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Depending on your teaching situation, you might not always be able to talk to your class face to face. Indeed you might even be running your course entirely online. Although forums are very good for discussion, the responses are not always in real time. And it can be useful to have those discussions at the same time as of this, ie synchronously. We're going to set up a chat room so we can do just that. To do it, we need to have the editing turned on, which we've done either by clicking the button top-right, or in the settings block, clicking the link, Turn editing on.
And in the section where we want it. I'm going to choose the section. Collaborative Work. We click the link, add an activity or resource. This brings up Moodles Activity Chooser, and if we click the radio button next to chat once, it gives us some information about using a chat in our teaching, which is well worth reading. And then we can click the Add button to add it. If we already know what chat is, then we need to click the radio button twice to get straight there. We're then in the chat setup screen, and it's important to give the chat room a descriptive name so that our students know what they're letting themselves in for, and a description as to what you'd like them to talk about.
We can choose to display the description on the course page by checking the box. And then it's up to us to select the options that we'd like. They can always get in to a chat but you might want to set a specific chat time to make sure everyone's there together and you can set repeat sessions or not. It's also possible to save past sessions so that people can see what was talked about or not. And if you decide to save them, you can choose for how long for. Also do you want to allow everyone to view past sessions, in other words, do you want students to see what was discussed before.
Or if you leave it at no, only the people who have permission to do that, such as you the teacher, are able to do it. If we then leave the other settings and click Save and Display, this will take straight into the chat, so we can see how it works. We have two options of getting into the chat, according to whether we want regular interface or a more user accessible interface. It now brings up a box and we can see that here we are, and down at the bottom we have a box into which we type our message. And then we click send.
It's also possible to change the theme by clicking the themes link here. And we can have bubble for example. And it just looks slightly different. Chat can be useful for holding meetings or tutorials. When everyone can't get together in real life. However, it isn't suited for all age ranges. And there are certain drawbacks to it. For example, if you have particularly young students. You might not have any sensible conversation in there, just a few words.
So it's up to you how you use it. In this video, then, we've looked at how to set up a chat in our course, and the pros and cons of it.
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