MS Teams for Teaching

Why Teams

Teams has been synonymous with working remotely with colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic, and even the most casual user of Teams will surely have attended a number of Teams meetings, or is a member of at least one “Team”. Since the start of the academic year we have seen Teams actively being used as a platform for teaching and course communication to students – Semester 2 has seen this trend increase.

Features of Teams for teaching:

  • Chat and communication
  • Share files
  • Collaborative working
  • Video Meetings
  • Many integrated apps

How to setup Teams for your Course

If you plan to use Teams you can contact lt-support@inf.ed.ac.uk to run through some details and we can request a Team is created for your course instance and setup the initial enrolment. By requesting a Team is setup we can ensure that the membership of your Team is managed for your course based on an enrolment feed which runs daily to ensure that the correct students are mapped to your Team instance.

Please note that there is no direct integration with Learn; Channels cannot yet be setup to be mapped to an enrolment feed.

Common Practice

Teams offers a huge amount of flexibility to be used in a wide range of scenarios but we have identified some common practice being used across many courses that might be suitable for you.

Channels

Each Team will be setup with a “General” channel that can be used for course wide activities. You can add further channels for specific teaching activities such as Tutorials and / or Labs. Channels can be open to the whole team, or restricted to specific members. Many colleagues use open channels to accommodate students who may need to swap (for example) Lab groups at short notice.

Think of Channels as a sub-group of your Team – with its own chat, filespace, calendar, and membership.

Overview of teams and channels in Microsoft Teams

Tabs

At the top of your Team/Channel you can place quick links to common resources/apps that are used. This might be a quick link to the Class OneNote, a Calendar of activities/events related to the Team, etc.

You want to keep the number of tabs relatively low so they are quick to navigate and offer a genuine shortcut. You can also include external links here if suitable.

Scheduling Meetings

If using Teams Meetings for synchronous Labs/Tutorials it makes sense to schedule these.

Tip: Meet in a channel – Office Support

You can schedule meetings for the General Team or to a specific channel. Please note that you do not need to complete the section for “Required Attendees”. The meeting will not appear in a members Outlook Calendar or Teams Calendar but you can create a calendar within the Channel tabs if you want to share the schedule via calendar.

Scheduling meetings in Microsoft Teams without inviting the whole team, works in private channels.

Recording Meetings

If you are recording meetings for your class you need to make sure these recordings are readily available and accessible. Your recording will be stored by default within the Teams space for 20 days and is accessible from the meeting instance.

Note: ILTS have been working with Information Services to get this 20 day restriction removed. All Semester 2 course organisers have now been moved to a license which removes this restriction. If you are still seeing this restriction within your Team, please get in touch with us asap.

You can choose to move your video to storage in OneDrive / Stream, or choose to download your recording and upload it to the Media Hopper Create service. In both instances you must ensure that you have enabled the auto-captioning feature.

This process is changing across Teams in early 2021 – up-to-date guidance on how to link/share meeting recordings can be found below:

Play and share a meeting recording in Teams

Benefits and Disadvantages of Transitioning from Media Hopper Create to MS Stream

Integrations

Teams has integrations with the majority of products in the O365 suite, as well as a wide array of App-style add-ons that can be activated, although some apps include their own separate terms and privacy notices, so proceed with caution.

Most commonly used integrations are:

Support and Training

There is generally no central provision for training for the use of MS Office (including Teams), but there are some useful resources/courses for getting started such as the LinkedIn Learning course – Tips for Mastering Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft has a series of training videos for the common tasks in Teams, as well as in-depth (but generally readable) documentation for Teams from Microsoft from the links below:

Note: The University is not licensed for all features of Teams, and new features of Teams are introduced on an almost weekly basis.

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