The Chatroom is a tool that can be used for synchronous communication in your online class. In the chatroom, you, your instructor and your classmates are all individually sitting at their computer at the same time and participating in a discussion.
For most new online students, this will take a little getting used to. However, it can be a really fun way to communicate as a class. Some instructors have a required virtual chat time but will typically offer a couple of alternative times to meet your schedule. Also, the chatroom is often used as the instructor's conference hour time. Instead of meeting on campus during a conference hour, you'll simply sign-on to the classroom, enter the chatroom and your instructor will be waiting. Your instructor will provide information about when the chatroom will be used for a particular course.
When you open the Chatroom, a three-paned screen appears ready for chatting online. In the upper left corner is the Chat-Speak Panel. The lower left corner is the List-of-Participants Panel. The right side is the Content Panel.
Your comment to post to the chat is typed in the message box located here. Click ‘Post Message’ when ready. If you wish to change the settings for the display, select the new setting in the dropdown boxes and then click ‘Post Message’ to activate the new settings.
This panel will maintain a list of participants in the current chat. It also provides access to group chats of which you are a member and to chat logs of previous chat sessions.
When you and others click on ‘Post Message’ in the Chat-Speak Panel, the messages appear in this panel when it is next refreshed.