Slack

Slack is an online messaging platform that allows you to create private workspaces where you can conveniently organize conversations, share files, and search conversations for answers. Designed to replace the need for email, it’s a tool that is very popular in industry and at companies with a distributed workforce. Students who have been introduced to Slack during their summer internships or for courses at Harvard are increasingly using it to organize their clubs and extracurriculars.

Slack is now automatically integrated into your course Canvas site; you can activate by clicking on it in the navigation menu that runs down the left side of your Canvas site and following a few quick directions. A how-to guide is available here; if you encounter any difficulties activating Slack, please contact Academic Technology for the FAS.

Why should I consider using Slack in my class?

  • It is familiar and friendly to students. Many students have used messaging platforms, and the format is more natural for conversation than Canvas message boards.
  • It’s asynchronous. Students can post and respond to each other from any timezone, and can pick up conversation threads whenever they are ready to engage with the class.
  • It aggregates conversations and information. As an instructor you can see all of the conversations from the class and all sections in one place. And students can opt in to the channels they need, such as the channel for their section or group project. 
  • It can bring students together. Students can post course related news stories and resources as they come across them.

How can I use Slack?

The Bok Center has prepared instructor- and student-facing guides to using Slack in your course environment:

  • Faculty-facing resource. How can I set up a workspace for my class? What kinds of functionality are available to me, and how can I use them well? Can I integrate Slack with other apps that we use in my course?
  • Slack tips for students. How can I use my course's Slack environment to interact with my instructor(s) and peers? To complete group projects? To help me learn?

For more customized guidance on creating a Slack environment for your course, please contact our Learning Lab team.

Academic Technology for the FAS / HUIT

Your starting place for learning about and accessing many of the technological tools you may need, such as Zoom, Canvas, and related plug-ins.

The Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL)

VPAL convenes university-wide conversations about teaching and pedagogical research, particularly in the online space.

The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE)

OUE oversees, and stewards resources devoted to, the undergraduate curriculum at Harvard College..

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE)

DCE offers a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online courses, and their staff are experienced in thinking about multiple ways to achieve your goals through different mediums.

SEAS and the Division of Science

Advice on teaching in the sciences.

The Harvard Libraries

Request help modifying/troubleshooting your research-based assignments.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Schedule a consultation with the Bok Center's Senior Staff. (Please note that consultations are available only for Faculty and Teaching Fellows in the FAS.)

Faculty can visit our office hours, every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10:30–11:30 AM; or request a class observation.

Daily Office Hours  |  Class observation

Teaching Fellows can attend and explore the asynchronous Canvas resources from Winter Teaching Week; or attend our biweekly TF resource hours.

Winter Teaching Week  |  TF Resource Hours

The media production staff of the Bok Center's Learning Lab can provide consultations for faculty teaching Harvard College courses using Zoom and other modes of media capture. We can provide suggestions for setting up remote video capture environments in your home or office, and on ways to integrate media into your courses.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss your needs with our staff.

Email the Learning Lab  |  Request a Media Tutorial

Grace Burgin

Science through Story: Podcasts in OEB50

April 7, 2021

When OEB50: Genetics and Genomics wrapped in Fall 2019, Professors Robin Hopkins and Dan Hartl, who co-teach the course, decided to incorporate a creative project that would allow students to engage course material in new ways in the next iteration. Little did they know that the next iteration of the course would be on Zoom!

When it came time to design the creative project, Hopkins and Hartl turned to OEB graduate student Grace Burgin, a Media and Design Fellow at the Bok Center’s Learning Lab. ...

Read more about Science through Story: Podcasts in OEB50
Student leans over to better study a piece of art at the Harvard Art Museums

The Museum is your Classroom--Online

February 10, 2021

The Bok Center has been excited to collaborate with the Harvard Art Museums to bring ideas and strategies for teaching with museum collections to faculty and Teaching Fellows through a series of workshops and, for the first time this spring, a Bok Seminar. What started as an independent session run by Jen Thum (Assistant Director of Academic Engagement and Assistant Research Curator, Harvard...

Read more about The Museum is your Classroom--Online
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