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A Simple Use Case for Slack as an LMS

May 15, 2023

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Here’s a summary of how instructors and managers can use Slack as an LMS:

  • Create Workspaces and Channels: Set up a unique workspace for your course and form channels for each module or topic, ensuring a well-structured learning environment.
  • Upload and Share Course Materials: Use Slack's file-sharing feature or integrate with Google Drive or Dropbox to distribute course materials.
  • Facilitate Discussion and Q&A: Promote active learning by encouraging students to ask questions and engage in discussions within the relevant channels.
  • Use Threads: Utilize threads to keep conversations organized, making it easier for participants to follow along.
  • Incorporate External Tools: Use Slack's integration ecosystem to supplement the LMS experience with tools like Google Calendar, Quizlet, or Kahoot.
  • Utilize Bots and Automation: Implement bots, such as Slackbot or external tools like Zapier, to automate aspects of the course like reminders and FAQs.
  • Provide Feedback and Grading: Use direct messages or private channels to provide feedback, use external grading tools, and share results via Slack.
  • Ensure Accessibility and Inclusivity: Make sure the course is accessible and inclusive by using precise language, considering tools for better accessibility, and encouraging emojis and reactions.

While Slack is primarily known for its functionality as a business communication platform, its features make it an excellent candidate for an innovative Learning Management System (LMS). We’ve written before about using Slack as a standalone LMS and using Slack to meet employees where they are, bridging your LMS content to Slack and the training results from Slack back to your LMS.

This post will guide you on how to adapt Slack as an LMS as a standalone system for an instructor or teacher, allowing for a unique and interactive educational experience.

1. Creating Workspaces and Channels

To begin, you'll want to create a new workspace for your course. This will keep it separate from any other workspaces you might have and will help to keep your course content organized.

Within your workspace, create channels for each module or topic in your course. This makes it easy for students to find the relevant discussions and materials for each module. You might also want to create channels for announcements, general discussion, and group projects.

2. Uploading and Sharing Course Materials

Slack allows for easy sharing of course materials. You can upload files directly to channels or use integrations with Google Drive or Dropbox to share files. This allows students to easily access course materials at any time.

To upload a file, click on the '+' button next to the message box in a channel, select the file, and click 'Upload'. You can also add a message or description to the file.

3. Facilitating Discussion and Q&A

Encourage students to ask questions and discuss course topics in the relevant channels. This not only fosters an active learning environment, but it also means that answers to questions are available for all students to see, potentially reducing the number of times you need to answer the same question.

4. Using Threads

Threads are a powerful feature in Slack that can be used to keep discussions organized. When a student asks a question or makes a comment in a channel, you can reply in a thread. This keeps the conversation tied to the original message, making it easier for others to follow along.

5. Incorporating External Tools

Slack's robust integration ecosystem can be used to supplement the LMS experience. Tools such as Google Calendar can be used to schedule course events and deadlines, while integrations with platforms like Quizlet or Kahoot can be used for quizzes and interactive learning.

6. Utilizing Bots and Automation

Bots can be used to automate many aspects of your Slack LMS. For example, you might use a bot to send automated reminders about upcoming deadlines or to provide quick responses to frequently asked questions. Slackbot is a built-in feature that can be customized for this purpose, or you can use external tools like Zapier to create more complex automation.

7. Providing Feedback and Grading

While Slack doesn't have a built-in grading system, you can still use it to provide feedback on assignments. You can do this through direct messages or in a private channel dedicated to each student. For grading, you can use external tools like Google Forms or Airtable, and then share the results with students via Slack.

8. Ensuring Accessibility and Inclusivity

Ensure that your Slack LMS is accessible and inclusive. Use clear, simple language, and consider using tools like screen readers or captioning for video content. Encourage students to use emojis and reactions, which can make the learning experience more engaging and accessible.


While Slack may not replace traditional LMS platforms, it's a powerful, flexible tool that can be used to enhance online learning and augment your LMS. Its strength lies in its ability to foster real-time, interactive communication, making it a great option for creating a dynamic, engaging educational environment.

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