What is the Smartly Community?


The Smartly community on Slack gives you the opportunity to connect and engage with your fellow students. It’s a place to exchange ideas, engage in discussion on course materials and concepts, to receive notifications about course administrative topics, and more. We want you to ask thoughtful questions and receive help when you need it, and also to feel empowered to help others—after all, teaching is one of the best ways to learn. There is high value in discussion, in circulating your ideas among and getting feedback from your fellow students who are learning material at the same time as you. We want you to be part of this amazing community of learners.

Your participation in the Slack community allows you to get to know your fellow classmates and interact more extensively with course materials. Additionally, high participation on Slack will count as extra credit toward your final program score.

We recommend you:

  1. Download the Slack apps for desktop and mobile. You can read how to do this on Slack's website.
  2. Help other students when they have questions. What could you contribute to the conversation? Do you know the answer? Do you know a partial answer? Can you reframe the question in a way that would be helpful? Can you put another spin on an answer that’s already up? Do you have a different opinion? If you think other people would find value in your post or comment, go for it! 
  3. Ask your own questions. Not sure how to solve a problem? Aren’t sure why you missed the answer to a problem? Want some clarification? Ask your fellow students. Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you’ve got a question, there are likely dozens of other students with the same question who would love it if you broke the ice. 
  4. Post interesting content like news articles, case studies or other material you think would help your fellow students learn more or look at a topic in a new light. 
  5. Check out Smartly's course exercises and articles posted each week. 

What type of behavior do we expect?

We’d like to lay down a few ground rules so you know what type of behavior we expect and don’t expect in this group:

  • Do’s
    • Be honest, open, friendly, and respectful
    • Post on-topic discussions and other material that you think your classmates would find interesting
    • Engage in discussion to make the Slack group a lively, rewarding, and fun place
  • Don’t’s
    • Use offensive or derogatory language
    • Post links to offensive material
    • Spam the group with irrelevant information

We’ll give you a heads-up if you’ve gone too far (if your classmates don’t first!). You might be removed from the program if your conduct continues. 😞

When are Smartly exercises posted in Slack and how can you find them?

Smartly exercises are posted on Monday evenings. These exercises will follow the schedule of the Course Syllabus. 

To help you find these exercises, we will “pin” them to the channel where they’re posted. Pinning is a way to tag or star certain messages so that they are easier to find. You can read more about how to pin messages and how to find pinned messages in Slack here.
When responding to these exercises, please do so in a thread responding to the initial post. This will make it easier to organize discussion and track each other's comments. You can read more about how threads work  here.

Video Discussions

Every Sunday, you will have the option of participating in a video chat with your classmates to discuss that week’s exercise. This video chat will occur via a Zoom video link that runs from 9 AM EST to 9 PM EST every Sunday for the duration of your program. 
This video link will be provided in the channel description of the #video-discussion channel on Slack. If you’re interested in participating in a video discussion, post your available times in the #video-discussion channel so your classmates can join you.
For example, you can post “I’m available to video chat this Sunday (8/31) at 1 PM or 3 PM EST. Who else wants to join?”


If you have any questions, let us know! 😀

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