Jenae Cohn, Academic Technology Specialist for PWR, Stanford University
Beth Seltzer, Academic Technology Specialist for Introductory Studies, Stanford University
Edited for McNeese faculty members: Dr. Wendi Prater, Director of eLearning, McNeese State University
You may not currently be using a chat function in your class, but it can be a useful tool, especially for student office hours or for students who may be more comfortable asking questions via chat compared to by phone or video calls.
In Moodle, there is a Chat tool available that functions as an instant messaging platform. The messages in chat are visible to the full class community and can be read in real time.
Use the chat in Virtual Meeting
To moderate discussion, i.e., allow students to "line up on chat”, "wait in a queue" to comment or to speak, to help them break into the conversation.
For larger classes, assign a graduate assistant, TA to moderate the chat and make sure important questions and comments are addressed. Even for smaller classes, it may be worthwhile to ask a student (or two) to take on special roles as “chat monitors” to voice if there are questions that arise that the instructor has missed.
You might use the chat to troubleshoot technical problems. For example, if a student is having trouble connecting via audio or video, the chat might be a space for you as the instructor or for fellow students to work together to problem-solve. This may, again, be an opportunity to assign a student to a special role, especially if you have students eager to help on the technical aspect of things.
- If you have a TA or a fellow who can support the class instruction with technical help, this would also be a good person to respond to troubleshooting tips in the chat.