Make your sessions more engaging with Chat!

Most students are extremely comfortable with some form of text-based communication. You may see students participate who might be hesitant to speak up in audio/video settings.

Open the Collaborate panel and select Open Chat to start chatting.

Not sure where the Collaborate panel is? Jump to Find Your Way Around.


Allow chatting in your sessions

Chat may not be on when you first enter your session. You may need to turn it on.

Open the Collaborate panel and select My Settings. Select Session Settings and select Post chat messages.


How do I know when there are new chat comments?

Collaborate uses notifications to let you know what's happening in your session. These notifications tell you when there are new chat comments.

  • The Collaborate pop-up notification stays on the screen for a few seconds then disappears. It tells you if you have a new chat message, if there are more than one, and what chat channel the comment is in.
  • The audio notification sounds like a thunk. Jump to Audio Notifications to hear the sound.
  • The browser pop-up notification, appears when you have another browser window, or application, open and active. Close the pop-up and return to the session to see the chat message.

If you have the chat panel open, you'll see a new comment alert.

More on comment alerts with assistive technology

You can also see when someone is typing in chat. Open the Chat panel and see if someone is about to ask a question or make a comment.

One person is typing

Several people are typing

Collaborate Chat Emoji


Chat emoji

An important part of a classroom dynamic is the non-verbal communication. The look on someone's face, or hearing their tone, tells you a lot about how they are getting along in the class. Emojis bring that non-verbal communication to a virtual setting. Browse or search for the emoji that conveys exactly what you want to.

The emoji pack for Collaborate with the Ultra experience supports diversified emojis and Unicode 8 characters.

Use one of five supported skin tones on any human emoji. Use the Select skin tone button to change the skin tone of all human emoji at once. Or use Unicode characters to set the skin tone for the emoji when you use it.

  • Select skin tone: Select the Select skin tone button and choose the tone you want.
  • Unicode 8 characters: Add underscore, tone, and the supported tone number (1 through 5) to your emoji when typing. Don't forget the colons on either end of your emoji text. For example, :wave_tone5:

More on emojis with assistive technology and keyboard shortcuts


Chat history

Collaborate's chat history only has 50 messages displayed at any given time. Scroll through the messages or use the hidden keyboard controls at the top of the Chat panel if you use a keyboard to navigate.

More on chat history with assistive technology


Chat messages in recordings

If a session is being recorded, chat messages in the Everyone channel are being recorded as well. Private messages and chat messages in breakout groups are not recorded.

More on chat messages in recordings

Private Chat


Private chat

Chat privately with anybody else in your session.

By default you see the Everyone chat when you first open Chat. Select Previous Panel by the Everyone heading. Then just type the name of the person you want to chat with and start chatting.

Be careful what you say in your private chats! Moderators may supervise private chats between participants to monitor for inappropriate language or bullying. There is a warning when moderators are supervising.

Moderators can limit who participants chat privately with. Moderators can choose to allow participants to only chat privately with moderators.

Moderators also have their own private chat already created for them. Participants won't see the Moderators chat channel.

If moderators want to supervise private chat, the option must be selected BEFORE the session starts. See Session Settings for more on settings you can set before and during a session.

Only the Everyone chat is included in session recordings.


Watch a video about private chat

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Private Chat shows you private chat in action.

More on private chat with assistive technology


Private chat settings

Moderators can limit who participants can chat with. Moderators can also supervise all private chats.

If you want to supervise private chats or allow participants to only chat with moderators, you must select each option in Session Settings BEFORE the session starts.

  • Participants can only chat with moderators: Private chat is available by default. When selected, participants can only chat privately with moderators. If you don't select it, participants can chat privately with any body else in the session.

  • Moderators supervise all private chats: When selected, moderators can see everything that is said in private chat channels. An alert appears at the top of the private chat channel informing users that the chat is being supervised. If you don't select it, you don't see the private chat channels.

Monitor chat


Monitor chat

You may see students participate in chat who might be hesitant to speak up in audio/video settings.

By default you are notified when someone posts a new chat message. If you don't see or hear chat notifications, check your Notification Settings in My Settings.

Monitor chat to see if someone is about to ask a question or make a comment. Open the Collaborate panel and select Open Chat.

One person is typing

Several people are typing

You can also supervise all private chats.

If you want to supervise private chats or allow participants to only chat with moderators, you must select each option in Session Settings BEFORE the session starts.

Don't miss any chat messages while presenting. See chat alerts when in another application like PowerPoint. Select the Browser pop-up notification in your notification settings.

Collab Chat Profanity Filter


Chat profanity filter

If someone uses inappropriate words in the chat those words are filtered out in both the live session and the recording. The words are replaced with a series of stars.

Inappropriate English and Spanish terms are filtered.

The chat profanity filter is off by default. Some terms may not be inappropriate for every subject. For example, some biological terms may be filtered out that are appropriate for biology classes. The list of inappropriate terms is predetermined and can't be changed at this time.

Turn the profanity filter on before the session begins in Session Settings.


Navigate chat with assistive technology

More on chat with assistive technology