The information on this page is intended to support administrators and instructors from the degree programs that are participating in the 2023-2024 Slack pilot.
Slack Pilot for Online Degree Programs
Slack can be used for course-related group or individual communication, building community, student group collaboration, and sharing professional information like job postings or networking opportunities. Slack is currently available for courses within the following online programs:
- LPS Online (SAS)
- Master of Health Care Innovation (PSOM)
- Master of Regulatory Affairs (PSOM)
- MS Animal Welfare and Behavior (PennVet)
- MS Nonprofit Leadership (SP2)
- Penn Engineering Online (SEAS)
What is Slack?
Slack is a group and individual collaboration platform. It can be used for text-based chats, or to share images, videos, and files from your device or cloud storage. Slack integrates with your Canvas site and automatically creates a workspace that includes all users enrolled in the course. Students and instructors can all connect to the course workspace to communicate individually or as a group.
Within the course workspace, you can create one or more channels. A channel is a conversation thread about a specific, ongoing topic. Most channels are public, meaning that anyone in the workspace can view and contribute, while others are private to certain users. For example, you might create public channels titled #study-hall or #job-postings, where anyone in the class can post content related to that topic. Private channels could be used for students to collaborate on a project with only certain group members. Users can subscribe or unsubscribe to individual channels based on which conversations they feel are relevant to them at a given time.
Starting a huddle enables you to video and/or audio chat with other workspace members in real time. You can also create a canvas (not to be confused with the Canvas learning management system), which acts as a digital bulletin board for collecting and sharing multimedia content.
In Slack, you can also send direct messages to an individual, which is useful for communicating information that is confidential (such as grades) or only relevant to a specific person. Note that our current version of Slack is not HIPAA-compliant. Please do not use Slack to share HIPAA-protected information.
If you plan to use Slack in your course(s), please contact your main program coordinator or administrative director. If you are unsure who to contact, please reach out to email@example.com so that we can connect you with your program’s resources.
Select the option below that corresponds to your needs: