The chat box is a great way to handle communication during your virtual session. Corbin Anderson explores tips and techniques for taking advantage of this feature.
- [Instructor] Let's talk about the chat box. You've undoubtedly used a chat feature of some sort, maybe facebook, or a chat app on your phone. The chat box in an online session works very similar. You can use it to carry on a group conversation, to get feedback from your viewers during your presentation, ask questions, post emojis, or share a link or a file. How you use the chat feature is up to you. Some instructors leave it wide open to student use, and some ask students to keep text chatter to a minimum during their presentation to cut down on distractions.
I always like to lay out the chat policy at the beginning of my first session, so everyone knows what the expectations are. My personal chat box policy is I leave it wide open to student comments and questions at any time, with my one guideline, don't cause a problem. Now, it can be tough to present and keep an eye on the scrolling chat box, so from time to time, I may give the group some sort of independent task, or just take a break from presenting and scan through the string to make sure I haven't missed any important comments or questions.
If I have, I can just take a minute to clarify a point or answer a question. Now, some chat tools are very full featured and give the moderator the ability to control chat privileges for each viewer. Hangouts doesn't have that feature, at the moment. But I've worked with other online collaborative tools that offer it. Depending on your platform, you might be able to give viewers full chat permissions to the whole group, permissions to chat with just you, carry on a private chat in a separate tab, or even remove chat privileges altogether.
With hangouts, if I need to have a private chat with a viewer, I usually use an IM client or text message outside the session to make sure it stays private. There's no right or wrong way to use the chat box. You have to take into consideration your viewers, your learning objective, your comfort with the tools and teaching online, and likely, your school policy as well. I recommend you take some time and experiment with the chat tools your platform offers.
Maybe with a coworker, or a friend, outside of class time See what options you have and decide how you want to use the chat tools to enhance your viewers online learning experience.
- Setting up for recording
- Chatting with learners
- Sharing your screen
- Sharing files and video
- Integrating an LMS
- Flipping your virtual classroom
- Engaging viewers
- Assessing learning