Using Chat in LATTE
The Chat activity allows an instructor to create a chat room in which participants can have real-time synchronous discussion (rather than the asynchronous discussion in Forums). Chats can be left open for students to use at any time or given scheduled sessions. Chats can also be partitioned using the Groups setting.
How to Add a Chat
Step 1: Enter your LATTE course and turn editing on.
Step 2: In the desired module, select “Chat” from the “Add an activity…” drop down menu.
Step 3: Enter a descriptive name in and provide introductory text explaining to participants how you expect them to use the chat room and how often/when it will be available. If you will be making the transcripts of the chat visible to all participants, it is best to let the participants know in the introduction.
Step 4: If you plan to have scheduled chat sessions, set the next chat time. If you do not plan to use scheduled sessions, just leave the default value as it is.
Note: If you specify a time it will be displayed when users click on the Chat. However, the chat is open at all times, providing a scheduled time simply lets participants know when they are expected to be present and can expect other participants to be present.
Step 5: The “Repeat sessions” drop down menu allows you to specify how often chat sessions occur:
- Don’t publish any chat times: does not specify a time for a scheduled chat. Communicates that the chat room is open for participants to use at any time.
- No repeats – publish the specified time only: provides only the date and time (specified in “Next chat time”) when the chat is clicked. Creates a special event sense for the chat room.
- At the same time every day: creates sessions every day at the same time (specified in “Next chat time”). Can be used for daily events like virtual office hours or a working group.
- At the same time every week: creates sessions once a week at the same time and day of the week as the date specified in “Next chat time.” Can be used for weekly class discussion, review sessions, homework help, etc.
Step 6: Use the “Save past sessions” drop down menu to determine how long the transcripts of chat sessions should be saved. If you want to keep the transcripts indefinitely, select “Never delete messages.” Otherwise, you can elect to save transcripts for days, weeks, months, or a year.
Step 7: Use the “Everyone can view past sessions” drop down menu to determine whether students should have access to the transcripts. Selecting “Yes” will permit students to view transcripts while selecting “No” will permit you alone to view them.
Step 8: Select your Common module settings:
- Groups: Determines whether participants will use the chat in pre-arranged groups. Groups are an advanced feature of LATTE and must be set up in advance. Find more information on Groups here.
- Visible: Determines whether or not the chat is visible upon creation. If “Hide” is selected, the chat will not be immediately visible to participants. When you wish to make it visible, click the Show icon by the chat on the main course page.
- ID number: Allows the chat to be identified for advanced grade calculation purposes. For most purposes, the ID number field can be left blank.
Step 9: Click the “Save and return to course” button.
How to Use a Chat
Step 1: Enter your LATTE course and click on the Chat.
Step 2: Click on the text “Click here to enter the chat now.”
Step 3: This will open a new chat window. Present participants will appear in a list on the right. The conversation will appear on the left.
Step 4: Type your comments into the box at the bottom of the left panel.
Step 5: As other users enter their comments, the window will automatically scroll so that the most recent comments are always visible. If you would like to prevent this, uncheck the “Auto Scroll” box just below the comment box.
Step 6: You can leave the chat at any time. Simply close the chat window.
Step 7: If there are archived transcripts of past sessions available, you can access them by clicking “View past chat sessions” on the top right-hand side of the page.
Note: LATTE only records transcripts of chat sessions with more than one participant. For example, if you open a daily office hours chat, but no students (or other participants) show up, no transcript will be recorded.
If you have further questions about using the Questionnaire activity please contact LATTE Help at firstname.lastname@example.org, x6LTTE (x65883) or 781-736-5883.