Student Onboarding

Server Invite Link

When your classroom server is ready to go, follow these steps to format the invite link to your server: 

  1. Navigate to the server dropdown menu 
  2. Click Invite People
  3. Copy the server invite link 

By default, server invite links expire after seven days, and they carry no max limit of uses. To change the settings click Edit Invite Link beneath the link’s URL. Through settings you can create invite links that never expire, as well as links that expire sooner than seven days. You can also limit the number of uses for a given invite link (which is not advisable for whole-class onboarding). 

Onboarding Materials

Clarity is paramount when drafting onboarding materials to send to students. Toward that end you may wish to bullet-point and selectively bold the steps needed for students to not only join your classroom server, but also acclimate to it as a place of their own. This is a good opportunity to present your server as a shared site of class community and social connectivity. In contrast to hybrid and face-to-face courses, where you have the means to onboard students in-person, fully online courses require more direct and detailed guidance to help your students feel comfortable on your server. 

Here is a rundown of the key points to cover when guiding students to your server:

  1. Detail the process of how to download the Discord application and register with the service
  2. Direct student attention to the invite link as the key path to your server
  3. Remind students to reach out to you via email if they encounter technical difficulties with installing the app, registering an account, or using the  invite link. 
  4. Draw attention to a specific channel that will contain additional directions for when they join your server  

Server Welcome Message

Your next step is to post a welcome message to students that encourages further acclimation to the space. Here is an example of the welcome message that I use to get students situated: 

Click here to access the text in the image above.

At the end of the message, you’ll notice that I index different emojis for students to use in response to the welcome message. Doing so has the effect of encouraging emoji reactions, while also taking the temperature of their current onboarding status. When you use emoji reactions in this way, you should respond to your own message with the intended emojis so that the first students responding doesn’t have to locate each emoji on their own accord. Instead, all they have to do is click. 

In order to orient students to your server going forward, you can encourage students to introduce themselves in an #introductions channel, accompanied by a GIF that indicates how they’re feeling at that moment. This helps build transparency between students, and gives learners an opportunity to self-represent themselves not only through written text but also through the language of GIFs, which is a dynamic genre of discourse on Discord.  

Further Guidance

Embedded below is a public document for onboarding students to Discord, generously authored and shared by Sarah Madoka Currie. You can repurpose Sarah’s doc to accord with your own onboarding materials when proceeding to invite and acclimate students to your classroom server.

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