Chat general guidelines

A “chat” is an online tool enabling real-time communication. Participants can sit in front of their computers and “chat.” They may be in the same room, building or in different locations anywhere around the globe. People type messages to each other using their keyboards, and the messages appear immediately on the screens of all the participants.

Chat, chatroom, moderator and nickname

A “chatroom” is an electronic space, typically a website. A chatroom can be accessed with a computer connected to the Internet. Chatrooms are usually focused on specific topics.

The “moderator” is the person who is responsible for the chat. She or he makes sure that participants follow the chat rules, and the moderator can ban those who do not.

A “nickname” replaces the proper name of a person and it is used while chatting. For safety reasons it is strongly recommended that you use a nickname -- not your real name – whenever you participate in an online chat.

How to take part in a chat session

1. Some advice for teachers

  • Register for the chat session (by providing some basic information). Registration is available as soon as the chat activity is announced.
  • Before taking part in a chat, please go through the resources related to its topic to prepare your students for the online discussion; this ensures the chat's pedagogical value.
  • Synchronise your time zone with the chat time.
  • Launch your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, or Opera).
  • Go to the website where the chat was announced and click on the link provided.
  • Type your username (nickname) and its related password to access the chatroom.
  • Before typing your questions, it is recommended that you observe the discussion for a while to gauge the general feeling of the dialogue.
  • The questions of the other participating classes may interest your class, too, so urge your students to observe the entire chat dialogue, not only the answers to their questions.
  • Remind your student leaders to be fast, accurate and type short sentences.
  • To get familiar with the chat application, a test session is organised in advance.

2. Some advice for students

  • Prepare your questions beforehand.
  • Note that your native language may not be the chat language. If you are a native speaker of the chat language, use simple words and short sentences; the others may be non-native speakers and they may need to use a dictionary while chatting.
  • During the session, you do not see the faces of your partners. To make your communication more expressive use emoticons - facial expressions like smiling [:-] or surprised [= o], associated to a group of keystrokes.
  • Never give out private information openly in a chat: passwords, credit card details, drivers’ license, numbers, home address etc.

For any other questions you may have, please send an email to Petru Dumitru at