|Student Handbook for online classes at SRJC using the CATE system||CATE Handbook More Info for Students Distance Ed Home SRJC|
Chapter 13: Chat Rooms and blogging
For most online classes and for some face-to-face classes, the instructor will create one
or more online Chat Rooms to which students have access for participating in live,
real-time, text-based discussions on the Web.
Online chat is a simple process, and our Chat Rooms are designed to be easy and intuitive to use, but here are some instructions and tips.
In some cases, instructors will also provide blogging tools to allow students to post materials directly to webpages and respond to classmate's posts.
Topics on this page
Your instructor will provide the link(s) for you to reach your class Chat Room(s).
You will always need your personal username and passwordthe ones you chose when you checked into your classto access the Chat Room (unless your instructor has made other arrangements).
Before entering your username and password at the Chat Room log-in page, carefully read any informational material your instructor has placed there.
After logging into the Chat Room, you should use the "Adjust Settings" button to optimize the configurations to fit your monitor, etc. (After you adjust these settings, the system will permanently retain them for this Chat Room for you from session to session until you're ready to adjust them again.)
Once in the Chat Room, it's a good idea to read through the existing messages to get a feel for who's online and what's going on.
Depending on the particular chat environment and the instructor's directions, rather than butting into an ongoing discussion, you might need to use the "Raise Hand" button (if there is one) to signal that you would like to offer a question or comment.
Be respectful of everyone in the Chat Room and refrain from inappropriate language or behavior.
If someone else is behaving inappropriately, you can use the "squelch" feature via the "Adjust Settings" button to ignore that person. Be sure to report inappropriate behavior to the instructor.
Generally you will want to send all your chat messages to "everyone," which is the default value of the send function. If you want to send a message privately to another user in the Chat Room, select that user's name from the list beside the "Send Message" button.
When you send a private message, only you and the designated recipient will see it, even if there are other people in the Chat Room.
However, your instructor and the webmaster always have access to ALL private messages at all times, so behave accordingly.
At the end of your chat session, please use the "Log Out" button to indicate that you have departed the Chat Room and to free system resources.
Before entering a Chat Room, you must enter your username and password (the ones you chose when you originally checked into class, unless your instructor has made other arrangements) on the log-in page. That page usually contains additional information from your instructor about Chat Room guidelines and expectations.
Unless the Chat Room is closed (or no longer exists), after entering a valid username and password and clicking on the "Login" button you will be in the Chat Room and you can begin interacting with other visitors in that room.
Chat page, top frame
The Chat Room webpage is divided into a top frame and a bottom frame. The top frame contains the controls for adjusting your chat configurations, submitting chat messages, etc.
The chat messages displayed in the bottom frame of the Chat Room will be automatically refreshed at the rate you set via the "Adjust Settings" button. You can also refresh the messages in the bottom frame at any time by clicking on the "Refresh" button.
"Adjust Settings" button
This button leads to the controls with which you can configure the Chat Room to suit your needs. When you adjust the settings, the system will remember them and use them every time you log into the Chat Room, but you can always change them again as needed.
After adjusting one or more of your settings, be sure to click on the "Confirm Editing Settings" button at either the top or bottom of the page.
"Raise Hand" button
Some Chat Rooms include an optional "Raise Hand" button and in some cases the instructor will want you to use that button to indicate that you would like to contribute a comment or a question. Clicking on the button simply sends out a short message that you have raised your hand, at which point you should wait to be acknowledged by the instructor, just like in a traditional classroom.
"Log Out" button
At the conclusion of your chat session, you should click on the "Log Out" button to indicate you've departed the Chat Room and to conserve system resources.
Clicking on the "Help" button leads to this Help document.
"Send Message" button
You compose a chat message by typing it into the box above the "Send Message" button. When you're ready to send the message to the Chat Room, click on "Send Message." Generally you will want to send the message to all the visitors in the Chat Room by selecting "Everyone" from the pop-up list beside the send button.
If there are other people currently in the Chat Room, their names will also appear in the pop-up list, and you can select any one name from that list if you want to send a message privately to that person. A private message will only be seen by the sender (in this case, that's you) and the recipient. However, the instructor and the webmaster always have access to ALL private messages at all times.
After sending a message, the bottom frame of the chat page will refresh and your message will appear there with all the other chat messages.
Chat page, bottom frame
The Chat Room webpage is divided into a top frame and a bottom frame. The bottom frame displays your name, the refresh rate, the bell status, and messages which have been submitted to the Chat Room, with the newest message at the top and the oldest message at the bottom. You can adjust the refresh rate, bell status, size of the frame, etc using the "Adjust Settings" button in the top frame.
Logged out page
After logging out of the Chat Room, you'll see the log-out page. This will include a link to re-enter the Chat Room if desired. Also, your instructor might have placed some informational text on this page (the same as the log-in page) and perhaps some navigational buttons for reaching other parts of your class.
In some classes the instructor will provide access to one or more blogs where students can post material to a webpage and/or respond to posts made by the instructor and/or classmates. Blogging is a little different from Chat Rooms and Message Lists, because it occurs directly on a specific webpage and becomes an intrinsic part of the information presented on that page.
If the instructor wants you to participate in blogging, he or she will create the appropriate blog page(s) and navigation, as well as directions about what, when, where, and how to blog.
Depending on the class, you might have your own individual blog page where you are encouraged (or required) to post information. In addition, you might be encourage (or required) to respond to posts made by others. In all cases, the input form for posting information and/or responses to a blog can be found at the bottom of that blog page.
To use the input form, simply type in your class username and password (if required), a subject line (optional), and the text of your post. Then click the button at the bottom to submit. Your post will be automatically added to the blog page for your instructor and classmates to see.
If your instructor has activated the appropriate option, you'll also be able to edit anything you've posted. That includes posts to your own blog page as well as responses you've submitted to the blog pages of your classmates. If that option is available, just click the "edit this post" link under the posted material, then edit as desired and confirm. The post on the blog page will be updated accordingly.
In some cases, your instructor might activate the "advanced HTML editing" tool for blogging. That's a more sophisticated interface allowing you to control fonts, colors, images, layout, etc when blogging. For information about using that feature, refer to Appendix 8: Blogging Tools.
In some classes, both online and face-to-face, the instructor might send class-related text messages to the cell phones of students.
This is strictly optional, and students are never required to receive text messages from the instructor.
If you want to sign up to receive text messages from the instructor, you can do so using the CATE Student Configuration Manager, which is explained in Chapter 15.
Some instructors will activate the "myNotes" feature on some or all pages of your CATE class website. You can identify that feature by this icon:
When you see the myNotes icon, you can click it to open a new browser window (or a new tab, depending on how your browser is configured) and in the new window (or tab) you can enter, edit, save, and review your own private notes about the class material, much like writing in the margins of a textbook.
Not all instructors activate myNotes, andwhen they doyour use of myNotes is strictly optional. Also, keep in mind that you're the only one who can ever see your notes, and they're automatically deleted at the conclusion of the class.
Take the self-assessment quiz to ensure you're comfortable with all the concepts and skills in this chapter. The quiz will open in a new browser window, and after submitting the quiz you'll immediately see your score.
Practice exercise: Log into your class Chat Room and experiment with the controls for setting various configurations. Feel free to engage your classmates in a friendly chat if they're available!
|Distance Education office
Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA USA
Last Modified: Friday, 25-Jan-2013 10:10:00 PST
|Email to CATE Webmaster|