Using Zulip for a class
Welcome to Zulip! This pages offers some tips for using Zulip for a
class. If this is your first time using Zulip, we
recommend checking out Getting started with
Zulip to get oriented.
Zulip works great as the communication hub for your class, providing a
single place for:
- Posting announcements and lecture notes
- Answering students’ questions
- Collecting feedback from students
- Coordination among teaching staff
- Virtual office hours
Posting lecture notes and announcements
Many classes use a dedicated stream to post general announcements, e.g.:
- #announcements > office hours: My office hours this week
will be rescheduled from
Mon, Oct 11 2021, 1:00 PM to
Thu, Oct 14 2021, 3:30 PM.
Share lecture notes and reading materials with drag-and-drop file
- #Unit 3: Sorting algorithms > lecture notes: Here are the notes
from today’s lecture. lecture notes 10/2.pdf You can view a recording of the lecture here.
Answering students’ questions
In Zulip, streams determine who receives a message. Topics are
light-weight subjects for individual conversations. You can more about
streams and topics here.
Zulip works best when each conversation has its own topic. When you
have a question to ask, simply start a new topic! For example, one
might see the following topics in a stream where a lecture and the
corresponding assignment are being discussed:
- problem 2a clarification
- question about slide 7
- code not compiling
- LaTeX diagram help
Zulip will show auto-complete suggestions for existing topics as you
type, which helps surface relevant previous conversations. You can
also use the search bar to check whether a question has already
You can mention the person who asked
a question to make sure they see timely answers.
When a question has been answered, you can mark a topic as
resolved. This makes it easy for course
staff to see which conversations still require their attention.
Coordination among teaching staff
Use private streams to coordinate among course staff, e.g.:
Virtual office hours
Zulip works great for virtual office hours! With a dedicated thread
for each question, it's easy to have several discussions at once.
- Course staff can respond to multiple questions in parallel, making
efficient use of their time.
- Students can participate in real time, or learn by reading the