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Department of Online Learning

WebCT Designer Group Meeting Summary
April 22, 2004

The Use of Chat to Promote Interaction & Collaboration in Online Learning

The final WebCTea Designers Group Meeting of the Spring 2004 semester focused on the use of chat to promote interaction and collaboration in WebCT. Presentations were made by two NJCU online faculty describing different ways in which chat is used in their online courses.

Marge Coyman, of the Educational Technology Department, presented from Ocean City, Maryland where she used the WebCT chat tool to communicate with us “live”. Marge, who has a wealth of experience in using real time Internet chat, described how she uses chat in her own course and provided examples of how she has observed chats used in various subjects and situations. Finally, the presentation concluded with some proven techniques she has devised for keeping order in a “crowded” chat room. Because the Designers Group meeting was held in the CITI Computer Lab, the participants were able to gain first hand experience with chat.

Chris Herbert, of the Physics Department, presented “in-person” some of the unique methods he has developed for incorporating chat into his courses. Chris began by reviewing some of the benefits he has found in using chat in both his online and web-enhanced courses, and in his experience, the satisfaction rate among students greatly increased after adding chat as a structured part of his course. Chris also spent time demonstrating various advanced-level techniques he incorporates in his chat sessions, such as adding a visual element to the chat experience by sending web links to students to point out images pertaining to the topic.

Handout: Using Chat in Online Learning
Log of Chat with Marge Coyman


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