Zoom’s Group Chat tool is where meeting participants are able to post text messages during a meeting. Teachers can use the group chat to gather questions or comments from students, send text messages to students during independent work time activities, get feedback, and gauge comprehension and engagement.
Creative Ways to Use Group Chat
Use the Group Chat during your class activities to:
• ‘Take Attendance’ at the beginning of a class by requiring each student to post “I'm here.” when they arrive to class. Review this protocol with students so they know a record is being kept.
• Start with a warm up question or riddle or brain teaser to engage students right away and encourage students to find and use the chat window.
• Give an upper grade student the role of “class moderator” during class to monitor posted questions from classmates during the teacher’s whole group presentations.
• Include energizers or brain activators during lessons such as missing letters, fill-in-the-blanks, or “what’s missing?” activity slides that you share on screen and ask students to post their guesses or answers in the chat. ‘Missing letters’ activities are great for vocabulary review as they stimulate retrieval practice!
For additional options for getting non-verbal feedback and engagement from students such hand raising, yes/no, agree/disagree, learn more about the Participant panel
Features & Functions
Default Settings for All Meetings
Teachers can change the default CHAT options available and how they will function for all future scheduled meetings in their Zoom account.
1. Sign in to your Zoom account at www.zoom.us.
2. Go to yourSettings > Meeting tab and look for the following.
Note: If any options are grayed out, they have been locked by your school or district and you will need to check with your district’s Zoom admin.
- Turn off the ability for participants to send a message to all participants
Note: this disables the ability to change chat settings while you are in a meeting
- Prevent participants from saving the chat.
- Turn off the ability for participants to send a private 1:1 message to another participant
This feature is disabled if chat is turned off completely.
- Automatically save chats (if chats enabled).
- Turn off the ability for participants to transfer files via chat (in certain versions).
During a Meeting
Teachers may also change various CHAT options during any meeting.
1. Click on the CHAT button in your meeting control toolbar.
2. Click the MORE button at the bottom of the screen
3. Change settings while you are in the meeting:
Disable Chat Between Participants
Host can never view or save private 1:1 messages, so it is recommended that teachers disable chat between participants.
• For all meetings: check your Zoom account settings.
• During Meetings: can restrict further to “Host Only” or “Everyone Publicly”
Automatically Save Chats
Easily maintain records of interactions during your online class by turning ON the “Automatically save chats” feature your account.
Turn Off ‘Transfer FIles’ Between Participants
Reduce the risk of inappropriate file sharing by turning OFF the ability to transfer files between participants.
Review Where and How to Access the Chat
Be sure to review where and how to access the CHAT with students because not everyone may be using the same type of device, e.g. mobile device vs. a computer/laptop.
• Apple iOS Device
Tap on the More icon then tap on Chat.
• Android Device
Tap on Meet & Chat button