Using Google Docs Chat Feature to Collaborate in Classrooms

How to collaborate with others using the chat feature in a Google Docs document.

Instructional Challenge

In many of the active learning activities, there is a need for students to work collaboratively on a document and carry on some kind of conversation online. Students can, work on a Google Docs document and use the Chat feature available to have a text-based conversation — allowing them to work together collaboratively, but at a distance.

Chat Feature - Browser

  1. On your computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation via the link provided by the instructor, or create a new document.
  2. If necessary, grant the other students in the group access to the document by selecting Share and adding their UW-Madison Google Apps account names.
  3. The Chat feature will not be available if you are the only one in the file.
  4. Enter your message in the Chat box.
  5. When you are finished, at the top right of the chat window, select Close.
  6. Note: All chats in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides include anyone viewing the file. The chats are not saved.

Chat Feature - Mobile Devices

  • The Chat feature for documents is not available on mobile devices. Students will need a computer to collaborate via the Chat features.


Direction for Sharing a Google Doc

Learn more:


  • If a user has FERPA privacy flag on their account, their personal information will be omitted from the UW-Madison Google Workspace contact list.
  • Files can be shared with external collaborators (non UW-Madison Google accounts). Because external Google users are not listed in the UW-Madison directory, you'll need to enter their complete email address (ex: when sharing files.

See Also:

Keywords:collaboration, google, chat   Doc ID:104572
Owner:Timmo D.Group:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
Created:2020-08-03 09:22 CDTUpdated:2023-02-01 09:17 CDT
Sites:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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