National University’s New Facebook Application Creates “On Campus” Feel
Understanding a need to bring together a large online student body, National University recently launched a new forum they’ve dubbed the “NU Commons”.
Customized for National University by Inigral, Inc., the Commons is accessed via the social media website Facebook, giving NU students an opportunity to communicate with other students, ask questions, arrange study groups and to discuss classes and life.
“The NU Commons was at once just a thought of how we [National University] could bring the student body together, create a community and replicate the on-campus feel that students gain from actually attending a college campus,” said Kendra Losee, Associate Vice Chancellor of Marketing at NU. “What a better way than Facebook, since most people are on there anyways. We know our students are busy with work, school, family, and life in general, so we didn’t want to add to their already busy schedule. That’s why they take online classes in the first place.”
Among the many features of the Commons, students can search for others with the same major, and also for those who share similar interests. In the margin of the page are tags showing subjects that students are currently discussing, and joining the conversation is as simple as clicking the tag. Another feature allows students to see what questions are being posted.
With students located in all corners of the globe, NU felt that it was important to create a place where everyone could be welcome, and to feel part of the community, Losee said.
Since its launch in November of 2011, student feedback for the commons has been mostly positive.
“It does add to cohesion and school spirit,” said Bruce Dexter, an NU student who lives in Miami Florida. Dexter, who is working on a degree in Spanish, also said that he enjoys reading comments made to other students’ posts, which offers an interesting perspective and allows him to gain more Facebook friends.
For more information about the NU Commons, and to sign up, NU students can find a link on the SOAR student portal.