Online chat guidelines

An online chat is a real-time, synchronous, text-based communication via computer. Participants in online chat sessions type messages to each other using their keyboards. The message then appears on the screens of all the participants. They may be in the same room or in different locations anywhere around the globe.

Guidelines for teachers

Getting prepared

  • Send an email to to register for the chat session as soon as it is scheduled.
  • Before the chat, go through the specific online resources related to its topic to prepare your pupils for the online discussion.
  • Discuss the chat topic with your pupils and select the most suitable questions they wish to ask, fitting into the general chat theme. Encourage your students to share their ideas.
  • Divide your class into two or three small groups for the chat session.
  • For each group, appoint a leader who will type questions. The group leaders should have a good knowledge of the chat language and should be able to type quickly and accurately.
  • To get familiar with the chat application, a test session is organised in advance.

Joining the chat session

  • Double-check which is correct time for your time zone.
  • Launch your browser (Browser Requirements: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, or Opera).
  • Click on the URL provided by email.
  • Log on at least 10 minutes before the start.
  • Type your username (nickname) and password to access the chatroom.
  • Remind your student leaders to be fast, accurate and type short sentences.
  • The questions of the other participating schools may interest your pupils. Ask them to follow the entire online dialogue and not to focus only on the answers to their questions.
  • Close the chat window when done.

Guidelines for students

  • Prepare your questions beforehand with your teacher.
  • Note that your native language may not be the chat language. If you are a native speaker, use simple words and keep your message short and to the point; the others may be non-native speakers and might use a dictionary while chatting.
  • Allow enough time for the guests to read, think, and type before posting a question again.
  • Never give out private information such as home phone numbers, addresses and passwords.

Enjoy the chat!