- General Information
- Strategies for Using Chat with Your Class
- Using Chat
Chat allows you to communicate with students, assistants and other instructors in real time online.
Only instructors, assistants, and students with valid UCInetIDs can use Chat.
Examples of Chat uses:
- Hold virtual office hours.
- Run test review sessions.
- Form groups of students and practice writing in a foreign language.
Prepare your students: Chat primer
If you will be using Chat in your class, you can help prepare your students with the Chat primer. The primer is a one-page document that is ideal for printing and distributing to your students in class, or linking to from your class website!
Download the Chat primer (pdf, 44 KB)
The Chat primer tells your students:
- What Chat is
- Why Chat is a helpful tool
- How to access Chat
- How to join a chat
- How to view chat logs (if available)
- Where to find more help
Strategies for Using Chat with Your Class
To utilize Chat for a successful student learning experience, it is important that the chat session be focused.
Selecting one topic per chat session helps to focus the content, direction and discussion of the chat session.
It is important that the instructor or a designated assistant be present to lead the chat session.
Additionally, Chat is most effective when chat sessions are of a specific and short duration. Establish a series of one or two hour chat sessions covering specific topics. Add these dates and times to the syllabus so that students are aware of the sessions and know that you will be in attendance.
Limiting the number of participants in a given chat session can help keep the discussion manageable. For large classes, an instructor may wish to break the class into groups and assign chat times to each. Groups of five or six students can be the easiest to manage, however ten to fifteen students at a time may be comfortable for those instructors familiar with using Chat.
Chat logs are available for your review after a chat session.
Logs can be utilized to stimulate discussions in class on topics of interest or difficulty. They can also be used to create topics for NoteBoard forums or email discussions.
Below you will find some other ideas for utilizing Chat in your class.
Ideas & opportunities
The following ideas can assist you in making the most of Chat in your class.
- Oral quizzes:
Meet with your students individually online and quiz them on class content. You can assess how well they know the material in just a few minutes of questions and answers. Using Chat you can explore the depth as well as breadth of your students' knowledge and understanding of class concepts. Since your students sign up for the date and time of their own quizzes (you can provide an online or paper sign up sheet), you are giving them some control and responsibility for their learning experience. This supports a very student-centered approach to teaching.
- "Debriefing" exercises:
Do you sometimes worry that one or more of your students did not write their own term paper? Access to the Web has unfortunately made it possible for students to cut, paste and virtually lift entire papers at the touch of a computer key. You can use Chat to debrief individual students after they turn in their assignments if you suspect plagiarism. Ask them questions about the assignment to determine if the work is really their own.
- Transcripts can be a study tool:
After each chat session, release chat logs and/or post the transcripts on a class website so your students can reread the conversations that took place during the chat. This gives your students an opportunity to review the discussion that transpired and gives those who were not present a chance to know what took place.
- Language study:
Use chat transcripts for grammar practice in language classes. For example, the dialogue can be rewritten from direct to reported speech, or sentences can be analyzed for grammar, spelling, or vocabulary practice. This provides your students with language practice on authentic texts since the conversations are real and the students themselves are the participants.
- Brainstorming sessions:
Have students brainstorm ideas as warm up activities for writing assignments. This can function as a pre-writing phase for the rough draft of a paper.
- Small group work:
Break your class into small groups of three to five students and have them schedule chat sessions to work together on a project. They can meet online at the onset of the project to discuss the assignment, determine a strategy for working together, divvy up the work, and brainstorm ideas.
- Guest speakers:
Invite a guest to your class chat session (an outside expert, another instructor, etc.) and ask your students to come prepared to ask the guest questions. This activity provides your students with information about real world experiences concerning the class subject matter.
- Virtual office hours:
Set weekly times when you are available online so your students can contact you about the class. If you anticipate more than five students wanting to attend your virtual office hours, schedule time slots they can sign up for so the chat sessions do not become crowded.
Grateful acknowledgement to The Illinois Online Network for the usage tips listed above.
Participation in an online chat room provides students with opportunities to engage in collaborative learning with other students, teachers and experts, resources students would not otherwise be able to access.
Students have opportunities to express views and learn from one another. Much of the communication in chat sessions is generated by the students. Learning is therefore communicative, collaborative and student centered.
