It’s the night before a public exam, you’re revising in a hurry and all you can think about is the predicted questions that are likely to come up in the paper you’re soon to take. You urgently need some advice on what notes to prioritise, or some words of relaxation to calm you down because you’re panicking. We’ve all been there.
The online content which I would like to share is The Student Room, a chat room founded in 2001 where students can discuss and share ideas about how to structure essays, chances a particular question is going to appear in an exam, and many more aspects of academia. As the largest online student community with over 1.8 million members, threads about different topics can also be found, for example, ‘Fast car, big house or hot wife?’ and ’12 memories for those who grew up in the 2000s’. It’s constantly active, with a large number of replies flooding into every conversation each minute. Just to give you an idea, one post received 8336 replies in one minute.
This form of audience participation is significant because of how many people make up this community. It provides a space for students to find help for homework issues, advice on UCAS applications, or simply a chat about matters which are external to education.
The Student Room has a smartphone app, making it accessible from almost anywhere. It also offers the option to speak anonymously, to avoid identification if talking about an embarrassing matter. The downsides of this, however, are that it increases the chance of cyberbullying, and the heavy activity makes it difficult to keep track of a thread smoothly.
Overall, I think this is a useful place for students to connect and open up to one another, and is a suitable example of audience participation. The Student Room Ltd also holds two other major websites, Marked By Teachers and Get Revising.