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Embedded Chat (video)

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Foundry users have multiple communication tools to develop their work beyond assignments and assessments. At the most granular level, Foundry enables embedded chat on learning experiences and their component journals, logs, and evidence. It is superior to text messaging or emailing because it creates a direct and permanent contextual connection to their work. This feature is especially useful in circumstances where teachers and students are not always in the same physical locations, or otherwise available to each other at the same time, but want to make specific comments or ask questions about particular specific parts of the work. To foster clarity and keep multiple threaded conversations easy to follow, users are alerted to various chat updates through color-coded icons on the Work-to-Do page.



Overview Video 

Who can use chat in Foundry?

How are chats initiated?

How do I receive chat alerts?

Where do I see the comments and questions?

How are chats organized?

What do the colors on the dots and bubbles mean?



Overview Video


Who can use chat in Foundry?

Chat is primarily intended for communicating between Advisors and Students as work progresses in any Learning Experience. Both can add comments to any experience thread, and both can add urgency to messages to indicate a response is needed. Parents and Coaches can read these threads and add comments in a more limited way.

Admin users are not attached to experiences, so they do not have access to the chat feature. Dual Admin/Advisor users can use chat while logged in as Advisors. 

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How are chats initiated?

Chat comments and questions can be initiated in several places where Foundry displays work: the Work to Do page is the most common, but chats also appear on the work modals of the Advisor's Students tab, as well as both the Experiences and Portfolio pages of both Advisors and Students. An experience must be unlocked to receive comments. Once locked, no further work or comments can be added.

Along with an 'unlocked' icon beside an experience, the green bubble icon (with a '+' inside) indicates a prompt for new comment threads or comment responses. Any section of an experience form - including the very top untitled section - can receive comments.

Each student or advisor participant in a chat has several options: to initiate a new thread comment, ask a question, or answer a specific question. Note: At present, users in the Coach or Parent role can only comment. 

Click an outlined green bubble to start a new comment thread. Click a solid green bubble to add a response to an existing thread. You can hover over each icon to confirm, as shown below:

Screen_Shot_2022-11-22_at_1.52.21_PM.png         Screen_Shot_2022-11-22_at_1.53.44_PM.png

A textbox will appear with three options (plus a cancel button). Click the emoji button  Screen_Shot_2022-11-22_at_2.08.48_PM.pngto enable emoji responses from the following selection:


Click an emoji to add it to the chat.

Click the  Screen_Shot_2022-11-22_at_2.09.31_PM.png button to add a new comment. It can be in the form of a question, but it will not prompt a waiting response. 

Click the Screen_Shot_2022-11-22_at_2.09.43_PM.png button to add a new question. It could be a declarative statement, but choosing 'Question' will designate it as something to which you want a response. Until your question receives a reply, it will be marked with a red dialogue bubble in the chat thread and a red dot on the Work to Do page. See below for more on color-coding.

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How do I receive chat alerts?

When a new comment or question is posted, a corresponding dot will appear on the WTD table.


Advisors will see the dot at left, where work is sorted by type (experiences, tasks, logs, journals, etc), at the top of each work type button containing a new comment/question. A matching dot will also appear in the numbered cell(s) corresponding to the student(s) and work item(s) containing the comment/question. 

Students will also see the dot(s), on each work type button and in their columns.

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Where do I see the comments and questions?

Click a Work type button (for example, the 'Experiences' button in the image above) to see all items of that type and their corresponding comments. The resulting modal shown below displays one student's learning experiences  grouped by status: Requested, Returned, Active, or Submitted (note: experiences at the 'Completed' or 'Canceled' status do not show in this modal). 


A dot beside the number of each experience’s status (see Screen_Shot_2022-12-16_at_3.44.07_PM.png above) indicates which experiences contain comments or questions. Click a status to view the experiences at that status.

A colored dialogue bubble icon appears with a number inside, representing the total number of unread comments or questions and their current state. In the image above, the green '16' beside Aliyah's name indicates 16 comments across multiple experiences, and the red '1' indicates 1 question an advisor has not yet answered. 


Each experience also contains a bubble indicating the total number of comments and questions it contains:


Click a solid colored bubble beside an experience title to open the threaded chats on that experience:


Click the same green bubble to close all the chats in an experience.

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How are chats organized?

The graphics and organization of embedded chats indicate the following:

  • the role and identity of each poster,
  • the location (or subject) of the question,
  • the date of the original post, and
  • the length of time between each response to an original post.

Refer to the same graphic above. On any chat item, the user will see the role (green for Advisors, blue for Students, orange for Parents, purple for Coaches) and identities of all users involved in the chat. At the top of each chat (or "thread"), the full name of the poster is listed beside a circle with their initials. Subsequent responses in each thread contain just the initialed circle. Hovering over the circle will display the poster's full name and role ('A' for advisors, 'S' for students, etc.)

Each new thread is posted at the top of the list in its corresponding section, so the most recent thread is always at the top of a section. Responses to questions and comments are nested within each section for clarity. 

The original comment contains the actual posting date ("August 20, 2021" in the example above), while the responses are listed below, so the most recent response is at the bottom of a thread. Responses contain the length of time between responses (“19 minutes later," "1 year later" in the example above).  

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What do the colors of the dots and bubbles mean?

The color of the dot or dialogue bubble represents the comment’s current state:

  • Green represents both a new comment and any comment from another party associated with the particular piece of work. Green means nobody is waiting for another party to reply to a question.
  • Blue: You, the user (whether you are a student or advisor), have received a question but have not yet replied.
  • Red: You, the user (student or advisor), have asked a question and are awaiting a reply. 

Consider the example below - Aliyah, a student, is logged in. She sees the following on her Work-to-Do Page:


The red and blue dots mean there are questions awaiting both her response and an Advisor response. 

When she opens the experiences modal, she locates both:

Screen_Shot_2022-11-28_at_12.27.52_PM.png        Screen_Shot_2022-11-28_at_12.27.28_PM.png

Now Aliyah knows she needs to respond to the Advisor's question (the blue bubble, above right). She can also observe that a different student asked a question and is waiting for the advisor's reply (red bubble and student initials, above left). 


The same is true for Advisors. A blue bubble or dot means a student is awaiting a reply to their question. A red bubble or dot means the Advisor is awaiting a reply from a student.

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Suggested Reading

Work to Do: Advisors

Managing Experiences through the Work to Do Page


Labels: comments, notifications, messages, chat, dialogue, communication,
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