Using Chat

Chat is an online text-based communication tool. It is a synchronous area where you can talk to your participants in online real-time discussions. From the chat tool, you can communicate with anyone in your course.

We recommend using WebEx as the best solution.

Shows Personal and General chats.There are two types of chats:

  • Personal chats - Personal chats are private and visible only to users who you have 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 org unit. Anyone with the proper permissions can create personal chat rooms.
  • General (course) chats - General chats are public chats visible to everyone enrolled in the org unit where they are created. Instructors can create general chat rooms to incorporate chat discussions into the teaching of a course since they are automatically open to all users enrolled in the course.

Create a Personal Chat

Personal chat rooms can only be accessed by users who have been added to the personal chat’s Participant List. When users are added, the chat room displays under Personal Chats in their list of chats. This could be useful in reviewing an assignment or grades with a specific student.

  1. Shows General and Personal options.Go to Communication > Chat.
  2. On the Chat List page, click New Chat.
  3. Enter a title.
  4. Click Personal Chat.
  5. Enter a description of the chat. Give your chat a unique, descriptive name and provide a description for it using the Description field to help users distinguish the chat from other chats they are enrolled in.
  6. Click Create.

Create a General Chat

General chats exist within specific courses, and you can only access general chats from within the course in which they are created.

All users in the course have access to the general chat. You can create multiple chats for the same course, such as "Midterm Review" and "Office Hours." It is a good idea to enter a description to help other users identify the chat, since they might have access to other chats with similar names.

NOTE: Students may not realize that a General Chat is not private. If you use this for office hours and a conversation involves protected information by either FERPA or HIPAA, stop the student and suggest a Personal Chat so no one else can see the conversation.


  1. Go to Communication > Chat.
  2. On the Chat List page, click New Chat.
  3. Enter a title.
  4. Click General Chat.
  5. Enter a description of the chat.
  6. Click Create.


Manage Chat History

Shows sample chat session log.The chat’s archive stores each chat session, where you can view it at a later time. The system archives a chat session once all chat members leave the room or after more than 20 minutes of inactivity. Chats appear in the Chat Sessions list.
At right is an excerpt from a chat session log.

  1. To view a session log, go to Communication > Chat.
  2. On the Chat List page, from the context menu beside the chat you want to view, click the View Sessions icon.Identifies the View Sessions option.
  3. In the Start Date column, click the link.
  4. When you are done reviewing the session, click Done.

Add or Remove Users From a Chat

  1. Go to Communication > Chat.
  2. On the Chat List page, from the context menu of the personal chat you want to modify, click View Members.
    Identifies the View Members option.
  3. To add a member to the chat, click Add Members. To add users from different course offerings click Select Different Course. Select the check box beside the name of users you want to add. Click Add > Done.
  4. To add a personal contact, click Add Personal Contact. Select the check box beside the name of users you want to add. Click Add > Done.
  5. To delete a member of the chat, on the Chat Members page, select the check box beside the users you want to remove. Click Delete > Done.

Change your chat settings

  1. Click Communication on the NAVbar and select Chat.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • On the Chat List page, click The settings icon Settings.
    • Inside a chat, click The settings icon Settings.
  3. In the Alias field, enter a new alias. Depending on your permissions, you can change your alias, or chat name, if you want to appear as a different name, such as a nickname, to other chat participants.
  4. Select the check boxes for Bold or Italics.
  5. Set an Alias Color.
  6. If you want to change the message order, select New to Old or Old to New. If you want to see new messages only, select New Messages.
    This requires you to manually refresh the screen, to see new messages and remove all old ones. You can change back to see all messages, which restores all messages for that session, even if they were not visible while New Messages was selected.
  7. You can change your sound settings so you can hear a sound when someone enters the chat, leaves the chat, or when there is an incoming message. Select a sound from the following drop-down lists:
    • Incoming Message Sound
    • Person Enters Chat Sound
    • Person Leaves Chat Sound
  8. Click Save.