University of Innsbruck

20-100 Chats in OpenOlat


OpenOlat offers chat functionality at several places in the application. The chat function can be used in a course, in a group or independently of both. This HelpCard explains the different chat options.

Important Steps

Course chat

  1. Choose Administration in the top left-hand corner of your course and enter Settings.

  2. Click on the Toolbar tab and tick the Course chat box. Save your changes. The Course chat option will now be available to all course participants and be shown in the course interface.

  3. Click on the Course chat option in the course view. You entered the Course chat and the chat window opens.

  4. Sent messages can be shown with the Show History option. Messages in the chat will be sent to everyone in the chat room. The list of chat participants is shown to the right of the chat window. You exit the chat room when you close the chat window.

Please note: You need to enter/open the Course chat in order to see new messages. The Course chat will NOT open automatically if new messages are sent.

Group chat

You can create groups both within courses and independently from courses, and chat with the group members. HelpCard 20-010 explains in detail how to create a group. You can see all groups that you are an Owner/Member of, in the Groups tab at the top of the OpenOlat interface.

In order to activate the group chat, you need to do the following:

  1. Click on the Groups tab at the top of the OpenOlat interface and choose a group.

  2. Click on Administration in the menu to the left and select the Tools tab and tick the Chat box.

  3. The Chat option will now show up in the menu to the left. Once you enter the chatroom, you will see the other group members in the chatroom.

  4. Group members can also chat if the group’s Owner or Coach isn't present.

Independent chats with OpenOlat users

If you are logged into OpenOlat, at the top of the interface to the right, you can see your chat status (indicated as a small dot) and the number of OpenOlat users online.

To start a chat with one of the OpenOlat users, click on the user name and the chat will commence in a new chat window. If someone is presently unavailable, the messages will be saved and shown to the user at the next login.

Please note: In this chat, you can only chat with individual users. Only users that are members of groups allowing group members and coaches to be displayed will show up here. As the Owner of a group, you can configure the visibility of members, coaches and owners the following way:

  1. Click on the Groups tab in the main menu and choose the relevant group.

  2. Select Administration and choose Members.

  3. Choose Members can see coaches if the members of the group are only allowed to see the coach(es) or owner(s) of the group.

  4. Additionally choose Members can see participants if the group members are also allowed to see each other’s names and to chat.

Your Messaging Status

The options are:

  • Available: Receive chat messages and notifications immediately. You indicate your readiness to communicate.

  • Please do not disturb: If you are busy and do not want to be disturbed by chat windows popping up. You indicate that you are online but will not reply to notifications and chats immediately.

  • Not available: If you do not want to be contacted by other users. You will appear to be offline. You will receive messages as a letter symbol and can choose to reply.

Further information about status:

With a click on the small round dot symbol at the top of the OpenOlat interface, you can change your instant messaging status. This way, you will indicate your chat availability to other users. While doing a test, your status will automatically be switched to Please do not disturb. You can chat again once you have finished the test.

You can configure a default chat status in your personal menu. Click on your profile picture in the top right-hand corner of the interface and go to System Settings. Set your default instant messaging status here.

Sending messages

If you click on the two numbers (xx/xx) in the top right-hand corner of the interface, beside the instant messaging status symbol, a list opens. Here you can see the members of your groups who are currently logged in.

To initiate a chat, click on the name of the user you would like to chat with, and the chat window will open.

You can still send a message if the user appears to be offline. The message will be displayed as a small letter symbol next to the chat icon.

Receiving messages

Messages can be received in two ways: If your status is set to Available, a chat window opens with the message (with a delay of a few seconds). If your status is set to Please do not disturb or Not available, the messages will display as a small flashing letter symbol to the left of the chat icon in the top right-hand corner of the OpenOLAT interface.

Problems or questions?
Phone: +43 512 507-23999
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Please note: it may happen that the English HelpCards are not up to date. Should you find discrepancies with the functions in OpenOlat, please refer to the German version of the HelpCard.

OpenOlat HelpCards by Universität Innsbruck: Digitale Medien und Lerntechnologien and Hochschule Furtwangen: Learning Services is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

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