Slack: Adopting Social-Networking Platforms for Active Learning
Online learning in postsecondary institutions has increased dramatically across the United States and Canada. Although research demonstrates the benefits of online learning for student success, instructors face challenges in facilitating communication, delivering course content, and navigating outdated and cumbersome technologies. The authors examine the use of a free third-party platform called Slack as a tool to facilitate better communication among students and faculty, enable the delivery of diverse and dynamic course content, and reach students in an online course that supports both independent and collaborative learning. The authors present a case study of Slack's use in an online second-year environmental politics course taught at a large Canadian public university. There is a significant and growing literature on how to best engage students in online learning, including active and social learning models as promising approaches to digital teaching. The authors argue that using collaborative social technologies such as Slack - which both replicates and integrates the online and social-media environments that students already inhabit - can assist faculty in meeting their pedagogical goals online. The article documents the instructors' experience in managing discussion and involving students in their online learning through active learning exercises. Best practices are examined.
|Journal||PS - Political Science and Politics|
Sabin, J, & Olive, A. (Andrea). (2018). Slack: Adopting Social-Networking Platforms for Active Learning. PS - Political Science and Politics, 51(1), 183–189. doi:10.1017/S1049096517001913