Thanks to the participants in the WebLearn Bytes: Site Managment and Resources session on Tuesday 11 February 2014 for the following interesting questions:
Q: What is the difference between the Chat and Forums (Discussions) tools?
A: Conversations conducted using the Chat tool are intended to take place in real time (i.e. synchronously). If your site participants are located in different parts of the world, you would need to pre-arrange a convenient time for the chat to take place, depending on their various time zones. Forums is an asynchronous tool where participants post their messages and responses at any time that is convenient for them (similar to Email). Even though Chat is intended to be used in real time, a log is kept, so that participants not able to attend the live session can refer later to the text-based log of the conversation. The Chat tool offers more than one chat room, so that chat sessions can be set up for different purposes, at different times. A good example of using Chat synchronously, is the Politics tutor who conducts a live chat session with his students as the results of elections are reported.
Q: If you provide the ‘Access’ or ‘Smart’ view of Resources for your site participants, can they upload any files?
A: No… the ‘Access’ view (like the ‘shop window’ into your Resources area), is for browsing and viewing only. If you want your site participants to be able to upload files, you need to provide the full Resources functionality AND grant them the permission to ‘create new’ resources (alongside the applicable folder, select ‘Edit Folder Permissions’).
[Reminder: to create an ‘Access’ view into any folder in Resources, use the Actions dropdown menu and select ‘Make Web Content Link’.]