A couple of our education faculty were used to the ability to have multiple live chats occurring in their undergraduate courses, when we used to be on the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS).
This method meant that instead of having a group of 20 students trying to all type to one another at the same time, they could have groups of 3-4 students in smaller discussion groups. The faculty were then able to engage in the various chat rooms, if that was appropriate for the given discussion.
Within Canvas, only one synchronous chat can occur within a class at one time.
Alex Lin shared with me that he wound up needing to schedule one group at 2:00 pm on Mondays, another group at 5:00 pm on Tuesdays, and so on. He was looking for a better option within Canvas.
Alex and I tested out a tool called TodaysMeet, to see if that might address their needs for having more than one chat at a time. I have used TodaysMeet before in live classes as a backchannel, but hadn’t ever tried to use it inside of Canvas.
The good news is that our test was successful. You can have more than one chat going at a time within Canvas, by embedding TodaysMeet within a page or a graded assignment.
There is a limitation on the free version of TodaysMeet that you wouldn’t be able to view the chat text for discussions that had occurred longer ago than the time you set your room to be open. If you want to set up a TodaysMeet chat for your class, you should set the chat duration for as long as possible (right now that is one month) and be sure to go view/copy the chat text within that window of time.
Thanks to Alex Lin in education, for helping us develop and test this method of setting up multiple chats. Appreciation also goes out to Ken Killian in education for bringing this limitation of Canvas to our attention, in the first place.
For more on how to work with TodaysMeet within Canvas, see the How to Run Multiple Chats at the Same Time resource page.