ADTO # 65 - May 21, 1999
WHAT'S A QUESTCHAT?
First of all, thanks to all of you who responded to my request for feedback on QuestChat no-shows. I found among the respondents that there were many who appear to be unaware of our chats and/or have never actively participated in one. Based on these, I am devoting this entire special edition to "How to join a QuestChat." If you are a veteran QuestChatter please share the information with other teachers in your school. In brief, a QuestChat is an opportunity for students and the general public to meet and ask questions of NASA experts using the Internet. From their own desktop, people can type comments and questions into a "chat Chats are easy! They're powered by QuestChat software on the Quest Website. No download is necessary - to participate, all you need is access to a graphical web browser (like Netscape or Internet Explorer). With the proper teacher guidance, students will learn to: * research an area of expertise by reading the expert's profile * formulate quality questions * improve writing skills Additionally, students will experience the excitement and inspiration accrued from interacting live with someone who works for NASA.
HOW TO PREPARE
IN A CLASSROOM SETTING: The following are offered as helpful steps in preparing students to maximize the benefits of this experience. -We expect that all participants will read the online profile of the expert (and any journals or previous chats available). This can be done either individually or with the teacher (depending on students' age). -Groups of four to six students should then discuss the information read and areas of curiosity. - Each group should record all suggested questions from that group on a display board. -The group should work together to narrow down these questions to the best two. -The class as a whole can then review the question-pairs from each group and select the best six questions. These will provide the core questions for this chat. Note: Keep the "second-string" questions handy. If the chat is not too busy, the QuestChat moderator may invite other questions to be fed into the room. ADMINISTRATIVE STEPS: If you plan to chat, you must register for the event. Check your schedule and sign up following the instructions linked from the announcement of the chat. Below, we detail this process. If you would simply like to observe, please do not register. There are a limited number of participants allowed into the chat room. You may observe without registering from the same announcement location. To register: Each chat announcement includes a link entitled: ***Register here for this chat.*** This is your entry to reserve a spot in the chat room for you and/or your class to interact with the NASA expert. *Registering for the first time: Please take the time to do this carefully and completely. You will not have to repeat the whole process in the future. -You will need to enter: How many people will join you (maximum is you plus five more, or six total) Note on number of computers vs. number of students: We ask that you not put each student at a computer typing questions. It will not only slow down your system, but our experts will be unable to answer all the questions received. Not surprisingly, this will frustrate your students. It will also unnecessarily occupy too many of the available spaces in the chat. Your- email address Your ZIP code Your telephone -You will also be asked to create your "handle" or your online identification. It should include no spaces. We suggest: name/organization for example: ScienceClass/KennedyHigh -You will be asked to read the rules at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/rules.html and confirm that you have done so. -You will then be asked to create a password. At this point, please check your work carefully. After you have submitted your registration, an automatic confirmation will be sent. If your e-mail address is incorrect, your registration may be cancelled. -Ready? Click on submit and when you receive it SAVE your confirmation so that you'll have your handle and password to enter the chat room. *Registering next time is a cinch! All you need to enter is: Your handle Your password Select number of spots - six maximum (you + 5) *Cancellation and/or arriving late: This is an important step because when you register for a chat, you are using one of the limited spots available. If you cannot make it to a chat please release those registrations so someone else may participate. To do that, type a note to the moderator in the chat room. You will not see the note, but s/he can and will be able to plan accordingly. Or send an e-mail to Oran Cox, QuestChat manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. The same should be done to notify your moderator if your class schedule is such that you will arrive later than the scheduled start of the chat. It would be very disappointing to your class to arrive at 10:15 to a chat beginning at 10 and find that it's been cancelled due to lack of participation! Though it is not our preference, because it makes the experience less interactive for your students, questions may be submitted early. The moderator will feed them into the Main Room as time permits.
