Microsoft Teams is available to all students and staff as part of Office 365. Teams offers a secure platform for online collaboration where students can share files, chat, hold web conferences and collaborate on documents simultaneously, making Teams an ideal solution for projects and group work.
Instead of your students migrating to a social network such as Facebook or Whatsapp, they can use Teams for online collaboration which means they won’t have to share their personal details with their peers or a third party outside the universities jurisdiction. Microsoft Teams encompasses all the key features of a social platform in a secure location.
Get started with Teams by entering your full username in the ‘Get Started’ box at https://teams.microsoft.com/start
Training and how to guides are available on the Microsoft website, or you could use LinkedIn Learning to view the Teams Essentials Training course (Tip: use the Contents list to skip through each section).
The below scenarios are examples of how Teams could be used at this university.
5 students decided to use Teams to manage their group project which was set over a period of 24 weeks. They used the planner tool to assign tasks and deadlines to each team member. The charts page showed an overview of the tasks status with a view of how each team member was progressing with their assigned tasks.
As part of the project, the students were required to create a questionnaire to generate quantitative data about their project for analysis in their final report. To achieve this the students used a channel to generate the questions collaboratively, they then created the questionnaire using the forms tool.
To collect the responses the students used the following methods:
- Used the guest access web link to email and share on social media
- Downloaded the QR code and added it to a poster about the project which was displayed on the notice board in the Library
- Downloaded the Teams app and collected responses in person using a mobile
The students were able to use PowerPoint app to work on their group presentation collaboratively. It allowed all members to work on their own section at thew same time and add comments
Throughout the project the team were able to use the communication tools to hold remote meetings and post updates or questions to the rest of the team. They were able to keep up-to-date using the mobile app which sent push notifications to their phone and they did not need to share any personal details (like their phone number) or travel into University to keep in touch.
In a subject area colleagues wanted a more up-to-date way of communicating within the team and outside of the tide of emails so when one colleague suggested trying out Teams, the rest of the team said they would give it a go.
Initially the team created 4 Channels:
General – this was the channel for none official, general posts. It contained threads about staff awards ceremony, a welcome thread for a new member of staff and a thread with updates from a team member who was on a 4 month sabbatical in South Africa.
Meetings - where all the meeting dates, agendas and minutes were shared with the team.
Student feedback – colleagues shared their online feedback form templates which could be copied and reused, discussions could take place about responding to negative feedback, and of course, it was an area where positive feedback could be shared.
Module info – any changes for the academic year were discussed, colleagues asked module related questions like when was the mark entry deadline and where can they find the module handbook template.
After the first couple of months the new member of staff created a new channel aimed at new staff members, periodically posting updates about things she found useful as a new member of staff.
One member of the team started a team Wiki which was added to throughout the year.
Not all members of the team were very active inside the channels, but they still found it a useful source of information and reference as the channel threads could always be revisited later.
In preparation for the start of a new partnership a Microsoft Team was created. The staff at the partnership institution did not yet have temp IT accounts and they would not be using the London Met emails so a decision was made to send the partners guest access to the Team.
Guest access required the guests to create a free accounts which meant the partners could use all the collaboration tools, web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and they had 2 GB/user and 10 GB of shared storage.
Learn how to invite a guest user to your team.
In addition to using the web conferencing tools to hold online meetings, the team were able to share documents and use the calendar to share key dates and milestones. The channels were mainly used for questions and answers, which was used as a knowledge base for new starters.