Slack in Education: A Case Study of Alternative Communication for Groupwork in Graduate Level Online Education
Wednesday, March 28 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Location: Edison Ballroom D
Presider: Austin Kureethara Manuel, Midwestern State University, United States
Abstract: Facilitating communication among group members in an online class can be trying at best. Bouncing around emails in an ongoing mess of multiple threads, feeling uncomfortable sharing personal contact information, or adding classmates to social media can be avoided using communication media created specifically for project management. To best serve the students enrolled, online courses should be interesting, easy to navigate and offer an experience equivalent to what they would receive in a face-to-face section of the same course. Group work can be difficult to navigate in an online world, yet is commonplace in face to face courses. To gauge student perceptions of the use of alternative communication methods in distance education, Slack was introduced as a requirement during a 7.5 week online graduate course. An informal interview completed after the conclusion of the course offers insight into the experiences of multiple students. This case study explores the student experience in using Slack as a communication tool to complete a multi-part group project throughout the academic session.