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 daily office hours, every Monday–Friday 10:30–11:30 AM; register for a one-hour practice teaching session; and join a workshop on teaching with presence in Zoom.

Daily Office Hours  |  Practice Teaching  |  Zoom Workshop

Teaching Fellows can attend the Fall Teaching Conference, which includes both asynchronous Canvas resources and synchronous sessions devoted to collaboration and practice.

Fall Teaching Conference

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

Undergraduate Ed Portal Mentors

Mentoring Online: Lessons in Motivation

July 10, 2020

As classes moved online this spring, so did the work of the Bok Center’s twenty-seven undergraduate Mentors. Responsible for engaging Allston-Brighton children in interdisciplinary science, technology, and literacy programs at the Harvard Ed Portal, these undergraduates gain experience with skills central to good teaching, and reflect on their own development as teachers and learners.

When the Ed Portal’s programming shifted online...

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New Pedagogy Fellows Opportunity for Departments

June 12, 2020

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning is excited to announce that as part of the enhanced instructional support for remote teaching, departments that currently do not participate in the Pedagogy Fellows Program will be invited to apply to join for the 2020–2021 academic year. Pedagogy Fellows collaborate with faculty, administration, and the Bok Center’s senior staff to enhance training and support for teaching fellows within their departments and across the FAS. Consult the...

Read more about New Pedagogy Fellows Opportunity for Departments
Sam Benkelman

Celebrating Senior Learning Lab Undergraduate Fellows

May 29, 2020

Learning Lab Undergraduate Fellows (or LLUFs) are a core part of the intergenerational team at the Bok Center’s Learning Lab. LLUFs often have terrific intuitions about the pedagogy that will most engage and appeal to their peers, and they use this expertise as learners to help the Bok Center’s faculty partners design and test new learning experiences for their courses. Given the fact that many of these assignments and activities involve new or at least alternative modes of communication—drawing, speaking, coding, 3D...

Read more about Celebrating Senior Learning Lab Undergraduate Fellows
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