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Setting up Slack Channels

What are channels?

Channels are where conversations take place. There are two types of channels in Slack:

  1. Public – Every member of the workspace can see everything in a public channel. All course-related channels should be public.

  2. Private – Only invited members can access content in private channels. These channels are denoted with a lock icon in Slack. You can prevent students from creating private channels, but it is recommended to allow them. Students need a place to communicate outside the purview of the instructor. They do this in F2F classes all the time and they should also be given that right online. Private student-to-student communication is part of building a community. Private channels are great for allowing students to set up study sessions and/or collaborate on group projects.

How do you create new channels in Slack?

To create a channel, hover the mouse over Channels in the sidebar and click + sign that appears.

Recommend channels for a classroom

The following channels work well in a classroom setting, but there is no limit to the type and/or number of channels you can create:

  • #introductions – a place for everyone to introduce themselves

  • #announcements – a place for instructors to post course announcements. It is recommended to lock this channel so that only admin (or instructors) can post here.

  • #course_help - a place for students to ask general or administrative questions

  • #module1 – a place for students to ask questions related to module 1 content. It works best to let other students answer. Teaching is often the best way to learn. You can have a separate channel for each module, week, or chapter in a class. You may want to have a time frame policy to make sure all questions are answered. For instance, if no one answers the question within 24 hours, the instructor will answer it.

  • #random – a place where students can talk about whatever they want. This channel is important as it keeps unrelated content out of the other channels.

🦉 Tip: Students are not automatically added to new channels once they join the workspace, so it is important to create all public course channels before the course begins and set these as default in Settings and Permissions.

That's it. Your channels are ready to go!


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