University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Wimba Pronto Chat Tool

"Chat," in this context, means typing words and sending them to someone else who is immediately reading them and replying to you. A group chat means that several users are logged in at the same time (also known as "synchronous" or "real time") and conversing with each other, in text, in a single chat window.

What is Wimba Pronto?

Wimba Pronto is an online chat program, much like AOL Instant Messenger or iChat on the Mac computer. It allows you to chat in real time with your students. Students can also chat with each other. The benefit of using the tool, Wimba Pronto, is that when you initially sign up to use it, it asks for your UVM Blackboard user name (NetID). This means that when when a user logs in to Wimba Pronto to chat, they see their UVM courses and everyone that may be logged in at that moment. You can schedule chat times with your students and find them easily in Pronto.

Why use Wimba Pronto?

You may consider using Wimba Pronto to have conversation with a group of students, or allowing your students to chat with each other. A text file transcript of the conversation can be save and shared with other people in the class who may have missed the conversation, simply by uploading the saved file to Blackboard as an "item."

How to set it up

Wimba Pronto is a free download and is available for both the Mac and PC platforms. Everyone in the class will have to download the application to their own computer and set up accounts for themselves that connect them to their Blackboard courses.

  1. Go to the control panel, manage course menu option.
  2. Select add a tool link, and choose Wimba Pronto.
  3. Label as Wimba Pronto Chat or Chat.
  4. Students will now need to click the link, download the file as directed to their computer and create a login.
  5. The Wimba Pronto application runs separately from Blackboard but they are integrated together. The integration happens when the students click the link in Blackboard and create their account. After creating their account, when the student logs into Wimba Pronto, they will automatically see their fellow students and the instructor, as well as the teaching assistants who have all created accounts.
  6. Wimba Pronto can then run separately from Blackboard. The user just needs to click their Wimba Pronto icon link and log in.

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