Chat

The Chat tool is a real-time, text-based collaboration tool. 

There are two types of Chats you can create, a General Chat that is a public chat visible to all users or a Personal Chat that is only visible to users invited to your chat.

While students do not have the appropriate permissions to create General Chats, they are able to create their own Personal Chats. Unless you are invited by the student, you will not be able to view these Personal Chats.

Note: If you have customized your course Navbar, the chat tool may not be visible after enabling it. Please contact learnhelp@uwaterloo.ca if you require further assistance.

Enable Access to the Chat Tool

By default, the Chat tool is turned off. To activate this tool, you will need to click on Course Admin, select Tools and enable Chat by clicking on the Status checkbox to the right of the tool, this page will save automatically. Refresh the page for Chat to appear under the Connect link in the course navbar.

enable-chat-tool

Create a General Chat

General chats exist within specific courses and are only accessible from the course in which they are created.

All users in the course have access to the general chat. You can create multiple chats for the same course.

Note: The Chat type cannot be changed after the Chat has been saved.

new-chat-page

To create a Chat:

  • Click Connect tab and select Chat from the drop down menu.
  • Click New Chat.
  • Enter a Title for the chat.
  • Choose General Chat.
  • Enter a Description of the chat.
  • Click Create.

Edit a general chat room

You can edit the title and description of chats you have created.

  • On the Chat List page, click the down arrow beside the chat you want to modify and select Edit.
  • Change the title and/or description.
  • Click Save.

Delete a general chat room

  • Click the Connect link in the navbar and select Chat.
  • Check the box to the left of the chat you want to delete and click the Delete link at the top of the Chat List
  • Click Delete in the confirmation message.

Create a Personal Chat

Personal chat rooms can only be accessed by users who have been added to the personal chat’s Participant List. When users are added, the chat room displays under Personal Chats in their list of chats.

new-personal-chat

  • Click Connect in the navbar and select Chat.
  • Click New Chat.
  • Enter a Title for the chat.
  • Choose Personal Chat.
  • Enter a Description of the chat.
  • Click Create.
  • Return to the Chat List page click on the down arrow beside your personal chat and click on View Members to add users to the chat.

add-members-page

Note: Give your chat a unique, descriptive name and provide a description for it using the Description field to help users distinguish the chat from other chats they are able to see.

Add users to a personal chat

add-members-

  • Click Add Members to add users from your course.
  • If you want to add a personal contact, click Add Personal Contact instead of the Add Members.
  • Select the check box beside the name of users you want to add.
  • Click Add.

Remove users from a personal chat

  • On the Chat list page, click the down arrow to the right of the personal chat and select View members icon from the drop down menu.
  • On the Chat Members page, select the check box beside the users you want to remove.
  • Click the Delete icon at the top or bottom of the list.

Edit a chat room

You can edit the title and description of chats you create.

  • On the Chat List page, click the down arrow to the right of the chat you want to edit and choose Edit from the drop down menu.
  • Change the title and/or description.
  • Click Save.

Delete a personal chat room

  • Click Connect in the navbar and select Chat.
  • Check the box to the left of the Chat you want to delete and click Delete icon above the chat list.
  • Click Delete in the confirmation message.

Participating in a Chat Session

Add a chat message

Click the Chat Title of the chat you would like to join.

Type a message in the text box at the bottom of the chat room, and click Send.

Refresh your chat window

If you think new messages are not appearing on your screen fast enough, click the Refresh icon at the top of the chat. This icon is visible when you have New Messages checked in your Chat Settings.

See who else is chatting

The Participants pane displays a list of users currently signed in to a chat room.

Chat Settings

Change the display order of chat messages

You can set preferences to have messages in a chat display from new to old, or old to new, or show only new messages.

  • Click Settings in one of two locations:
    • On the Chat List page, click Settings on the top tool bar.
    • Inside a chat, click Settings along the top of the chat window.
  • If you want to change the message order, select New to Old or Old to New.
  • If you want to see new messages only, select New Messages. This requires you to manually refresh the screen, to see new messages and remove all old ones.
  • You can also use Settings to adjust your sound settings. For example, use the Incoming Message Sound menu to select which alert (if any) you would like to hear when you are receiving a new message in Chat.

Note  You can change back to see all messages, which restores all messages for that session, even if they were not visible while New Messages was checked.

Chat Archives

Managing Chat Session Archives

Each chat session is stored in the chat’s archives, where you can view it at a later time.

The system archives a chat session once all chat members leave the room or after more than 20 minutes of inactivity. Chats appear in the Chat Sessions list.

Access a chat session

On the Chat List page, click the down arrow next to the chat and choose View sessions from the drop down menu. This allows you to see a record of everything that has been said in a Chat to that point.

Note: You must be in the course in which you created the general chat to see the session archives.

Click the link in the Start Date column.

When you are done reviewing the session, click Done.

Delete a chat session

  • On the Chat List page, click the down arrow next to the chat and choose View sessions from the drop down menu.
  • Select the check boxes for the sessions you want to delete.
  • Click the Delete icon.

Note: that once a chat is deleted, the chat and all of its archives are gone forever – delete with care.

Print a chat session

  • Click Print in one of two locations:
    • Within an archived Chat Session, click Print on the action bar.
    • Inside a chat, click Print along the top of the chat window.
  • Print using your browser’s print functionality.
  • Click Close when you are done.