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 explore the asynchronous Canvas resources from the Fall Teaching Conference; or attend our biweekly TF resource hours.

Fall Teaching Conference  |  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

Media and Design Fellow David Forrest works collaboratively with an undergraduate student on some audio equipment.

Media & Design Fellows Program Launches

September 25, 2020

The Bok Center is excited to announce the launch of a new graduate fellow program, the Media and Design Fellows (MDFs)! As part of the Bok Center’s Learning Lab team, MDFs support innovative course development within the FAS, partnering with faculty and staff to design a variety of digital tools, course materials, and assignments for undergraduate courses and departments.

Across the disciplines, faculty and students are innovating by deploying richer media (3D models, high quality videos, well-designed infographics and illustrations) and richer interactions...

Read more about Media & Design Fellows Program Launches
Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference

Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference

September 21, 2020

In the midst of a pandemic, many global challenges, and the prospect of a fully remote fall semester, the Bok Center spent the summer grappling with a multitude of questions: How should we prepare graduate student TFs to teach remotely? How could we reimagine our flagship event, the Fall Teaching Conference, usually a bustling two-day conference held in Sever Hall the week before classes start? How could we meet the needs of both new and experienced TFs facing an unprecedented semester?

Like instructors everywhere, we couldn’t take anything for granted. We...

Read more about Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference
Machine in deep sea

Dispatches from the Field: Teaching Innovation Videos

September 16, 2020

Back in July, Peter Girguis, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, reached out to the Bok Center after a series of informal conversations with faculty colleagues about their innovative ideas for the upcoming semester, which would be taught entirely remotely. The faculty Girguis encountered were working hard across the summer to develop innovative, rich experiences for undergraduates in the fall. While some types of...

Read more about Dispatches from the Field: Teaching Innovation Videos
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