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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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8.6. Chat

Chat enables real-time conversations among a group of people over a low–speed Internet connection. Chat (or text-conferencing) lets learners swap typed-in messages over a network. Each member of the conference sees all the messages typed by the others. Chat sessions are like an instantaneous discussion group.

The use of chat sessions in learning is different from their use for social purposes. Learners and instructional designers familiar with the social examples may have to adjust their thinking to use chats effectively in learning.

In WBT, most chat sessions have clear goals and are scheduled in advance. They have definite starting times and typically last for 20 minutes to 90 minutes. Or they may continue until participants run out of ideas or energy.

Chat can be conducted in a tool outside the browser. Thus, the way a chat session looks and works depends on that tool. Or the chat activity can be embedded into a Web page by using a Chat control or applet.

There is no pleasure to me without communication: there is not so much as a sprightly thought comes into my min d that it does not grieve me to have produced alone, and that I have no one to tell it to.

—Michel de Montaigne

Notice that the chat control is embedded at the bottom of the page rather than in a separate ...

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