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Published December 15, 2020
A new study app that will help University of Wyoming students be more productive, more collaborative and accelerate their learning will be rolled out for the spring semester.
UW students can use the CircleIn app -- funded by the National Science Foundation to help improve student outcomes -- to study through the internet with their classmates. In this day of COVID-19, students often, after a lecture, keep to themselves and sometimes struggle to keep up on coursework.
CircleIn is an easy-to-use studying app and website, designed to bring students closer together, to solve difficult problems and create an immersive learning experience, according to the company’s website.
“We recognize that there is currently no way for students to formally be a part of a study group without taking the initiative in class themselves,” says Jess Willford, UW’s LeaRN Programs manager. She is coordinating the CircleIn project with Richard Miller, UW’s Advising Career and Exploratory Studies (ACES) associate director.
They say that, even without the ongoing pandemic, sometimes it is a problem for students to study together.
“It’s not always easy to get to know your neighbor in class,” Willford says. “Secondly, we know that many students want to be part of a study group but may feel awkward doing so or may not know how to start.”
Both ACES and LeaRN have wanted to create this opportunity for students, Willford adds, and are grateful that it will be available to all students.
“We’re excited about this software. Not only will it help students successfully navigate their courses, but it also will help them get to know their peers and form a community -- all on a platform that is easily accessible and app-based,” Willford says. “We plan to see CircleIn rolled out on day one of the spring semester for students to begin immediately or to join as they need.”
UW began the process of obtaining the study-based tool earlier this fall. There will be no charge to UW to obtain access to CircleIn’s app.
“Students have indicated the difficulty of maintaining their study groups during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Steve Barrett, associate vice provost for undergraduate education. “CircleIn will allow students within a given course to establish study groups.”
Once the program is available to students, they will access the app by clicking the “CircleIn” button on the menu in their WyoCourses, or they can download the app on their devices. Students can find the app -- and many more “must-have” apps -- at www.uwyo.edu/step/apps.html.
Miller says not only will students be able to join study groups, but they also will have the opportunity to meet their peers and create a community.
“We hope to get all students -- from first-year to graduate students -- using this app, but we plan to target first- and second-year students, in particular, by partnering with key entities on campus,” he says.
Those include Residence Life and Dining Services, Associated Students of UW, UW Institutional Marketing, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and faculty.
“CircleIn will be significantly more successful if faculty talk about it with their students -- by mentioning it in lectures, during office hours or in the course syllabi,” Miller adds.
To learn more about CircleIn, visit www.circleinapp.com/.