Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ajax Replacement Chat - an improved chat room for your Moodle 1.9 site

I was thinking about Moodle's chat module yesterday. I thought about how my Moodle 1.9.7 site's chat module could be improved. This post is all about chatting in Moodle. Ah yes, online chatting. A major addictive time-waster in most cases. Raise your hand if you have ever wasted more than an hour chatting with others online. My right hand is up. Along with games like Tetris, Lemmings, Counterstrike (pretty old games, I know), chatting is one big time sinkhole. Despite this, some academicians do use it in a controlled and constructive manner.

In this post, I show how you can improve your standard Moodle 1.9.x chat module with Ajax Replacement Chat (ARC, May 2010). If you surfed to this post looking for a chatroom for your Moodle course, you will feel like a kid in a candy store. Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I will reveal more about ARC in a moment. First, a brief review of some more-commonly known chat methods or modules currently available for Moodle. At least one is a commercial offering, whilst the others are free.

Standard Moodle 1.9 Chat Module


 Figure 1. The standard Moodle 1.9 chat

Some tutors feel that the standard Moodle 1.9 chat is too slow and that it is a bit of a resource hog. I seldom use it because I find it slow and sluggish. In additon, it opens up as a separate window. I prefer if the chat interface were embedded within a Moodle course page itself.

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