The Chat activity allows you to add a simple text-based chat room tool in your LEO unit that allows you and your students to communicate in real time via instant messaging.

Chat sessions can be scheduled for a certain time and date, and you may repeat sessions daily or weekly if you prefer. There is also the option to save your previous chat sessions and make them available for students to review later if you wish.

The functions provided by the Chat activity are much simpler when compared to a Live Classroom, however it can be a suitable alternative where a less complex solution is required. Unlike the asynchronous Forum activity, students can talk and respond in real-time during the session.

Some possible uses for the Chat activity include:

  • Meetings with a group of participants who are not able to meet in person
  • A synchronous forum for asking questions and providing answers
  • As a place where students can communicate in their tutorial groups

The chat activity can be added to a unit using the "Add an activity or resource" link in LEO.

  1. Log into LEO and navigate to your unit.
  2. In the section you want to add the Chat, click the "Add an activity or resource" link.
  3. Choose the "Chat" activity from the list, then click "Add":
The Chat activity from the Add menu

Modify your Chat settings

  1. Add a Name for your Chat room, and a description if you wish.
  2. Next chat time: set the time and date of the next session.
    Note that this setting is purely informational. The session time will display to students when they click the Chat activity link, and will also make the session show in the Unit Calendar as an event if set to Publish. Enrolled users can still open the chat room outside of the time set here.
  3. Repeat/publish session times:
    • Don't publish any chat times - students are welcome to use the Chat at any time.
    • No repeats - publish the specified time only - only the set session time will be published.
    • At the same time every day - repeat the Chat session daily at the same time.
    • At the same time every week - repeat the Chat session weekly at the same time.
  4. Save past sessions: you can choose to save the text of chat sessions indefinitely, or choose a time before they are removed by the system.
  5. Everyone can view past sessions: by default, only Lecturers can see saved chat sessions. Change this to 'Yes' if you want your students to be able to review past Chats.
  6. Set any remaining common options, then click "Save and return to unit" to finish.

Restrict access to control access times

The Chat does not automatically prevent access to the activity outside time you set for you session. If you need to prevent access to a Chat activity before or after specific times, you can use the Restrict Access settings for the activity to achieve this.

First, set a start date and time from which the activity can be accessed:

  1. In the Restrict Access section of the activity settings, click the "Add Restriction" button.
  2. From the popup window options, click the "Date" button.
  3. Set a date with the "from" selection, after which the activity will be available:
Restrict date from setting

Then, set an end date and time, after which the activity will be inaccessible:

  1. Click the "Add Restriction" button.
  2. From the popup window options, click the "Date" button.
  3. Set a date with the "until" selection, after which is when the activity will be unavailable:
Restrict date until setting

Remember to save your activity settings:

  1. Click "Save and return to unit" to save your settings.

To access the Chat room activity:

  1. Click the Chat activity link in your unit.
  2. Click the "Click here to enter the chat now" link to open the Chat window. A popup window will appear:
The Chat room interface
  1. A list of participants will appear on the right, with text chat boxes appearing on the left.
  2. To talk, type into the text box at the bottom of the screen, then press "Enter" on your keyboard, or click the "Send" button.
  3. Close the Chat window to leave the chat room.

How to view the content of previous saved chat sessions

  1. Click the Chat activity in your LEO unit.
  2. Click the "View Past Chat Sessions" link.
  3. Select the chat session you wish to view, and a transcript of the session will appear. There is currently no Export function that can save your chat as a text file (except for the Export to Portfolio button), however you may highlight the text on the screen and copy/paste this to a Word file if you wish.
The Chat activity is not integrated with the unit's Grades for the capturing of marks. Participation in a chat session may be considered an assessable activity, however this would need to be manually moderated by the lecturer and a mark provided in Grades using a manual grade item.

Chat activity in Moodle Docs

Related LEO Guides:

Page last updated on 15/09/2020

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