From the main page of your Writing Studio class site, click on the Chat Room icon or link. This will open up the chat room in a new window.
On this new page, you can see if anyone is in the chat rooms next to "Total People Participating in Chats."
To enter the chat room you'll need to select a nickname, (entering your email address is optional), select a room or start a new room, set the room to public or private, set your interface to either Flash or html, and select a flash skin. To enter the chat room, click the "Join the Meeting" button.
Once in the chat room, you can see to the right a list of users in the room with you (selecting the "who's in" button at the bottom of the page will open a popup window that gives you the same information).
Clicking on any of the user names will identify the next message you type as being for them. Clicking on the "+" to the left of their name will allow you to ignore them and view their chat settings.
Messages show up in the main, center screen. Type your messages into the text box along the bottom, hit "enter" on your keyboard, and your message appears on the main screen.
The "clear" option button on the bottom of the page will clear all messages off the main screen. The "options" button opens up a window where you can set your status to "I am away" or to "focus on new messages." There is also a "message box" and a "help" function, accessed by clicking those buttons at the bottom of the page.
There are three ways of leaving the chat: click the "log off" button, click the "close" button, or simply close the browser window.