Google Apps Setup Overview

Welcome to Backchannel Chat for Google Apps. The following details will help you understand how Backchannel Chat can work with your Google apps domain.

Setting up Teachers.

The first step in setting up Backchannel Chat for Google apps is to configure the groups that are going to be used as teachers / moderators. These users will have the following features:

  1. Locking the chat room
  2. Private messages with students
  3. Viewing the room transcript
  4. Marking students as read only
  5. Approving any moderation requests
  6. Setting up the chat options

If you don't have any groups setup on your domain, please read the documentation provided by Google to set this up.

The basic overview is:

1. Navigate to you domain administration control panel and select the groups option.

The above screen shows a sample of some groups for a domain. If no groups exist, simply click on the 'Create a new group' button. Selecting each group will give the option of assigning users to this group.

2. Once your groups are setup, navigate to the Backchannel Chat setup page (which can be found in the application settings section). You will see the same list of groups:

3. Select the groups that contain users that are teachers / moderators and select the 'Save Selected Groups' button to save.


Creating Backchannel Discussions

Upon navigating to the 'My Backchannels' page, the user will see a list of the backchannel discussions that have been made available to them. If the user is in a teachers / moderator group they will have the option of creating a new Backchannel Chat.

Creating a new Backchannel chat:

The teacher can select the groups that are allowed to participate in this Backchannel discussion. Any students who are in the selected groups will automatically have the Backchannel added to their 'My Backchannels' page.

A teacher / moderator may also delete the Backchannel chat.

A user that is not in the teachers / moderators group CAN NOT create a new Backchannel discussion. Please view the details above on how to setup the teacher / moderator settings.


Backchannel Chat for Google apps provides 5 free basic chat rooms for free. These rooms have no expiry date but have been limited in functionality.

Upon purchasing a Backchannel Chat for Google apps license, you may create an unlimited number of rooms with each room providing the premium features such as:

  • Private messages between staff and students
  • File sharing (supports Google drive)
  • Advanced moderation option such as auto closing the discussion when a teacher leaves
  • Full PDF transcripts

A license can be purchased at any time from our purchase page.