Campus & Community

FDU Does CircleIn: The New Study Buddy

By Kenny Lo

Student Lifestyle Editor

As part of the Fall 2020 Reopening Plan, President Christopher Capuano promised to introduce new online platforms to help students stay engaged with one another and offer more activities online. Introducing the CircleIn app, a one-stop shop for all things study-related.

What makes the CircleIn app engaging is it allows students to reach out to their peers, study together, share notes and collaborate on projects, thus promoting connectivity and academics. Users can connect to other students in several ways: direct messaging, group chats, group video sessions or note sharing.

And now for the cool part.

The app itself is game-based, which means as an added bonus, it has a reward system. The more time a student spends studying and working with their peers, the more reward points they can earn. These points can be redeemed for cool rewards like Amazon or Best Buy gift cards, and even scholarships. 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and Gov. Phil Murphy’s New Jersey “Road Back” plan remaining at Stage 2, remote learning continues to be a common option for academia. This app acts as a companion that will keep students connected, help them with their studies and earn reward points.

“We believe that there is incredible strength in knowledge sharing among peers and when knowledge is freely shared, it unlocks unlimited use cases,” said Gerald Meggett, Jr., the chief executive officer and co-founder of CircleIn, on the app’s website.

A downloadable pdf file on the website features a survey of the U.S. Undergraduate Student Sentiment amid COVID-19 in April 2020:

  • 25.9% of students have considered dropping out or taking a hiatus from school, now or next semester.
  • 36.3% of students have a lower attendance record. 63.1% communicate less with classmates. 52.6% are studying less.
  • 83.2% of students are experiencing higher stress levels. 72.8% feel like they are learning less. This has resulted in 35.5% of students receiving lower grades.

A second downloadable version of a survey conducted the following month included students using CircleIn yielded these, predictably positive, results:

  • 58.4% of students interact more frequently with their classmates.
  • 65.2% of students experience an increase in productivity. 63.6% gain more confidence in their ability to pass their courses. This resulted in better academic performance for 78.6% of students.
  • 71% of students have recommended CircleIn to their peers.

Overall, students have responded well to the app. CircleIn helped them understand materials better by allowing them to ask for help, communicate better by working as a team, share notes and improve their socialization skills online. You can find the full list of responses from the survey here.

According to their Privacy Policy, CircleIn does not share personal information with third-party sites. The data sent to them is only used for either responding to requests made by the user or providing a better service in the future.

“CircleIn is a platform that fosters the creation of a safe and nurturing learning community. Our students have the opportunity to work with their peers and take an active role in their learning experiences at our University,” said Dr. Margaret M. Roidi, the director of the Academic Resource Center & Disability Support Services, via email.

Despite the distance from remote learning conditions, this app brings students closer together. With CircleIn, FDU has delivered a truly remote experience that makes studying productive, immersive, fun and rewarding for its students this fall.

For more information, please visit the FDU website. The app can be downloaded from both the App Store and the Google Play Store.

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