The Student Room: An online survival guide

photoASF9UIQ5The Student Room. An online forum where students can discuss and share academic knowledge relationships tips , health and lifestyle as well as creating a sense of belonging. Whilst some people view this message board as being filled with students whose goal is to break the record for the amount of A* grades achieved at GCSE, the majority view the website as a “friendly place” where opinions are respected and learn new things from each other.

Members of this community benefit from a site like this as they can share personal experiences and use this as a way of helping others who are going through something similar. It also allows students to advertise their own material e.g. blogs, tutorials and reviews by putting it in the ‘Creative Corner’

The website provides thread topics where you can discuss anything from ‘how to deal with bullying’ and ‘best revision strategies’. However with a large community such as this guidelines must not be crossed. ‘The Student Room’ was under minor investigation during the 2011 London riots, inspecting threats, discriminatory views and joining terrorist groups. Challenges with sites like this is making sure members know the difference sharing opinions and being disrespectful, which is why the forum has community guidelines allow everyone to make their contribution.






  1. Just realised I my comment on the wrong blog post! But I do also think that the student room is a really good online community. As it has personally really helped me out with any queries that I have had. The online threads that the website has to offer can be so helpful to people and is such a great way for students to communicate and help each other out.


  2. I think that this is such a good example of an online community and I was actually going to use this example myself! This online community is such a good way for women to share their experiences online and learn from each other. This site has many useful areas where they can educate themselves with anything they are unsure about, especially if they are new mothers. The campaign they created was a clever idea as it lets women feel more connected and know that they are not alone.

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  3. This is an excellent example of an online community, targeting a very specific type of users. As explained by my colleague, websites such as The Student Room have some clear advantages: creating a sense of belonging, based on shared problems, issues or interests, enabling an open conversation and, most significantly, tolerating forms of personal contribution.

    However, I feel it is necessary to discuss a characteristic of such online communities, which to me is problematic. Yes, they allow students to ‘discuss anything’ (see The Student Room: An online survival guide). Yes, they ‘orchestrate’ conversations, which affect a wide range of users.

    But, is it not fair to argue that their overall strategy is too general? When having to ‘sustain the good voice of the conversation,’ does not this ‘wide variety of engagement options’ turn out to be a drawback?

    As much as making ‘the difference between sharing opinions and being disrespectful’ evident to the members of the community is crucial (see The Student Room: An online survival guide), it is equally important to recognize the necessity to exercise some control over the flow and content of the conversation.

    This, in my opinion, would allow online communities such as The Student Room to improve the quality of their service and avoid accusation, which may arise from the provision of such freedom (see The Student Room: An online survival guide).

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