Poster 3 – Typing while talking: how can we use the chat box effectively when teaching online?

David Shah – Academic Skills Tutor – City, University of London

One under-considered aspect of some of the platforms commonly used for online teaching is the presence of the “chat box” or “chat thread”, an area for typed communication that usually runs synchronously with and alongside a spoken presentation, and which often becomes a significant focus for participants’ attention during a session. It is worth considering how best to manage this functionality. Should the chat box be a “free for all”, or do we want to set some boundaries and expectations about when and how it is used during a session? From an accessibility perspective, is it overwhelming (for some, or indeed all, students) to have, in effect, two conversations running in parallel (one spoken, one typed)? In what ways does a typed contribution differ from a voiced contribution and are they valued equally? Do we have to make use of all the functionality of an app just because it’s there? The poster will offer ten suggestions (Shah, 2020) for optimising this potentially very helpful technology.

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Shah, D. (2020) Is chat where it’s at? Available at: (Accessed: 6th May 2022).


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