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Chat (3)

I have used Chat in my Computer Science classes to conduct virtual labs. It was particularly useful for a summer class I taught this summer.

Two meetings per week in classroom
Two meetings per week in cyberspace via Chat
12 students in the class

The Chat meetings were scheduled during weekend or evening hours since all students worked full time during the summer. All students had a computer with a modem at home; some chose to participate using on-campus computers, most joined from their home computer.

Typical format of a 'Chat Session'

Brief introduction - conference mode
Description of today's tasks and goals - auditorium mode
Division into groups of approx. 4 - conference mode
Groups would split into their own chat rooms and
select a group speaker
see a Web page with a description of their group task
take 20 - 30 minutes to discuss tasks in their group
I would monitor all chat rooms but rarely particpated
Groups would rejoin main chat room - auditorium mode
Each speaker would get the microphone to report on their group's tasks and results
Open discussion - conference mode
Conclusion and outlook for next time - auditorium mode

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Bert G. Wachsmut
Last modified: 05/03/00