VU Launches CircleIn to Promote Collaboration Among Students


photo by Josie Kidder

A student logs in to the CircleIn app on her cellphone.

CircleIn is an app that creates a fun and easy network allowing students to connect remotely with classmates. They can discuss homework assignments,  work in study sessions, and help exchange ideas.

Vincennes University launched the app to allow students to collaborate without having to leave where they are instead of struggling to find a time to meet up that fits everyone’s schedule. 

The CircleIn App has many features that help students study and connect with other students and their professors when needed and help with studying and maintaining time management with a positive outcome. 

Although CircleIn is not a mandatory app, some instructors at VU require it for their classroom, while others strongly recommend using it. 

Assistant Professor of Biology Ali Benamar said that since his class started using the app, he has seen an increase in scores all around compared to before the launch of the app.

“We just started using CircleIn this semester, so it’s still an ongoing process. Compared to classes from last year, I do see an increase in overall grades so far. The students have also stated that they enjoy it. Some students even share notes as soon as the class ends, so the feedback is all positive so far. I would absolutely recommend it. It is at least worth trying, and even if it only helps a few students from the class, that is still a win. Also, by allowing students to help each other, the professor will be able to repurpose the time saved to focus on topics the students are struggling with the most,” Benamar said.

He added it is a “good initiative that creates a community that’s made up of students helping one another, that isn’t faculty-led, which empowers the students to be in charge of their learning.”

Rebecca Strange, an assistant professor of nursing at the Jasper campus, doesn’t require the app in her course, but she said she does encourage students to use the app to enhance their learning experience. 

“I do not actually use the app specifically in my course. I have only encouraged students to use the app as another means of communication with their peers. Additionally, as another tool to try to utilize in the process of pulling the vast amount of information together, only serves to enhance the learning experience. The app is another tool to encourage engagement, which in turn leads to student success. Students that take control of learning and become more engaged are likely to be more successful,” she stated.

Not only does CircleIn allow teachers to help encourage and grow students’ learning experiences, but it also helps students manage their homework and connect with group partners and classmates through the app. 

VU Homeland Security and Public Safety major Elizabeth Melecosky said that she uses the app to manage her workflow effortlessly, allowing her to stay calm and collected and have no worries about missing a big test.

With the workflow feature, students can type out the tasks they need to get done such as homework and even studying for a test. They can view these tasks by board view, list view, and calendar view. This feature helps by making sure they are prioritizing and getting everything done.

“Not only am I able to collaborate with fellow students, but I can manage homework, tests, and projects by prioritizing and staying on task. I think every college/university should start using this app. It’s so helpful, it’s free and easy to use. I also enjoy the fact you can collaborate with fellow students directly as a distant student. I feel this is a great option, ” Melecosky said.

Not only does it reward students by helping them with their grades, but it also rewards them by giving them gift cards to places like Amazon or Ulta when they complete different tasks.

By using features like flashcards and notes, students will earn points. To receive points for the Rewards Store, students must share something useful on the app or help a classmate out on something. At the end of each month, students will get the chance to choose a prize. 

“You can get real gift cards and rewards for completing assignments. You practically get rewarded for doing things you already have to do. There are so many opportunities to gain points and rewards, whether it’s by completing tasks or sharing notes/links. I have been rewarded gift cards. In the last three weeks, I have been awarded a total of $30 worth of Amazon gift cards (but there are different options of gift cards such as for different restaurants, stores, and Netflix). Make sure to check your emails for extra tasks (such as surveys) to win prizes such as computers or $1,000 in food delivery services),” Melecosky said.

She added, “CircleIn is always looking to better themselves by making it easier for students to use. They enjoy hearing feedback and suggestions on how to make the app better.”

Students can access CircleIn on the Blackboard homepage through MyVU along with getting the app in the Apple app store or the Google Play Store. More information about the app can be found on the CircleIn website at