UC Davis Web Chat Instructions

UPDATE--Please read

Since this documentation was prepared in Winter and Spring 2001, Lab Management has added a shortcut to the WebChat page--from the "Class Programs" menu under the apple icon; Internet Explorer launches automatically. I've left the browser-based instructions as they are for the convenience of completeness for home-based users. Special thanks to my Winter 2001 104A class, which took on this documentation task, and to Sara Jost, who compiled this version as part of a 199 project.--John Stenzel

Description and Document Assumptions

UC Davis Web Chat is an Internet program that allows students to share work and ideas via chat sessions created by instructors. This program has many advantages over counterparts such as Daedalus. Web chat is web based, providing a virtual classroom for individuals in different physical locations; also, because Kerberos authentication is required, it is difficult for unauthorized persons to enter the program, however.

This instruction guide assumes that the user has basic computer skills including navigating the Internet, and is working from a UC Davis Macintosh computer classroom. This document also includes information for PC users.

If you are accessing Web Chat from another location, you will need to be able to connect to the Internet and be able to find the web browser on your computer. The user should also have a Kerberos user ID and password to log onto a computer and Web Chat. Students can obtain these passwords from the Information Technology (IT) Help desk in Shields Library, Room 182 (Copy Services) with a photo ID.

For additional help, Computer Room Consultants (CRC's) are available in most campus computer classrooms and labs to assist users.

I. Connecting to Web Chat

A. Launch Web Browser
  1. On a Macintosh, select the Web Browser option from the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen. If connecting on a PC, select the Network Programs option from the Start menu in the lower left corner of the screen.
  2. Select either Mozilla or Internet Explorer.
    Note: As indicated at the top, the Macintosh classroom computers have a built-in shortcut to the WebChat utility: pull down the Apple Menu, select "Class Programs" and "WebChat," and you'll jump down to the Kerberos authentication step without having to type in any URL.

Select web browser from toolbar

B. Open UCD Web Chat Utility
  1. Type http://webtools.ucdavis.edu/chat in the "location" or "address bar" and press Return.
    Note: On most campus computers you may be able to shorten the address to "webtools/chat".
  2. A screen may momentarily appear informing you that you are being redirected.
  3. Another screen may appear, titled "UC Davis Restricted Document Request"; if you have already authenticated in this Internet session, you'll go straight to the WebChat Welcome page.
  4. Read the information and click continue at the bottom of the page.
    Problems? If this page does not appear, double-check the address you entered, or seek help from a Computer Room Consultant.

UC Davis Restricted Document Request

C. Verify Kerberos Authentication
  1. If you have not already authenticated, a box will appear instructing you to enter your user ID and password.
  2. Enter the information and click on OK.
    Problems? If you are not able to authenticate, double-check your password and try again; if this fails talk to a Computer Room Consultant or Information Technology Representative.

    Note:Depending on your browser settings, you may see a warning sign about moving from a secure web page to an insecure web page. You can safely click OK and disregard this warning.

Kerberos Authentication Box

II. Using Web Chat

A. Enter Class Chat
  1. A screen titled "Welcome To The UC Davis Web Chat Pages" will appear.
  2. Select your class from the "Choose Your Class" menu, scrolling down the list as necessary.
  3. Your instructor's name should now appear in the window to the right of "Choose Your Class".
    Note: Your instructor may have multiple classes, so verify that you are in the correct class by looking at the class number or title next to the instructor's name.
  4. Click on the button View the Class Chats.
    Note:If a security notice or warning appears, click on Send or OK.
  5. Scroll down and select the correct chat from the "Choose a Chat" menu.
  6. Click on Enter the Chat Room.
    Problems?If you find yourself in the wrong chat room, click the Exit Chat button and select the appropriate chat. If you are in the wrong class, click on Return to Web Chat Welcome Page to pick a different class.

Web Chat Welcome Page

Choose a chat

B. View and Compose Messages
  1. Messages sent by you and other participants will appear in the top portion of your screen. The sender's name will precede the entry.
  2. Note:Click on the Participants button on the bottom portion of the screen to view a list of users currently entered in this chat.

  3. Use the scroll bar on the right side of the screen to view the other entries.
  4. Locate the message box that says "Enter Chat Message Below" on the bottom portion of the screen. The insertion bar should be flashing in the message box; if not, click your mouse pointer in it.
  5. Type a message as you would in a word-processing document.
    Note:Text from a word processing document can be copied and pasted into the message box. Basic editing like deleting text and copy/paste functions will work here, but complex formatting such as bold text, italics, or bulleted lists are not supported.

    Warning! PC users should resist the urge to use the "Clear" key, which in this environment is a non-undo-able deletion!

Web Chat Page

C. Send a Message
  1. When you have typed your text, click on the Send Message button to enter your text so it appears at the top of your screen and on other participants' screens.
    Note:Sending a message automatically updates the chat screen with the latest information; if you are reading messages without contributing, be sure to periodically click the Refresh button to check for new contributions.
  2. The sent text will remain in the workspace and will be highlighted.
    Note: Web Chat retains your text in the "Enter a Chat Message Below" box after sending the message so that you can send a revised message such as an edited paragraph without retyping everything.
  3. To clear the chat message box, press the Clear Form button, or begin typing new text.

