Part 4: Fall 2016 Labs

41 Slack with Vanessa Simmering — 9.16.2016

SimmeringPopular in small workgroups and startups, Slack gets team chat right, with customizable features and channels to fit your needs. At UW-Madison, it’s becoming very popular in research groups,  labs, and class projects. In the Active Teaching Lab on September 16, Vanessa Simmering from Psychology shared how she uses it in her research and teaching. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Undergrads do not use email; Slack is like texting for them — more natural
  • Good way for formative feedback; students ask the questions they need to ask
  • Anyone can answer their questions (vs. email to instructor only)
  • History shows who is participating
  • Maintains a history of interactions
  • Difficult to balance number of channels — too many is confusing; too few is overwhelming
  • No way to flag posts that require a response
  • Other options

If Slack on phoneyou’re interested in learning more to get up and running with Slack, watch the videos below or review the Activity sheet.

Active Teaching Labs are held every Friday from 8:30-9:30am in room 120, Middleton Building. Check out the upcoming labs or read the recaps from past labs. To stay informed about upcoming Labs, check back to this website or sign up for regular announcements by sending an email to

Vanessa’s story:

Want to know what happened next? Watch the discussion video:

What is Slack?



Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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