Like the Pager tool, the Chat tool allows you, your classmates, and your instructor to engage in real time conversations with one another and/or your entire class. Your instructor can set up course specific chat rooms or chat rooms that involve individuals from all over the organization. In Desire2Learn, there are two types of chat:
- General (or Course) chats: General chats are public chats visible to everyone enrolled in the org unit where they are created. General chats allow you to incorporate chat discussions into the teaching of a course since they are automatically open to all users enrolled in the course.
- Personal chats are private and visible only to students or instructors who have been added to the chat's participants list. Personal chats are ideal for keeping in touch with friends and colleagues or for clubs and other groups whose members do not share a single course.
Use the Chat tool when you want to:
- Take a quick vote among your team members.
- Appoint someone to lead a particular project.
- Instantly assign responsibilities and deadlines for a project.
- Conduct a quick meeting to keep your team "on track."
The Chat Tool
Typically, your instructor will create different "rooms" for different topics or themes; you and your classmates will enter the rooms to discuss the topic or theme. The Chat rooms in Desire2Learn are just like chat rooms on the internet.
The Chat tool also has the following features:
- You may be allowed to send private messages to other participants.
- You may be able to view chat logs, allowing you to review the topics that were discussed.
- You can set preferences using Chatsettings to have messages in a chat display from new to old, or old to new, or show only new messages, as well as other preferences like aliases, bold or italics formatting, and chat-related sound effects.
The Chat tool will appear in the Communication dropdown menu on the course navigational bar. If you select the Chat link, you are taken to the main screen for the Chat tool. Alternatively, your instructor may add a chat room within a learning module. If you select the chat room icon, you are taken to a screen that contains that specific chat room.
Chat rooms are grouped as either General (course) chats or Personal chats. You can only access General chats from the appropriate course.
- Access the Chat tool by selecting the Chat link from the Communication dropdown menu on your course navigational bar.
- Select the chat you want to join from your list of chats.
To enter a chat room, select its title. Type a message in the text box at the bottom of the chat room, and press Enter or select Send.
If you think new messages are not appearing on your screen fast enough, choose the Refresh button at the top of the chat. This button is visible when you have New Messages checked in yourSettings.
The Participants pane displays a list of users currently signed in to a chat room.
The Chat Screen
The Chat screen provides you with information about each room, including:
- the room title.
- the number of participants currently in the room.
You may encounter problems accessing chat rooms if:
- You don't have the correct version of Java installed.
For more information on how to resolve these issues, send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (520) 206-4800 any time of day, any day of the week.
You're ready to use the Chat tool! Let's look at the Email tool next.