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Moodle is an online tool that allows educators to interact with students outside the classroom and manage a course from anywhere. In Moodle Essential Training for Teachers, Chris Mattia shows how this program works for teachers on three levels: disseminating information, creating a forum where ideas are exchanged, and assessing the progress of students. Chris shows how to build course materials with Moodle's HTML editor, post assignments, and save time by using Moodle's grade book to evaluate tests automatically and organize scores. Exercise files accompany the course.
We are partly through the semester and we have just learned that Dr. Walter Hatch from St. Mary's College of Maryland will be giving a live webcast about his work on Chemical Communication in Soft Corals that was conducted at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Since we'll be in lab at that time, the class is going to watch the webinar live. We have been in contact with Dr. Hatch and he has agreed to conduct a live chat with our class following the seminar. So we want to use Moodle to set up a live chat room so our students will be able to interact with and ask questions directly to Dr. Hatch. So to do this we'll simply scroll down to the week of April 13 to April 19. And we'll click on the dropdown menu for Add an activity and we'll select Chat from the options.
We will give the chat room a name, Live Chat with Dr. Hatch. And in the Introduction section we'll simply put 'At 5pm PST, Dr. Hatch will be available for a live chat with the class to discuss his work on Chemical Communication in Soft Corals.' So we'll go ahead and scroll down and we are going to set the next time the chat is going to be available and that's going to be on the 15th April 2009 at, remember this is in 24-hour time, and so we'll scroll down to 17:00 hours. We are not going to repeat any session so we are not going to publish any additional chat times but if we were setting up a chat, then we wanted to have live chats with the class on a repeating basis, we could do so here.
We do want to go ahead and Save past sessions, so that this live chat can be archived and be accessed later on. So we'll go ahead and say 365 days. And everyone can view past sessions, so we'll say Yes. This is an extra activity that we want to be able to provide this opportunity for our students to be able to go back and review the chat session. For Group mode, we'll go ahead and set to No groups, because we want everybody in the class to participate on this. We do want the Visibility to set to Show. We don't need an ID number. And we are not going to grade this assignment, so we'll go ahead and leave this as Uncategorized.
So we are going to go ahead and click the top option and you can see that it has logged us into the chat room and any responses that we go ahead and type up here would be appearing up in the top. And it's going to show our name and our picture that we added as part of an earlier movie. And the Auto Scrolling is set to on. So if wanted to go ahead and type in a quick note here, I'll just say Hello. And hit Enter or Return on my keyboard, it's going to just simply pop up that message up into the chat room. Now if we had additional people inside of the chat room right now, we would see their names listed here on the right hand side and we would also see any messages that they were chatting about, showing up in the middle of the chat session.
We will go ahead and close the chat window now. And we can go ahead and return back to the course. And that's all there is to setting up a chat. It's pretty straight forward, it's pretty easy and it's a great tool to use if you have the opportunity to bring in either a guest speaker or if for some reason you need to hold a class session online and you need to be able to chat back and forth live with your students. Another great use for the live chat is office hours. If you have regular office hours, you can go up and set a recurring chat session to be open during your office hours and then any students in your class, if they need to get additional help from you, they can actually log into Moodle, go into the chat room and have a live chat with you.
This is a really nice feature because you may find that a student is more likely to approach you for additional help through a mechanism like an online chat. And as they begin asking questions back and forth and interacting with you, you can prompt them to show up to your office and get more face-to-face time with the student and really figure out what is the issue that the student is having and work through it. So there are several different uses for the live chat. It's a great feature that's here in Moodle for you to enhance your course with.
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