The Graduate Commons
The Graduate Commons is an online community for graduate students enrolled in Memorial University of Newfoundland. It was developed by the School of Graduate Studies in collaboration with the Internationalization office, Marine Institute, and the Grenfell Campus. The Graduate Commons enables networking opportunities and offers resources for you to be successful in your degree programs. There is no need to register or sign up – you automatically have access to the Graduate Commons in Brightspace if you are admitted to and are enrolled in a graduate program at Memorial University.
Key aspects and benefits of the Graduate Commons include:
- Profiles: Through the directory, graduate students are able to connect with peers in: their courses, programs, faculties/schools, and across campuses.
- Discussion Forum: The discussion forum is a safe space for graduate students to ask questions, provide advice, and share knowledge and experiences with other students.
- Toolboxes: The toolboxes consist of carefully curated resources that are meant to help you in all aspects of your program, including: writing, finances, wellness, and career planning.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Graduate Commons, please don’t hesitate to contact SGS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following tips are intended to help you quickly get started and accustomed to the main features of the Graduate Commons:
- Logging in for the first time: You can access the Graduate Commons by visiting online.mun.ca and logging in with your MUN login credentials. If you are a registered graduate student, you’ll have access to the Graduate Commons shell immediately. Once you login, you should see the Graduate Commons under the “My Courses” widget. Please consider “pinning” the Graduate Commons so it appears at the top of your course list and among your current semester courses.
- Creating a profile: Although it is optional, we encourage all grad students to upload a photo and complete their Brightspace profile to help enhance the sense of community in the Graduate Commons. To do this, click on your name in the minibar at the top of page, select “About Me,” and upload your photo and fill in the text fields of your choosing.
- Using the discussion forum: The Graduate Commons’ discussion forum is an excellent way for graduate students to ask/answer questions, offer advice, and share experiences with their peers. The forum is divided into two topics – general discussion, and career planning and job search. To create an original message or thread, first click on the appropriate topic, then click on “Start a New Thread,” and enter your subject and message. Click the “Reply” link to respond to a particular post. CITL offers these helpful tips for using the discussion forum. Please note that posts cannot be deleted. Email email@example.com if you wish to have your post removed.
- Using the toolboxes: You can access a comprehensive collection of resources for graduate students by clicking on “Toolboxes”. The resources are organized by category (e.g., writing, finances, wellness, etc.), and you can click on the category link to view the resources that have been added. The breadcrumb will allow you to quickly navigate backwards, and the arrows at the top and bottom of the page will also help move back and forth between resources.
- Turning notifications on/off: Brightspace allows you to set notifications for the Graduate Commons so you get automatic alerts to your email or mobile device regarding changes and updates. To do this, click on your name in the minibar at the top of the page, select “Notifications,” enter your email address and/or mobile number, and adjust your notification preferences (e.g., new discussion post). You can also receive a daily or weekly of activities on the Graduate Commons.
If you have any trouble accessing or using the features in the Graduate Commons, please don’t hesitate to contact the CITL Support Centre.
The Graduate Commons is intended to be an open and space for Memorial University graduate students to share knowledge and information and we welcome you to the graduate studies community. To ensure the best possible experience for all members, we have established some basic guidelines for participation.
- Respect other members of the community: Please be respectful when communicating with others and posting in the discussion forum, particularly new members. Defamatory, abusive, threatening, and offensive content are prohibited. The student code of conduct also applies to online forums. Please familiarize yourself with Memorial's Student Code of Conduct.
- Be mindful of intellectual property: When posting content that is not your own, please ensure you either have permission to use or it is properly attributed to the content creator.
- Do not use or mention personal information: When posting content, please write as generally as possible and do not share anyone’s personal information (e.g., your MUN student number) to protect your privacy and the privacy of others.
While completing your graduate degree is your ultimate goal, connecting and networking with peers in and outside of your discipline and academic units can enhance your graduate experience in many ways. Building a strong social support network as a graduate student can have a positive impact on your academic performance, wellness, and future career goals and plans. Below are some additional networking opportunities offered to Memorial University graduate students:
- Ten Thousand Coffees is a service that connects students with professional alumni around the world. Through this free online community, graduate students are able to find, connect with, and start up conversations online about shared interests and career opportunities. You’ll be able to get a better understanding about what career options might be open to you, develop communication skills through real-world practice, and build your professional network among Memorial’s 100,000 alumni. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a monthly introduction to other students or alumni based on your interests and goals. Visit this link to sign up today.
- The School of Graduate Studies’ Enhanced Development of the Graduate Experience (EDGE) offers free online workshops and programs for graduate students that are intended to be interactive and help build community around specific interests. In addition to over 100 workshops offered each academic year on a variety of topics, we offer specific programs on English language skills, teaching skills, as well as sessions on equity, diversity and inclusion. EDGE workshops and programs are facilitated by Memorial faculty and staff experts, as well as business and community leaders.
- Memorial Student Life offers a number of events throughout the academic year that allow graduate students to socialize and network with each other while being physically distant, including coffee and community chats, trivia nights, and other topic-based sessions that can help you develop academic skills to be successful in your program. For a detailed list, please visit the Student Life Events Calendar.
- Memorial’s Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) offers a number of opportunities for graduate students to get involved and network with members of the University community, including participation in committees, involvement in GSU events, and joining a GSU-ratified club or society (including access to the Graduate Student Development Fund for the clubs and societies).
- Memorial’s Indigenous Student Resource Centre provides a welcoming community and offers academic and social supports for all Indigenous students at Memorial. Indigenous graduate students can connect with and participate in regular events by following the Indigenous Student Resource Centre Facebook Group.
- The Professional Skills Development Program (PSDP) is offered by Memorial’s Internationalization Office and is designed to help international students, including international graduate students, prepare for professional employment in Canada. Over a six-week period, participants work together with the PSDP facilitator to improve skills and competencies in resume and cover letter, job search and networking, and interview skills. For more information and to register for the next offering, please visit the IO website.
- Memorial’s Family Program offers learning and social opportunities for spouses and children of international graduate students at Memorial, including English Café and Playgroup, ESL opportunities, and community programs and resources. All programming is managed by Memorial’s Family Advisor, who is dedicated to providing space and support for international graduate students and their families.
- Coffee club and discussion group are offered through the Internationalization Office and provides opportunities for international graduate students to meet and socialize with other students online. The discussion group addresses different topics each week on study habits, loneliness, healthy eating and living, and other matters of interest to international graduate students.
- The MUN Mentors program is a peer mentoring program through which new international students are matched with, and mentored by, current Memorial students. Mentors introduce new international students to student life at Memorial and help them develop effective study habits, introduce them to support services available to them, and offer a friendly contact in the University.
- Memorial’s Student Volunteer Bureau (SVB) offers a number of ways for graduate students to get involved and engage with the community at large. Among the opportunities available through the SVB are the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), which helps students find volunteer opportunities in the community, and the Skillshare Event Series, which allows students to teach their peers in a professional setting.
- Academic units often have student groups and communities specific to their discipline. For more information and to find out how to get connected, please be sure you ask your graduate officer or administrative staff.