Students who are often reluctant to participate in class may feel more comfortable communicating with a group online without the intimidation of the classroom.
Accessing Chat from the MyEEE page:
- Log in to EEE and go to your MyEEE page.
- Go to your "MyInstructorClasses" or "MyAssistantClasses" module.
- Click Chat.
You should now be in Chat for the specified class.
Accessing Chat from the ToolBox:
- Log in to EEE.
- Go to the "ToolBox" link from the navigation bar.
- Click Chat.
You should now be in Chat.
List chat rooms
- Access Chat.
- You should see a list of all of the chat rooms that you have created for the selected class in the selected quarter.
- Click View All, if you wish to view all of the chat rooms created for all of your classes in the selected quarter.
You should now be viewing a list of all of your chat rooms in the selected quarter.
Create chat rooms
- Click Create Chat Room.
- Fill out the form on the "Create a Chat Room" page. The form elements are described in detail below:
- Name - Choose the actual name of the chat room that students, assistants, and instructors will see.
- Associate Classes - Check the box(es) next to the class(es) that you wish to associate with the chat room.
- Window - Select the dates and times that the chat room will open and close.
- Logs for Students - Set the chat log viewing preferences according to your preferences.
- Click Create Chat Room.
Your chat room should now be created.
Delete chat rooms
Deleted chat rooms cannot be recovered. Remember, once a chat room has been deleted, you will no longer be able to access its logs. If you simply wish to close the chat room, change its duration instead.
Deleting a chat room:
- Locate the chat room you wish to delete.
- Click Delete.
- Double-check to ensure you are deleting the correct chat room.
- Click Delete chat room.
Your chat room should now be permanently deleted.
Edit existing chat rooms
- Locate the chat room which you wish to edit.
- Click Edit.
- Modify your chat room's information per your specifications and click Save Changes.
Your chat room should now reflect your changes.
Extend or close chat rooms
- Locate the chat room you wish to extend or close.
- Click Edit.
- Find the section titled "Window."
- If you wish to extend the chat room's duration, set the date and/or time to a time period later than the time and date currently selected.
- If you wish to close the chat room, set the date and/or time to a past time period and the chat will close immediately.
- Click Save Changes.
Your chat room's time settings should now be modified.
Enter chat rooms
- Locate the chat room which you would like to enter.
- Click Enter. The chat window should open.
You should now be in your chat room.
Browsers that have disabled pop-up windows in an attempt to stem advertisements may be unable to view the chat room window.
Chat with students
- Create a chat room for your class if you have not already.
- Enter the chat room.
- To begin talking, type your message in the text field at the bottom of the window and hit the enter/return key to send.
You should now be chatting with your students.
View conversation logs
Chat conversation logs are a record the conversations that take place in your chat rooms.
Viewing the conversation log:
- Locate the chat room from which you wish to view logs.
- Click Logs.
You should now be viewing the conversation log of the chat room.
There is also a link to open a chat's log within the chat room itself at the top right of the window. Clicking this will open a new window with the chat log up until that point, and will not cause you to leave the chat room.
My student can't view the chat room; what's wrong?
There are a number of reasons why your student might not be able to enter a chat room.
- The student's browser might have disabled pop-up windows. If a student's browser has disabled pop-ups in an attempt to stem pop-up advertisements, the chat window will not appear.
- The chat room might have expired. The chat room is on a timer; the students might not have entered the room before it expired.
- Only students officially enrolled in classes who have been given access to the chat room may enter the chat room. Please verify in the "Associate Classes" section of the chat room's settings that the student's class is listed.
- Only students who are officially enrolled in your class may view the chat room. Please verify that the student is officially enrolled in the class.
Why am I missing classes?
There are several reasons why classes may be missing. Some of the most common causes are listed below.
Common causes for missing classes:
- You may be viewing a different quarter on EEE — Switch Quarters
- Students: You may not be officially enrolled in the class — Student Access
- Assistants: Your instructor may not have added you in Assistants — Learn More
- Instructors: Your Department Scheduler may have not added you to the Registrar's Electronic Schedule of Classes (eSOC)
Use the Missing Classes look-up tool to check your status and receive trouble-shooting help.