Spotlight on Teaching and Learning: Academic Innovators — Alexandra Mehlhase’s SparkyBot
Alexandra Mehlhase is a software engineering faculty member at the Polytechnic campus who has created a Slackbot called “SparkyBot” to create more engaging, organized discussions in Slack.
With the help of Mehlhase’s SparkyBot, students’ questions in Slack are color-coded and channels are created to aid in the organization of the workspace. SparkyBot also has a private question feature, a question ticket system and gamified elements.
Students derive tremendous benefit from timely, formative feedback and Mehlhase wanted a way to better organize and highlight questions. Mehlhase believes that Slack facilitates better student engagement by removing the fear of asking questions and this process encourages students to gauge their own level of mastery on the given topics.