Our team here at Campuswire HQ is made up of recent college grads & former TAs, so we’ve used nearly every course communication tool on the market and experienced frustrations with each one. We knew that professors (and students) deserve something better, which is why we designed Campuswire to be the most complete and intuitive course communication tool available. When professors ask us, “why should I use Campuswire in my class instead of Slack?”, this is how we respond.
1. Slack is just a chat app, but Campuswire is a Q&A forum plus a chat app
Anything you can do in Slack, you can do in Campuswire — but Campuswire offers more than just messaging.
In addition to Slack-style channels and Direct Messages that host all of the conversations you need to have in your class, Campuswire offers a more traditional Q&A feed. This is where professors can post announcements and share documents and where students can ask questions about assignments, readings, and problem sets in specific categories.
The feed offers a more organized space (divided into questions, answers, and discussion) for students to get direct help on specific questions. In Slack, announcements or specific questions about a homework problem can get lost in the jumble of a messaging channel. In Campuswire, announcements + Q&A live in the Class Feed, making sure that no one misses a question or announcement again.
This means that students get help more quickly, that professors only have to answer questions once, and that questions and answers remained tied together rather than potentially being lost in the jumble of a Slack Channel.
2. Slack is designed for work, Campuswire is designed for learning
Campuswire is built specifically with college classes in mind and is optimized for learning rather than for work. Slack limits communication to direct messages and chats that can sometimes become overwhelmingly fast-moving and lengthy (if you’re gone for five minutes, you might miss the answer to your question and twenty other messages!), but Campuswire opens up a variety of communication styles that allow professors to customize the way they communicate in their courses.
— We’ve included Anonymous posting and messaging to help hesitant students feel comfortable engaging in class discussion, increasing the volume of questions asked on Campuswire by 60% compared to other tools.
— We’ve built a Reputation system that incentivizes students to ask great questions and provide timely answers and that helps professors track each student’s participation.
— We’ve built a duplicate question prevention system to prevent the repetitive questions that clutter Slack channels and other class forums. Now, professors only have to answer a question once.
— We’ve made document sharing a more organized, simple, and customizable process than in Slack. Whereas Slack only allows for doc sharing in channels that can become messy and disorganized, Campuswire offers more flexibility and organization so that you can share documents in a way that best fits the flow of your course.
Campuswire also uses Read Receipts in every communication channel built in to our tool. No more wondering if your direct message, class announcement, or students’ questions have been seen – you have access to read receipts for each message you send.
3. FERPA compliance
Campuswire is 100% FERPA compliant — Slack is not. Campuswire is built to meet the high data privacy standards of U.S. higher education, so you can be absolutely certain that you’re using a platform that meets the privacy requirements of your campus, protects your class data, and is designed specifically with the privacy needs of students and professors in mind.
4. We’ve seen the proof!
At Campuswire, we’re obsessed with feedback — we’re always chatting with our professors to hear about their Campuswire experience and we’ve heard seen great results from each who’s made the switch from Slack. They always have suggestions for new features we can build (and we’ll build them!), but they’ve all been happy they made the switch.
— The Campuswire Team