What is IRC (Internet Relay Chat)?

The IRC is channel of communication for the assessment of learning in the System of Interactive Learning .

Introduction to IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

The means of communication through the network is responsible for mass delivery of vast amounts of information, which in some cases fail to be processed by humans, the skills of selection and systematization of information together with communication skills are increasingly necessary. Through the Internet, it provide motivating and effective ways of teaching and learning, the crucial point is how to try this Effective communication and achieve the objectives expected and how to support connecting students from different backgrounds.

The incorporation of technologies in distance education are effective if designed and implemented in order to express and promote learning, collaboration and evaluation. Regarding the assessment of learning in the Interactive Learning Systems, the techniques of information and communication, can realize the following types of evaluation: automatic, encyclopedic-type and collaborative. This test is aimed to consider the Chat as tool communication potential in the ongoing evaluation of attitudes and procedures of learning in interactive learning systems and therefore in the processes involving the collaborative assessment.

Development of IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

The IRC (Internet Relay Chat) popularly known as chat, is a medium of communication that allows conversations in time via a live Internet, but is normally used to chat online, it also serves to transmit files. The IRC was originally designed by Jarkko Oikarinen in summer 1988. The first web hosting servers were established in Finland and from there, spread over 60 countries. The first two networks were Efnet and Anet (1990), then Undemet (1993) and Dalnet (1994).

Just as the Web requires a browser such as Explorer or Netscape, to view a site, you  must install a program of IRC on the computer if you want to chat. Therefore, to access a chat, it is necessary to run the IRC client program and then connect to a server that offers the service. There are groups of servers connected together to form IRC networks so that a user of India can chat with one from USA or UK through the various servers that connect to a network.

Through this resource, You can write messages for other users to see through a window Conversation in the screen, use of It allows among other things, “apply methodologies of teaching and learning, by a facilitator, practice skills and strategies with the moderator and other participants. Assess student learning , make discussions of a given material, Do activities in cooperative groups, Facilitate individual and group consultations with the moderator, Perform an online interactive test of a particular topic among others.

The guide for teachers and tutors in virtual learning environments, define the Chat as a resource for real-time communication that requires the participation of partners at the same time. In WebCT chat rooms, there are four general purpose whose conversations are recorded so that the teacher can refer as many times as they want. For optimal use, we recommend that teachers develop a script of the content that aims to address during the conversation, and ensuring that the same group of students is not excessive (the media proper is ten people). The appointment (date and time) for the chat will be announced well in advance and seek to meet the needs of participants.

Editing messages

Written communication is important in the classroom teaching and fundamental education. At the time of writing using a resource such as Chat, there should be some guidelines to edit messages so that they comply with the best possible way function communicative pursued.

Rules to abide by the participants in a chat:

  • Be courteous and do not use colloquial expressions that can be misinterpreted.
  • Respect their own rules specifics have in place to chat.
  • Treat all participants with respect.

Regarding the teacher:

If you have started a debate in the chat, do not divert the issue by trying to bring exchange of views to a different field. If convenient, help the channel to discussion without involving a departure from it.

By sending first message to the students, directed a greeting to the members of group and introduce yourself simply and honestly, so that students gain confidence from the first moment.

Take your mistakes, if there has been some kind of misunderstanding or at fault, it is important to assume, pride in writing is more eloquent than pride transmitted orally.

Act as mediator to avoid clashes between students who exchange messages in chat.

Send specific messages to chat, this will help to deal in depth with and without scattering the topic under discussion.

Use correct subject line, do not use words like “Help!” or “SOS”, summarize the subject in two or three words of the message to provide a fair idea about the content.

To stimulate a debate, send messages that include contributions on the subject. No group should ask things like “why no one talks about this issue?” if we steer the discussion around a particular aspect, it is important to provide a view flexible enough so that it does not condition the participants and stimulating to encourage them to intervene.

If you want to convey emotions, you can also use icons like emoticons or smileys, these serve to avoid misinterpretation of sarcasm or irony not looking for the joke, if there is not a touch of humor in the message.

Do not write text in capital letters, equivalent to shout or raise the voice in conversation, the messages written entirely in capitals are more uncomfortable to read.

Do not pressure on students, if you think that indications are not being properly followed, explain politely how you want to elapse interventions and reason their discomfort.

Considerations on the use of chat when evaluating the learning of students.