Function Buttons

D. Save a Copy or Transcript of Chat
  1. Click on the Transcript button on the bottom portion of the screen to save a text copy of the chat room contents entered thus far.
    Note: Different browsers handle files in different ways; you may have to View the transcript and then use the "Save as" option under the File menu.
  2. On a Mac, click on Save File As and select desktop or a disk, name the file, and click on Save.
  3. On a PC, click on Save File and select the folder you want to save it in, then name the file and click on Save.
  4. Note:Instructors can save transcripts as text files or as html-formatted files by using the "Chat Room Administration" area of the program.

Save a transcript of the chat

E. Exit Chat Program
  1. Click the Exit Chat button to exit this chat room and return to the Class Chats page.
  2. At this point you can enter another chat room by selecting a new chat and clicking Enter the Chat Room, or switch to chats for another class by clicking Return to Web Chat Welcome Page and repeating the chat selection process from step A.
  3. If you are done with Web Chat, close the web browser COMPLETELY by choosing Quit from the File Menu.

  4. Note:If you do not completely quit the browser your Kerberos authentication session will stay active and someone else might access services with your account. On a Mac, make sure that Mozilla or Internet Explorer no longer appears in the Finder or open applications menu in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.

Finder / Open-applications menu

III. Some Advanced Techniques

This section covers some of the advanced techniques for Web Chat. Not all users will need to understand this information, but some may find these procedures useful.

A. Cutting and Pasting into Web Chat
  1. Highlight the text you want to copy in your word processor, email, browser or even a URL, by highlighting with your mouse, or choosing Select All from the Edit menu, or push the apple key and A simultaneously.
  2. From the Edit menu, choose Copy, or push the apple key and C simultaneously.
  3. Switch to your Web Chat window.
  4. Make sure you have the "Enter Chat Message Below" box selected by clicking in it.
  5. From the Edit menu, choose Paste, or push the apple key and V simultaneously.

Edit options

B. Participating in Multiple Web Chats Simultaneously
  1. Open another browser window from the File menu by choosing New Window.
  2. Select another class and/or chat room to participate in through the new window. Select Exit Chat to choose a chat for the same instructor. If you want to choose a different class select Return to Web Chat Welcome Page to pick a different class from this page.
  3. Toggle between chats by using the Maximize/Restore Window and Minimize Window shortcuts at the top right corner of the screen.
    Note: Hit WebChat's Refresh button to stay current.

Open another browser window


Address bar: In a browser, the bar to the right of the word "Location" where users may type a web address and click Enter to navigate to a desired web site.

Back: A browser toolbar icon that returns the user to the previously loaded page.

Browser: A program such as Mozilla or Internet Explorer used to navigate the Internet.

Continue: A link at the bottom of the UC Davis Restricted Document Request that allows users to proceed to the next screen.

Computer Room Consultant (CRC): A student available in each classroom to assist with any technical difficulties the user encounters. The CRC's are recognizable by the royal blue vests they wear over their shirts. There are also usually signs over the computers they work at identifying the CRC's.

Go: A browser toolbar item that takes the user to locations previously visited or typed in the address bar. .

Kerberos: An authentication protocol, connected to your UCD account, that allows you to access restricted documents such as web chat or Sisweb. When you are finished with an Internet session, completely quit a browser to end a Kerberos session and prevent other users from accessing secure documents and programs through your Kerberos authentication.

Scroll: Move the pointer down a list or move the bar on the bottom or side of a screen to navigate to a different section of the screen.

Security Notice: A warning informing the user that he or she is accessing a webpage that is not securely encrypted for privacy.

Toolbar: The headings and icons along the top of the screen such as File, Edit, View etc. which allow the user to open and modify documents and invoke programs or utilities.

Web Chat: An Internet program that enables students and instructors to collaborate online, even from different physical locations, and which allows instructors to archive and edit chat contents.

AppendixA:Function Buttons

Send Message: Sends text composed or pasted into the message box at the bottom of the screen to the shared chat space.

Clear Form: Erases the text from the "Enter Chat Message Below" workspace.

Exit Chat:Exits the chat session and returns you to the Class Chats page. This feature closes the current chat but does not close the Web Chat program or the browser. The open browser must be closed completely to end the session.

Refresh: Updates the chat screen with the latest information. This feature is useful for viewing new contributions when you are composing a message or are not actively sending messages, because the screen only automatically refreshes when you send a message.

Participants: Lists names of individuals currently logged onto the chat room.

Transcript: Allows you to save a text version of the chat contents up to when you click the button.The saved file will not include any subsequent comments entered in the chat room. To save the complete session, save a new transcript when the session is finished.

Credits: John Stenzel's English 104A, Winter 2001
Sara Jost, English 199 Independent Study, Spring 2001