Google Chat is a communication tool for messaging amongst the Lafayette community either through direct messages or group messages using “Rooms”. Chat can be a good solution for asynchronous communication with students such as Q&A or for synchronous communication such as Office Hours (see Managing Virtual Office Hours). Chat works in a browser by going to, accessing Chat through the Gmail web interface, or by clicking Chat in the Google Workspace apps waffle. There is also the Google Chat app for smart phones or tablets.

Communicate with others

  • Private conversations: Use a direct message to have a private conversation with a colleague or student.
  • Create a Room for group conversations: Chat Rooms allow for group conversations that may or may not change over time. All members can view the conversation history and multiple threads can be discussed at a time using conversations for different topics within the same Room.

Getting Started with Chat

  • Gmail: click the “+” button to search for an individual to direct message, create a Room, or find a Room
    Click "+" button to find person or Room
  • Chat web interface: Use the box in the upper left hand corner to search for people or Rooms or to create a new Room
    Find people and rooms by clicking in the box in the upper left hand corner
  • Chat app: Click the “New Chat” button to find people or Rooms

Once a Room has been created, you can can invite individuals or Google Groups from within the Lafayette Community. See Google Groups for Courses for information on adding your entire class to a Room.

Chat Features

Chat features include attaching files from either your computer or hard drive as well as from Google My Drive and Shared drives.

Attach a file to a Google Chat thread

Start an impromptu Google Meet with other members of the Room or direct message by clicking the Meet icon.

Start a Google Meet in Chat by clicking the Google Meet icon

Control your availability and notifications by changing your “Active” setting to “Away”. Others will see the “Away” designation and know that your notifications are muted. This is a good way to signal to others that you are not actively monitoring your Chat.

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