Create a private course Slack Workspace from Canvas

Instructors in most schools can create a Slack workspace that is limited to course membership. If you are familiar with Slack and have read Setting up a Slack workspace for your students, you understand the pros and cons of using the Canvas Slack tool to create a course workspace over requesting one through UIT, if Slack use is intended for the whole class. Below is how to add the Slack tool to your Canvas course. 

Set up a Slack account (new users only)

Complete steps 1-4 described in How do I log into Stanford Slack for the first time?

Enable Slack tool in the Canvas course navigation

  1. In your Canvas course, click Settings > Navigation.
  2. Drag Slack up to enable it (If you do not see the Slack tool, it may not be available to your school).
  3. Save your changes and refresh your browser. The Slack tool will now appear in the course navigation to you and your students.

Create the workspace

  1. Click the Slack tool in your Canvas course navigation.
  2. Click the Create Workspace button to create a workspace named after your course code (If your staff has already created a workspace, click Join Workspace and skip to step 4).
    Create Slack workspace.png

  3. Members of your course will be prompted to Join workspace when they click the Slack tool in Canvas. Instructors, TAs, Course Admins and Designers will join as owners, while students and waitlisted students will join as teammates.
  4. Choose to launch the Slack Desktop or Web App.
    launch slack in desktop or web app

  5. You should now be in the workspace’s #general channel and subsequently can visit the workspace directly from the Slack app of your choice, rather than from Canvas.
    two slack channels.png
    If you belong to multiple workspaces, you may have more than one 'general' and 'random' channel. Your course's name will follow the 'general' and 'random' (e.g., KMC Course 3 in the image above). You may also filter to your course' workspace by clicking on 'All workspaces' and selecting your course workspace. Please note that if you belong to workspaces outside of the primary organization, other channels may also appear.
    select course.png

Ask other course staff to help you

Your course workspace is unlisted at but is joinable via Canvas by those with the role Teacher, TA, Course Admin, and Designer. They can now join your workspace from the Canvas Slack tool and will have ownership rights upon joining. They can help customize the workspace and set up channels, which can be joinable or restricted to particular members (see below).

Change your workspace icon

The default workspace icon is the first letter of the term and first letter of your department. To help distinguish between multiple workspaces, customize the icon by clicking Stanford University at the top > Tools & Settings > Customize Workspace > select the workspace > Open (a new window or tab will open > Workspace Icon. From here, you can upload a new workspace icon. 
customize workspace.png

Create channels in your workspace

Learn more about creating channels in your Slack course workspace

Publish your Canvas course

While you can create a workspace without publishing your course, students won’t be able to join the workspace unless you do.

Invite others to join the workspace via Canvas

Now that the course is published, send enrolled students and waitlisted students instructions on how to join your workspace from Canvas. Your Slack workspace will be unlisted in the Stanford Slack directory for student privacy and anyone you might add directly via Slack will be removed if they don’t have an approved role in the associated Canvas course. 

Roles not listed above will not be able to join the course workspace. 

Workspace members may attempt to add others to the workspace from the Slack app, possibly even from outside your course, but these requests to join the workspace will need your approval. If you receive requests in the Slack app to approve someone’s membership, you should deny them; members of your course will be able to self-join your workspace via Canvas.

Archiving the workspace

While students can always leave your course workspace sooner, students will be removed automatically from these Canvas-initiated workspaces 180 days after the conclusion of the course (the term end date, if no custom course date entered). Students will lose access after the workspace is archived, but teaching team members will retain access. If you want to completely archive the workspace so that even you, the owner, no longer has access, please submit a help ticket to UIT Help.

Reuse course channel names in subsequent terms’ workspaces

  1. When you create a workspace in Canvas in a subsequent term of the same course (e.g. AAA-101-01), you will see a slightly different prompt: create slack workspace with default channels as options to select
  2. Check the boxes next to the default channel names you wish to reuse in a future course (these boxes only appear if you’ve added these channels via CourseBot). Channels with these names and settings will appear in the new quarter’s workspace, but the content from the previous quarter’s workspace will not carry over.
  3. Click Create Workspace.
  4. Launch the Slack Desktop or Web app to view your newly created workspace. You will see the channel names from your previous course.