Advantages of IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

The benefits of assessment using the IM are so obvious, and their limitations, both realities are manifested in the numerous applications of this type of evaluation in the network, its contribution is reflected in the immediacy of displaying the correct answer that is actually very important for students but also for the teacher because the action of feedback rests on it. The automatic response may be equalized to that teaching presence in which the teacher validates the content of what the student has answered. Automation done immediately connects the question to the validity of the answer that is a pedagogically valuable contribution. Also in this kind of approach used in the evaluation of detection of programming teacher at the level of learning is progressively more complex. The advantage of introducing the use of technology is not located in a computer, but is situated in the same network so it can be shared by students.

The chat is set up as a medium exchange of ideas and as tool of communication potential in the ongoing evaluation of attitudes and procedures of learning as it allows greater participation for student instantly and progressive, offering feedback, it is essential to identify how the students are getting benefit from the course, which could serve as a motivator, both individually and collectively, encouraging collaborative learning.

Using the Chat, the teacher can have a bank of questions, which can develop along the same, evaluating and contrasting participation if students have achieved certain learning and whether they have reached the objectives of the course.

Disadvantages of IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

The IRC allows different users to simultaneously gather around channels or topics of conversation of all kinds, in these channels the user express their views in writing and in time real. To be able to use IRC students must be connected to the channel at the same time, this connection allows us to establish the conversation between users. The channels, also known by the name of groups or rooms are virtual places where attendees agree to discuss certain topics more diverse. Any user cannot open a new channel and expects to enter without an appointment and / or a schedule to participate in chat, much less if the chat is oriented towards a process of assessment of learning.

Posts in some cases may be misunderstood by others, given that they lack a Key series to better understand the meaning of words such as gestures and / or tone of voice, the absence of a “face to face” between the two sides, therefore, we must be careful when writing other posts which may offend to others without that was really the intention.

A key element in the use of tools of communication synchronous, as the case of Chat educational purposes is the management of time. In an asynchronous communication environment, the student can access the virtual classroom or the forum discussion at any time and to make contributions after a period of reflection. With these asynchronous methods, students have the luxury of time, messages are sent as the convenience of the participants, giving them time to read, process and / or respond.

However, for this reason a meeting or seminar could be extended over time, which should be considered in its planning. In a synchronous environment, it is to coordinate the time with a geographically dispersed group and organize it so that everyone can participate in similar conditions. On the other hand, in groups of people from different countries / continents time differences are very important in planning participation. In any case, this communication tool that works is necessary for the group of participants is small, taking into account time differences and establish procedures for the equitable participation of all members of the course.

From the viewpoint of the teacher – student, consider the time required to develop an evaluation action through the chat, since this is much higher than that used in a kind face. Although the amount of time required may seem daunting, the level and quality of participation by students can help assess positively the time spent.

Conclusion on IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

The electronics communication will be developed in different ways, but there are a number of factors that are fundamental to the construction of online learning communities. Some psychologists have warned for the dangers that can result in the use of this new type of communication for some people, altering their sense of self and others, or create new barriers to communication for people with difficulties in their relationships. The creation and maintenance of a community of learning through synchronous communication tools raises the definition of a set of rules to facilitate trade. These rules should be flexible, reduced in number and assumed by the group after a debate that explicit the expectations of teachers and students regarding their participation. The honesty and openness are values to be respected in any online media environment, from which students and teachers can cultivate friendship, empathy or psychological help to others. Participation is essential to evaluate and test whether students have achieved certain learning and whether they have achieved the objectives of the course. Students must also receive immediate feedback on how this is being used of the course.

In teaching online, although it may appear otherwise, there are many materials for the evaluation of students, since most communication is in writing. The chat, or any form of debate “on line” in real time, hardly possible to develop a productive discussion or participation and, often, is reduced to an exchange between two people with very deep in content.

It is possible that a participant who wants to respond to a message left several lines before, cannot do so immediately because of the number of participants or the speed of the connection. To develop real-time, students who write more quickly can overload the chat messages without respecting others participation. In the IRC networks, there rules of behavior must be met by respect and education to all participants, when entering a channel is due to greet the other participants, just as they are greeted upon entering a meeting. Before intervention, it is recommended to follow the conversation that remains between users.

In an everyday situation, no one interrupts a conversation initiated by other parties without notice of the item being treated. When entering a question or made a speech and nobody in the channel responds to our request or proposal, does not have to repeat the same message, if one insists on excess hinders the flow of communication easily disturb more than one user.

It is very important to not to insult or disrespect the channel members. As the messages are texts have to be careful with the script used, the use of capitals is interpreted as a rise in tone of voice and even yell and nobody likes to participate in a conversation of this type, the reading of messages in all caps is more strenuous than those used properly is case sensitive.


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