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D2L Brightspace: Chat Basics

The Chat tool is a real-time, text-based collaboration tool. Using the Chat tool, you can set up General (Course) Chats to include your whole class or Personal Chats with smaller groups of students in your course or across many courses.

Potential Uses for Chat:

  • Host live Q and A session with class
  • Student group meetings
  • Teachers can set up chats to communicate across courses

This article is available in PDF format.

There is also a helpful tutorial video for this article.

Types of Chats

There are two types of chat:

  • General (Course) chats:Chats that are visible to everyone enrolled in the course where they are created. General chats allow you to incorporate chat discussions into the teaching of a course since they are automatically open to all users enrolled in the course. Only instructors can set up General Chats.
  • Personal Chats: Chats that are private and visible only to users who you have added to the chat’s participants list. Personal Chat participants can be enrolled in any course, not just the one that hosts the chat. Instructors and students can set up personal chats.
Creating a General (Course) Chat

General (Course) Chats are accessed from the course that they were created in. All users in the course will have access to the General Chat you set up for that course.

  1. Go to the course where you will locate the General Chat.
  2. Click Communications on the navbar.
  3. Click Chat from the drop down menu.
  4. Click New Chat.

Once you are in the New Chat window,

  1. Choose a Title for your chat, such as “Midterm Review.”
  2. Click the General Chat button.
  3. Enter a Description of the chat, as users may have access to other General Chats with similar names.
  4. Click Create.
Add a Chat Message
  1. Go to your Chat by clicking
  2. Click
  3. Click the drop down box next to the Chat you want to enter.
  4. Choose Enter Chat.

  5. There are three sections in the Chat – 1) Participants, 2) Conversation and 3) Message box. Type a message in the message box located at the bottom of the chat.

  1. Press the Enter key on your keyboard or click Send.
  2. The comments will appear in the Conversation box above.
See Who Else is Chatting
  1. Go to
  2. Click You will see a list of General Chats that you are enrolled in.
  3. View the Chat you would like to monitor.
  4. Go to the far right of your screen.
  5. Click the Current Participants number.
  6. A new window will open with a list of current participants that are signed in.
Change Your Chat Settings
  1. Go to Settings on the top, right side of the screen.
  2. Click Bold or Italics font, if desired.
  3. Set a Color for your font, if desired.
  4. To change the message order, select New to Old or Old to New.
  1. Click the Only Show New Messages box, if you desire to keep your conversation list shorter.

NOTE: When this is checked, a Refresh button will appear on the left. Keep in mind that you will have to click Refresh each time to receive new messages in the future.

  1. Click the Drop Down box by Incoming Message Sound, Person Enters Chat Sound or Person Leaves Chat Sound and choose a sound for each action from the list.
  2. Click Save when you have made your settings selections.
Archived Chat Sessions

D2L archives each chat session if all chat members leave the room or the site has been inactive for 20 minutes, the system will automatically archive the session. To view archived sessions:

  1. Go to the Chat List page,
  2. Click the drop down box next to the session
  3. Click  View sessions

  4. Each of your chat sessions will show with the date, start times and end ties of the conversations. 
  5. Click the Start Date of the session you would like to view.
  6. A Session Information box will open allowing you to view details of the session and who posted what in the chat session.
  7. When you are done reviewing the session, click Done.
Delete a Chat Session
  1. Go to Communications on the navbar.
  2. Click Chat.
  3. On the Chat List page, click the box to the left of the chat title.
  4. Click the Delete button above.
Edit a Chat Session
  1. Go to Communications on the navbar.
  2. Click Chat, to view your list of chat sessions.
  3. Click the drop down arrow after the Chat Title.
  4. Click Edit.
  5. Edit the Chat session Title or Description.
  6. Click Save when you are done.
Printing a Chat Session
  1. Go to Communications on the navbar.
  2. Click Chat.
  3. Click the chat session that you want to print to open it.
  4. Once the chat session archive is open, click Print in the upper right corner.
  5. Click Done.
Creating a Personal Chat

Students and instructors can create Personal Chats for group discussions. They can be set up from any course, and accessed from any other course. Personal chats can only be accessed by users who have been added to the Participant List manually.

  1. Go to Communications.
  2. Click Chat.
  3. Click New Chat.
  4. Enter a Title, such as Study Session.
  5. Click Personal Chat as the type.
  6. Enter a unique Description of the chat, if desired.
  7. Click Create.

Personal chats can go across all courses in the D2L site. The list appears separate from the General (Course) chats. The chat will appear in all courses for any member added to the chat.

Adding Users to a Personal Chat
  1. Go to Communications.
  2. Click Chat.
  3. Click the drop down box next to the personal chat.
  4. Click View members.
  5. Click Add Members, located on the top left.
  6. Click the box to the left of any students or teachers you want to add who are associated with the course.
  7. Click Add, at the very bottom of the window to add them to your Personal Chat.
  8. You can add users from any courses the student is enrolled in by selecting the Select Different Course link. All of the courses you are associated with will display.
  9. Click the course you want to add members from to see the participants.
  10. Click the box in front of the participants you want to add to your Personal Chat.
  11. Click Add.
  12. Click Done.
Remove a Personal Chat or Remove Members

Personal Chats can go across all courses in the D2L site and they need to be deleted by the Individual who created the chat.

  1. Click the drop down arrow to the right of the Personal Chat title.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. Confirm Delete when asked.

The individual who created the personal chat needs to manually remove members from the View Members page.

  1. Go to Communications
  2. Click Chat.
  3. Click the drop down box and View members.
  4. Select the checkbox beside the users you want to remove.
  5. Click Delete.
  6. Click Done.