. However, most students prefer to use Discord to chill, rant, post memes, and get help from their peers.
Contact contributing writer Brielle Arnold at email@example.com. Twitter: @brielle_arnold
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