HOW TO CHAT
Essentially, you will type your message into a box and submit it. The question or comment will in turn be posted into the Main Room where the expert and all chatters can see it and respond to it. THE CHAT ROOM(S) Enter the chat room either from the address provided in your confirmation or from the link provided at the chat announcement online entitled: "Already Registered? Chat with Name of Expert!" In the room you will see: *Main Room Messages submitted are posted automatically unless the room is in moderation. Typically your moderator will have left instructions in the Main Room 24 hours before the chat. You may then post comments or questions that will be seen only by the moderator (like the late arrival or cancellation information mentioned previously). *Moderation Room In the interest of student safety and appropriateness, QuestChats are almost always moderated. This means your questions or comments appear in a queue that is only visible to the moderator. From this list the moderator selects and posts appropriate questions and comments into the Main Room. Note: Please notify your students of this process. Often students will repeat questions with irritated remarks if they don't see them immediately in the Main Room. If it happens repeatedly, the moderator will "block" the originator. This means that an individual or group will not be allowed to submit any more questions or comments. MESSAGE BOX AND CONTROLS Below the Main Room (you may have to scroll down) there is a large box. Directly under or beside that box is a button entitled "Refresh Screen or Submit New Message". Both are key to your end of the chatting: Use the box to type your message (It accommodates no carriage returns - one question per message please). The "Refresh Screen or Submit New Message" button both submits your message and also updates the Main Room. So, even if you aren't posting a message, in order to see new messages you must remember to click on this button frequently during the chat. Below these are two additional entry areas: "Show at least" with space for a number controls how many messages you will see each time you refresh the screen. It is set at a default of 10, but you can change this number to accommodate your needs or screen size. "Scroll back __ messages" allows you the one-time option of reviewing however many messages you like. For instance, say you are showing 10 messages each refresh, and you'd like to look back 15 messages without changing your permanent setting. If you type in 15, for that one click of the refresh button you will go back 15 messages. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN! As you enter the room, you will be offered the opportunity enter your first name. This is a good chance for a student or group to take on their own identity. Example: George/KennedyHigh If you arrive after the chat has begun, please read all submitted question and answer pairs so that you will not duplicate what has already been answered. We try to avoid submitting the same question twice, even if the originator is different. Have one representative type a message that lets us know that your group has arrived. Include the name of the school (if appropriate), the area of the world you're from, and how many are "really" in your group (not necessarily how many computers are being used). Example: "Hi, thirty five students from Kennedy High School in New York are here to chat with you." Then you're off and chatting! Please remind your students to be courteous, and when you are finished, I know the experts love to have you say goodbye and thanks.
When a chat is over (and several times before), you will be reminded to respond to our survey. Your response is very important! It is from these surveys that we continue to improve and provide feedback to our experts and our funding agencies. Here's a fun way to do it: Class debrief: Have a lively classroom discussion as soon after the experience as possible. - discuss their experience with them, recording comments on the board - ask what, if anything, they learned - discuss what they might like to chat about in the future - ask who else they might like to get to know from the team page http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team - send us their feedback, and yours. We suggest bookmarking the survey page so you can use it after participating in other chats. The address is: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats Then check the chats schedule for future chats. We hope this becomes an oft-repeated highlight to your classroom experience. Aerospace Team Online chats may be found at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats NASA Quest-wide live interactions including chats may be found at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events
QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration is at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Wednesday, May 26, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time: The Wright Brothers, inventors of the first powered plane The Wright Brothers were introduced to flying when as little boys they were given a small toy helicopter. When Wilbur was 32 and Orville was 28, they began their work on inventing the first powered, human-carrying airplane. Read the Wright Brothers' profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/background/ Wednesday, June 9, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Mary Reveley, aerospace engineer Mary works in the Propulsion Systems Analysis Office (PSAO), which is a systems analysis group. The group uses different methods to try to predict how aircraft and engine designs will perform. Mary is also responsible for determining the cost of manufacturing new propulsion and aviation technologies, as well as how they will affect the environment. Read Mary Reveley's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/reveley.html
SUBSCRIBING & UNSUBSCRIBING: HOW TO DO IT!
If this is your first message from the updates-aero list, welcome! To catch up on back issues, please visit the following Internet URL: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/updates To subscribe to the updates-aero mailing list (where this message came from), send a message to: email@example.com In the message body, write ONLY these words: subscribe updates-aero CONVERSELY... To remove your name from the updates-aero mailing list, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org In the message body, write ONLY these words: unsubscribe updates-aero If you have Web access, please visit Aerospace Team Online site at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero