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Wiscchat: Creating private chatrooms for course activities

September 17, 2009 by Sue Weier

Wiscchat can be an effective way to easily incorporate groupchat into your course activities.  It is important to plan carefully for groupchat activities.  You may find smaller groups more effective.  Ground rules can also make the chat more effective.

To keep non-rostered participants from entering the chatroom, we suggest that you use a private chatroom for any groupchat class activities.

To create a private chatroom, you'll need to use either the web client for Wiscchat, or install a client on your computer. The DoIT KnowledgeBase has extensive documentation on selecting, installing and using the desktop chat client Psi. Psi is available for both Macintosh and PC computers.  See for more information about desktop clients.

This document describes how to create a private chatroom using Wiscchat web client.

  1. In your browser, go to If you are logged into Wiscmail, click the Wiscchat link at the top.
  2. Click Enter Web Client>>.
  3. You'll see a popup appear with your netid at the top. If you have configured a contact list, you'll see those people listed with a status.  If you get stuck on a loading screen here, it may be that you need to turn off your popup blocker.
  4. Click the Join Groupchat icon, located at the bottom of the page.
  5. Enter the chatroom name in Room.
  6. If there is a password, enter it in the Password field.
  7. Click Join.
  8. You'll be given a choice to configure the room or accept the default settings. For a private chatroom, click OK to configure the room.
  9. Configure as shown below for a private room. You may wish to customize your private room differently:
    1. Click Make room persistent
    2. Unclick Make room public searchable
    3. Unclick Make participants list public
    4. Unclick Make room password protected
    5. Leave password blank
    6. Set Maximum number of participants if desired.
    7. Set Present real JIDs to moderators only to protect the email address of your students (JID=email address)
    8. Unclick Make room members-only
    9. Click Make room moderated
    10. Click Default users as participants
    11. Unclick Allow users to change subject
    12. Unclick Allow users to send private messages
    13. Unclick Allow users to query other users
    14. Unclick Allow users to send invites
    15. Unclick Allow visitors to send status text in presence updates
    16. Unclick Allow visitors to change nickname
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