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Blackboard 9.1 Online Guide: Chat Tool
Online Learning Modules

Introduction

Synchronous communication provides opportunities for real time interaction between students and instructor and has been considered as a great way of enhancing online learning environment.

Inthis module, you will learn how to engage students synchronously and promote collaborative learning with Virtual Classroom and Chat tools in Bb9.1.

Objectives
  • create a chat session
  • Manage a chat session
  • create a virtual classroom
  • edit chat and classroom settings
  • manage participant roles
  • incorporate Best Practices
Learning Activities

Learning activities

(Note: Before About starting a chat or virtual Classroom session, Java Plug-in has to be installed appropriately. The plug-in may be downloaded from the page that appears when a user joins a Collaboration Session, or may be found at http://java.sun.com/products/plug in/index.html. Please uninstall any existing Java plug-ins before installing a new version.)

Asinstructor, you can create a chat session in three ways:

  • Leave the start and end time for the session blank or make it available from the beginning to the end of the course. In this case, students can schedule meetings and use the session at any time throughout the course.
  • Set up the session for a specific time for specific event, e.g. guest speaker,class orientation
  • Set up the session for group members only. students in a group can schedule sessions to discuss projects, divide up tasks, and brainstorm.

Creating a chat session

Step 1: Under Control Panel, click Course Tools to expend the list, click Collaboration to open Collaboration Sessions page.
Step 2: Click Create Collaboration Session on the Action Bar to open the pager.
Step 3:  Enter a Session Name.
Step 4:  Under Schedule Availability, set up the start and end time for the session, as needed.
Step 5  Next to Available, select Yes.
Step 6  Next to Choose Tool for this Session, Select Chat from the drop-down list.
Step 7  Click Submit.

Note: Each course contains a default Chat session titled Office Hours. You can rename or delete this default session. To enable the chat function, you need to download the appropriate java and disable the pop-up blocker or make your course site a trusted site.

Recording a Session

Step 1: Click a chat session name to join a chat session.
Step 2: Click the round recording button on the top right of the chat session window to start.
Step 3: Enter a name for the recording or use the default.
Step 4: click OK

Viewing a Recorded Chat Session

Step 1: Access the Collaboration Sessions page.
Step 2 : Click a session the action link on the right side of the chat session name to open contextual menu.
Step 3: Select Recordings on the menu, the Session Recordings page
Step 4: Click the name of the recording to view the chat logs.

NOTE: If several recordings exist, use the Search function on the Action Bar.

If student participation is graded, session recordings is crucial for the instructor. Alternatively, it is also beneficial for the students to review the recorded chat logs, if a chat session was missed.

Managing a chat session

Once you join the chat session as an instructor/moderator, you can modify participant roles, clear a local or all user displays, allow or disallow private messages or end a session by click the relevant icons on top of the browser window of the chat session. You can also modify the participant roles.

Modifying Participant Roles

Step 1: Select the participant’s name to highlight it
Step 2: Click the passive or active icon. The icon in the Participants list is updated.

Note: Passive users can view the chat exchange, but can only contribute if they raise their hands and are granted permission.

Sending Private Messages

Step 1: select the recipient or recipients of your private message on the participant list
Step 2: Click Private Message, the Compose Private Message pop-up window opens.
Step 3:Enter your message.
Step 4: Click Send.

Virtual Classroom
Virtual class room tool allows users to ask questions, draw on the whiteboard, and participate in breakout sessions. Virtual classroom contains 3 main areas:

Menu bar --instructor to managing participation, monitoring breakout sessions, and ending the session.
Classroom Tool box-- includes tools used for searching for Web sites, asking and answering questions, utilizing the Whiteboard, and accessing the Course Map
Chat-- works the same as chat room

The Session Administrator establishes which tools in the Virtual Classroom users can access. The Lecture Hall is the default Virtual Classroom. It can be deleted or renamed.

Creating a virtual classroom Session

Step 1: Under Control Panel, click Course Tools to expend the list, click Collaboration to open Collaboration Sessions page.
Step 2: Click Create Collaboration Session on the Action Bar to open the pager.
Step 3:  Enter a Session Name.
Step 4:  Under Schedule Availability, set up the start and end time for the session, as needed.
Step 5  Next to Available, select Yes.
Step 6  Next to Choose Tool for this Session, select virtual classroom from the drop-down list.
Step 7  Click Submit

Managing virtual classroom

It's Your Turn!

Create a Chat or Virtual Classroom Practice session in your course with your students and practice to manage participants roles and do a recording.

Best Practices in Higher Education

Best Practice:

Chat or victual classroom can be used for real time online class activities, such as,class discussions, guest speaker-led sessions, teaching assistant sessions, live question-and-answer sessions as or as office hours for the instructor to address student's questions or concerns. They can also be made available to groups for collaboration on projects, brain storming and discussions. When using these tools, try to apply the following best practices:

1. Determine clear goals for a specific collaborative session
2. Make an agreement with the students about the available time of a specific session
3. If it is a class discussion session, prepare a topic or discussion question and stay on track.
4. Set up rules of etiquette
5. Manage participant roles as necessary
6. Record the session as necessary for student's review on major points
7. Have a practice session before a formal collaborative session to make sure that participants have the Java plug-in installed and the chat tools or Virtual classroom tools function well.

 

Summary

 


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Last Updated: 1/3/12