lachat11

Chat

The Chat Activity runs a live (synchronous) discussion for learners.
This is similar to Instant Messaging (IM) software that most learners will be familiar with.

  Animated Tutorial
This animation explains how to create and use the Chat Activity
 

... and Scribe

The Chat and Scribe Activity combines a Chat Activity with a Scribe Activity for collating the chat group's view on questions created by the teacher. When used in small group mode, the tool creates parallel Chat and Scribe areas for each small group, and then shows the outcome of each group collated on a whole class page.

  Animated Tutorial
This animation explains how to create and use the Chat and Scribe Split-Screen Activity
 

Chat Activity Authoring

| Basic Tab | Advanced Tab | Instructions | Conditions |

All properties sheets contain three tabs:

  • The Basic tab controls the content of the activity.
  • The Advanced tab controls how the activity behaves.
  • The Instructions tab allows authors to comment on the activity itself.
    An additional Conditions tab is visible where the activity allows Authors to customise the activity outputs for branching or grouping operations.

Basic tab for the Chat Activity

View of the Chat Activity Basic tab.

There are two features on the basic tab common to all activities:

  • Title: All Activities have a web page title which is presented at the top of the activity page when displayed in the Learning Environment. This is NOT the same title as the Title that can be set using the Properties Inspector.
  • Instructions: All Activities have a text area that is presented beneath the title. This is where the main activity text to be displayed to learners is entered. The text can be formatted using the Rich-Text Editor. Image, Video, Audio and URL content can also be displayed in the Instructions area.

Advanced tab for the Chat Activity

View of the Chat Activity Advanced tab.

  • Lock when finished: Enabling this option in Chat means that the Chat session will only run "live" until the last learner clicks Finish. If afterwards they return to the chat, they will only see a history record of the chat session, and will not be able to continue chatting.
    If this option is disabled, the Chat session will run "live" until the sequence is stopped by a monitor.
  • Add Notebook... : This option is available on all Activities. Enabling this option creates a Notebook as part of the Activity, which Learner's can use to reflect on the activity just completed. The reflections are personal (ie: not shared with other learners).

Advanced Features Specific to the Chat Activity

  • Filter Messages: If enabled, Filter Messages allows authors to specify a list of words to be replaced by asterisks (eg: ****) in the Chat Window.
    Ask your LAMS Administrator to modify the default content of the Chat Activity so as to replace explicit language by default.

Instructions Tab

View of the Instructions tab. This is the same for all activities.

The Instructions tab contains the same features for all Activities.

It allows the Author to create specific instructions for the activity, as well as upload files that may be useful for running the activity (ie: support documents, etc.). It is a resource that can be used by teachers who are running the sequence for their learners. (In the Monitoring Environment, the Instructions for an Activity can be viewed by double clicking the activity on the Sequence tab and then selecting the Instructions tab.

The instructions can be retrieved by other authors who open the activity, or by monitors running the sequence.

There are two types of Instruction possible, Offline and Online, depending on the mode that the teacher wishes to run the activity. The feature is useful for teachers who are sharing sequences with their colleagues as it provides an area where the Author can describe any learning objectives and/or the specific purpose of the activity.

Branching Conditions for Chat


View of the Conditions tab, with a test condition visible.

Conditions Specific to the Chat Activity

Adding Text-Based Conditions to an Activity

Most activities now support text-based conditions. This means that learners can be assigned to groups or streamed to different branches according to their responses to an Activity.

  • To add a new condition to an activity, first click the Conditions Tab at the top of the screen, then click Add Condition.
    • A unique name must be given to each condition created for the activity. It's best practice to relate the name to what the condition is testing for, such as: "Answered Blue" or "Mentioned Oxygen".
  • For each condition, there are several options for how to search the Learners responses:
    • Have all of these words: will seperate the learners who have entered each of the given words as part of their response.
    • Have this exact wording: will seperate the learners who have entered the exact phrase as part their response.
    • Have none of these words: will seperate the learners who have mentioned at least one of the given words as part of their response.
    • Have none of these unwanted words: seperates the learners who have not mentioned any of the given words.
  • These rules can be used simultaneously, and also can be applied to one or more seperate questions.

Text-based conditions are not case sensitive. That is, searching for 'Sheep' will return both 'sheep' and 'Sheep'

Examples:

Conditions can be very specific:
To separate the learners who have replied with Foo and Bar in their response:

have all these words: foo bar
have this exact wording or phrasing:  
have one or more of these words:  
have none of these unwanted words:  

... less specific...
To separate the learners who have replied with either Foo or Bar:

have all these words:  
have this exact wording or phrasing:  
have one or more of these words: foo bar
have none of these unwanted words:  

... and very complex!
To separate the learners who have:

  • replied Foo
  • replied Bat or Bar
  • but not replied with Foobar
have all these words: bat
have this exact wording or phrasing:  
have one or more of these words: bat bar
have none of these unwanted words: foobar

Monitoring Chat

Summary Screen

View of the Chat Monitoring Summary tab.

The Summary Tab for Chat allows Monitors to observe the Chat session in several ways.

  • Monitors can enter the chat session and directly contribute by clicking Open Chat.
  • Existing chat messages can be edited or removed by selecting Edit Messages.

The Summary tab also displays the most recently posted message for each chat session, and also display statistics about the number of Learners and Number of postings for each chat session.

Instructions

View of the Chat Monitoring Instructions tab.

In the Authoring Environment, Authors can use the Instructions Space to attach support files for a specific activity, or leave comments for othe Monitors about how a given activity should be run.

These comments and files can be viewed from here - the Instructions Tab.

Edit Activity

Clicking the Edit Activity button opens a new screen identical to the _'Basic'_tab in the authoring environment. In the current version of LAMS (2.0.4), Editing can only be performed on activities that students have not yet reached.

Unlike Live Edit, this form of Editing can only modify the content of an activity, as opposed to the structure of a sequence.

Statistics

The Chat Summary screen simply displays a breakdown of the number of individual messages that each Learner has entered in a chat session.


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