Course Tools

Collaboration (Virtual Classroom & Lightweight Chat)
The Collaboration tool allows instructors and students to participate in real time lessons and discussions via the Virtual classroom tool or Lightweight Chat, and also view archives of previous classroom sessions. Collaboration can be used to hold real-time, online classroom discussions, TA sessions, office hour type question/answer forums, student team meetings, guest speaker/subject matter expert class presentations, as well as other functions. Keep the following in mind when using collaboration: Virtual Classroom is a Java application and may take a few moments to load into a browser. All users must have Java enabled browsers to use chat. Due to the synchronous nature of chat, multiple users must participate at the same time. Users should schedule sessions among themselves to ensure attendance (i.e. all users log on at 4:30 p.m. on Friday). Chat can be overwhelming if too many users are present. Small groups work best to keep conversation manageable. USER INSTRUCTIONS TO LOG ON TO CHAT: Log on to your course or organization Click "Communication" on the left navigation bar Click "Collaboration" Click "Join" next to either Virtual Classroom or Lightweight Chat Once the session loads, begin chatting by typing your messages at the blinking prompt at the bottom of the screen and hitting enter Your message, and those of other participants, will show up in the lower part of the white screen area. To log off, click the "X" at the top of the window or the Red circle with an X by the word "End"

Discussion Forum
Discussion forum is a communication tool that can be used to enhance a course/organization. While some similarities to chat exist, the discussion forum is designed for asynchronous use. Users are not present at the same time to converse on-line. As an example, email is also asynchronous. An additional advantage of the discussion board is that conversations are logged and organized. Conversations are grouped into threads that contain a main posting and all related topics. USER INSTRUCTIONS ON USING THE DISCUSSION FORUM: Log on to your course or organization Click "Discussion Board" on the left navigation bar (the discussion board tool is also available under the "Communication" navigation button). To add a new thread (a new discussion): Click the forum where the new discussion will reside and then click "Add New Thread" Fill out the form and then click "OK" To respond to an existing message (thread): Click the message you wish to respond to Click the "Reply" button on the lower right-hand side of screen Fill out the form and click "Submit"