Charles Sturt University logo
Building community in online learning

Building community in online learning


Are you looking to find friends while studying online? Making life-long friends online is scary sometimes. Take a leap of faith and joining a new social study group might just be the thing that changes your social life for the better! Follow Cassidy’s journey as she was introduced to over 300 students in her cohort by the click of a button.

Written by Cassidy Buosi

When I began my online Master’s degree in Information Studies (MIS) at Charles Sturt, I thought I would be waving goodbye to the social aspect of university that I had grown to love during my undergraduate degree.

Little did I know that I would enter an active and supportive community of fellow MIS students as well as Bachelor of Information Studies (BIS) students.

Not long after beginning my degree in early 2023, I was sent a link to a Discord server by another MIS student.

The Information Studies Discord server.

Not having much knowledge of Discord, I joined reluctantly, not knowing what to expect. I was soon met with a community of over 300 MIS and BIS students studying at Charles Sturt who chat daily in the numerous channels on our Discord server.

With each subject having its own channel on Discord, making connections with fellow students in the same subjects that I was studying became an easy task that enriched my learning.

Although our community is predominantly online, it isn’t uncommon for study groups to be formed on our Discord that meet face-to-face. Being MIS students, libraries are usually our go-to place to study.

Another social activity that I have experienced as an online MIS student is the mandatory study visit that we have to complete during our degree.

Cassidy’s study visit to the Victorian Archives Centre.

I chose to do my study visit in Melbourne, where I met and spent time with so many amazing MIS students from all walks of life who have become really good friends of mine.

Although the social aspect of studying online at Charles Sturt looks different from those studying at one of the Charles Sturt campuses, we are still a social bunch who support each other, organise study groups, and chat daily virtually.

I am so grateful for all my fellow MIS and BIS peers who make my online study a social experience where I feel a sense of community and belonging.

Want to hear another student voice?

This is an SSAF funded initiative
Write for Charlie Graphic