This article will help coordinators or admins to use the Chat on the experience level. You will learn how to set up a Cohort Chat, how to send messages to your whole cohort, to groups & to individuals, and some recommendations for how and why you would use the Practera Chat as a program manager.


The Basics

After years of running experiential learning programs, we have seen the positive impact of regular, clear communication on learners' productivity, understanding and timely submissions. We also know that trying to manage all that communication from your own inbox can be frustrating and messages are lost - by you and your recipients!

The Practera Chat tool, found on the left hand side of your experience navigation bar, provides coordinators and admins with the tools to send instant messages to your participants’ Practera accounts.

Here are some benefits to using the Practera Chat to communicate with your cohort:

  • Keep all your communication and program management in one place

  • Encourage participant engagement with Practera

  • Share files, updates and field participant queries in a user friendly tool with an instant messenger feel

  • Connect with individual users via direct message or connect with groups & teams

  • You could use the Practera Chat as a troubleshooting tool - your participants can reach out to you via Chat if they have an issue


How does it work?

Chat with groups

Practera will automatically create group chats for each team. When you send a message to a team, the group chat will consist of: the learners, any assigned team Mentors, and all registered admins & coordinators.

It will look like this:

To send a message to a group:

  1. Scroll to find the group you want to message, or use the Search Bar.

  2. Select the group you want to send a Chat message to.

  3. Compose your message by typing in the text box and uploading any attachments
    Example messages:

    1. Share the Project Brief with Teams

    2. Weekly overviews

    3. Updates/changes

    4. Team interventions based on the pulse check questions on the Teams Tab

  4. Hit send. The recipients will receive a notification via email and SMS (if they’ve added their phone numbers) with a direct link to your message. Your message may display something like this:

You'll be notified when a user has responded to your Chat message.

Chat with individuals

Need to message an individual user? Admins and coordinators can add a direct message to anyone who is enrolled and registered in the experience, including admins, coordinators, mentors & students.

How?

  1. Scroll down to Direct Messages and click '+'.

  2. Search for and select the participant you want to message.

The user will now be saved under your Direct Messages section and you're ready to send a DM!

Cohort Chat

Want to build a community for learning?

Want to encourage cohort-wide collaboration and idea sharing?

Need to send updates to your entire cohort all at once?

The solution: set up Cohort Chat!

Practera will not automatically create your entire cohort for you; you can choose to activate it. Here's how:

  1. Set up the chat by clicking the ‘+’ next to ‘Create cohort chat’. Wait a few seconds or refresh your page in case it doesn’t update instantly.

  2. You're ready to send your Cohort message!


Privacy

Any user can see who is in that group by selecting the ‘i’ icon in the top right-hand corner of the Chat screen.

Note: Teams will also be able to send messages to one another in a group without admins. You will not be able to see these messages in your Practera Chat.


Conclusion

Now you know how to send messages from your dashboard to participants’ Practera accounts, you might want to plan how you can use this tool most effectively. Which of your messages would be best sent via the app rather than an email? How often will you communicate with your participants through the app?

If you want to know more about how teams engage with the in-app Chat, follow this link to our "Chat for teams" help article.

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