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

 Championing Equity and Inclusion at the HILT Conference

Championing Equity and Inclusion at the HILT Conference

October 23, 2020

Bok Center staff played an active role in last Friday’s annual Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) conference on Championing Equitable Instruction and Inclusive Classrooms, a topic at the core of our work with instructors at all stages. In addition to our many staff who attended the conference as participants, two Bok staff members led breakout sessions. Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development, co-facilitated a breakout session on...

Read more about Championing Equity and Inclusion at the HILT Conference
Bok Helps “School Go Remote”

Bok Helps “School Go Remote”

October 21, 2020

This summer was a busy time at the Bok Center. In the November-December issue of Harvard Magazine, the Bok Center’s Director of Pedagogy Adam Beaver describes some of the ways in which the Bok Center worked with the Office of Undergraduate Education to help faculty prepare to teach remotely this fall. One of the unique challenges facing fall term faculty—one that they did not face in the spring, when they pivoted online halfway through the semester—was the absence of in person meetings where faculty and students  could build rapport and community that could be sustained...

Read more about Bok Helps “School Go Remote”
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