The chat in Blackboard is a communication tool for a synchronous (same time) exchange. All of the participants of the Blackboard course can participate in the chat or group chats can be set up. Technically seen the chat can be easily managed, the text messages are shown to the participants directly and in chronological order. The chat history can be saved and therefore viewed at a later stage. So that the virtual discussion takes place without any misunderstandings, usually the behavior rules are set down in so-called chatiquettes (e.g. do not interrupt other's posts, always address messages to one certain person with "@name", only use the following emoticons ":-) ;-) :-(").

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Implementation forms

Based on the synchronous character, the chats are especially suitable for a quick exchange of information and spontaneous, direct communication. Possible implementation forms are:  

  • Holding virtual office hours (e.g. in order to answer the same type of questions in a bundled manner)
  • Answering questions prior to an exam
  • Offering expert chats (participants ask questions, experts answer)
  • Undertaking brainstorming sessions
  • Discussing course-related content
  • Obtaining a spontaneous opinion synopsis
  • Carrying out role playing games
  • Setting up group chats for students (e.g. for the distribution of tasks, presentation preparations etc.)
  • Allowing a cross-university exchange of thoughts and ideas (participants' location is dispersed)


  • Chat sessions can be quickly set up in Blackboard: How do I set up a chat? (Blackboard FAQs).
  • Note: The Blackboard chat is quite rudimentary with regard to its features and cannot be implemented for all purposes. A very good alternative here is Adobe Connect.
  • Training courses and workshops: For lecturers at the Freie Universität Berlin (professors, employees, tutors) as well as lecturers from other universities CeDiS provides training courses and workshops to the topic of teaching and learning with digital media. These courses enable the participants themselves to implement online elements in their teaching.

Data protection and terms of use

Further information

  • Landing page: Blackboard - Learning Management System 
  • An overview of the services for lecturers and researchers can be found here.

Support offered by CeDiS

  • Consulting services for the implementation of digital solutions in teaching: The Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) has extensive experience of many years when it comes to the implementation of digital media and systems within the fields of teaching, learning and research. We offer a wide variety of consulting services on the implementation of these tools and systems within the entire academic scope and especially at Freie Universität Berlin. 
  • Training courses and workshops: For lecturers at Freie Universität Berlin (professors, employees, tutors) as well as lecturers of other universities CeDiS offers training courses and workshops on the topic of teaching and learning with digital media. These course enable participants to implement online elements within their own sphere of teaching.
  • The Executive Board of the Freie Universität supports e-learning initiatives: With the e-learning funding program financial resources are provided to lecturers that enrich and improve their courses quality-wise by implementing technological and media-related support. All of the academic staff teaching, the lecturers or even the institutions of the Freie Universität - without the Charité-Universitätsmedizin - can be supported within this program.