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Using the Chat Activity Module

The chat activity module allows participants to have a real-time synchronous discussion in a Moodle course. This video and the tips below share some strategies and demonstrations on “how to” setup a chat. 


The chat tool allows you to carry on real-time conversations with worksite participants who are signed in. All chat messages are saved and archived, and worksite participant can read them.


Unlike the LMS Forum tool, which facilitates “asynchronous” communication, the Chat tool facilitates “synchronous” communication.  This means that chat sessions occur in real time, and thus special arrangements must be made to meet in the chat room at specific time.  Here are some ideas for how to use this tool:

Moderated vs. Unmoderated Chats:  Depending on the goal of a chat session, you will need to consider whether you would like it to be moderated or unmoderated.  Moderated chats can be overseen by the lecturer or the students themselves.  Moderated chats can be more focused on a specific topic or activity than unmoderated chats, which tend to be better for more free-form, informal discussions.


Because chats occur in real time, it is essential to give students specific instructions and time to prepare beforehand.  This will result in much more well thought-out and well-behaved discussion.

Chat sessions with more than five students can get confusing and disorganized quickly.  Try to organize chat sessions for smaller groups of students, scheduled at different times.  Since chats are logged, groups can view each other’s sessions after they have occurred.

How to create a chat:

Make sure that the editing mode in Moodle has been turned on. Then, go to the “Add an activity” menu and select Chat.

1) You will be asked to give a name to the chat room as well as a brief explanation for the chat.  For instance, you may choose to fill in the blanks with “Chat with the TA.”  Then, proceed to clicking the Save button at the bottom of the page.

2) Now that you have the chat room ready and available to students, you may tell them to go there and contact the TA.


Sandra Orwig

[email protected]

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