Problem: If an instructor is doing a timed online test in the CLE, they may not want students to be able to easily chat with each other for this time if there is no valid reason to collaborate. It would be fine if this was in a chat room, because those comments are visible to the entire group and the instructor would know that they are cheating, but portal chat is private between individuals. Granted, if this test were taken from an unsecure computer, nothing stops students from chatting using other software, but with portal chat, even using a computer without any applications that also locks down the browser to only be able to go to Sakai would not be enough to prevent such collaboration
Give instructors, owners, and similar the ability to remove portal chat from particular sites so that students cannot chat with other classmates. I think this might be possible by providing an alternate skin, but this gets difficult to maintain (especially if your various departments have their own skin) and would be hard for instructors to find and use. So ideally, this option would actually show up for owners in the portal chat itself, possibly above "Show offline connections"
a) it would be nice if the option was "don't let students/participants chat with each other" such that students could still chat with instructors and other staff, and the staff could still chat with each other.
less appealing alternative is
b) add global "disable chat for this site" option, which would not let anyone talk with anyone while checked
If the option a is what we go with, students/participants would still see "Chat with students/participants disabled" next to "In this site"
If we go with option b, all members would see "Chat disabled " next to "In this site"
Also, they may still be able to chat with other classmates if Profile2 is enabled and they have a direct connection with them; if we wish to disable that, I think that needs to be made by a super user and is a separate JIRA issue.