COURSELNK: A NEW COURSE MESSAGING SERVICE
Updated: Apr 15, 2021
One of the challenges every year at university is connecting with classmates and
finding people to study with. There is always a scramble at the start of the semester where McGill students turn to Facebook to search for people in their classes to make Messenger group chats with, although very few exist. This struggle has been amplified due to the pandemic preventing students from meeting in lecture halls. However, McGill students Sebastian Danson and Victorien Garrigues have come up with a solution: Courselnk.
Earlier in the year, Simplify McGill sat down with these creators to hear their story.
Over the summer, Seb was practicing his coding skills by developing apps, including an app called UniPlan, which works as a virtual planner. A few months ago, as he was searching for group chats on Facebook with disappointing results, he came up with the idea for a centralized platform that would hold all the group chats for every course at McGill. Seb then turned to Vic, who he had met through classes and worked with in a hackathon before, to make his vision a reality. Seb worked on coding the back end of the app, and Vic coded the front end and the database. They also had help from a friend, Max Livingston from the University of Western Ontario, to help with marketing and the business plan. Making the app was no small feat—the boys spent roughly three hours working on it a day, even through the fall semester. Then, finally, a little over three weeks ago, Courselnk became available on the App Store, and the website launched. As of now, there are over 2,800 users.
Courselnk is an app made by students for students that contains premade group chats for every course. To join a group chat, no invitation is required; the user simply needs to add themself to each of their classes. Once the user has created an account, a variety of features optimized for school group chats are available. Messages sent on the platform can be tagged with a certain category, such as assignments, exams, etc., and the user can later filter the chat by a specific tag to view only relevant messages. This is much more convenient than scrolling through long conversations as is necessary on other common messaging apps. Users also have the ability to clip PDFs, images, and important messages to make it easier to find them later, as well as the ability to personalize their account with profile pictures.
The app is a real testament to the ingenuity and innovation of McGill students. Courselnk was submitted to a competition for startups and is currently in the semi-finals. But, the creators are still far from done for their work on the app. They have exciting plans for expansion, including private messaging, private groups, profile pages, a campus update system, and course reviews. Their goal is to have everyone at McGill join the app, and ultimately, have a way to connect everybody.
Download Courselnk from the App Store today, or access the web version at