What is it?
Microsoft 365 is a Microsoft subscription service that includes access to Microsoft applications and online productivity services, as well as business services such as web conferencing, hosted email, and online storage. Commonly used Microsoft 365 applications include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. Most of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications can be used across multiple devices such as PC, Mac, phones and tablets. The Microsoft 365 package is available to all staff and students at the University of Bath and can be accessed by logging into https://office.com with your University username and password.
How might I use it?
There are many benefits of using Microsoft 365 for productivity, teaching and learning, and research. Below is a summary of some of the applications that are available at the University of Bath.
• Word, PowerPoint and Excel are familiar tools for word processing, presenting and working with data. As part of the Microsoft 365 package they contain additional features such as embedding media, file sharing, automatically saving and accessibility controls.
• Teams is a hub for collaborative working, whether it be sharing and editing documents, holding online meetings or taking part in group chats. Teams integrates with many of the other Microsoft 365 applications such as OneNote, Forms and SharePoint.
• OneDrive is a cloud-based storage system that enables you to share folders and documents with others as well as access them anywhere online (and can be configured for offline viewing too).
• OneNote is a powerful tool for taking personal, collaborative and meeting notes. It can be used both online and offline. OneNote Class Notebook enables staff to work with students by distributing content for them to work on.
• Sway is a creative online presentation tool that can be used to share reports, presentations and personal stories.
• Forms can be used to gather information and data via surveys, quizzes and polls.
• Stream is a secure video platform allows you to upload, view and share videos within the organisation. Stream can also automatically transcribe videos.
• Planner is an application to organise tasks and track progress.
• Power Automate is a tool that automates tasks by creating workflows within applications.
• And more...Log into Microsoft 365 with your University of Bath username and password to view all of the applications that are available to you.
How do students use it effectively?
Microsoft 365 can support students in their studies during their time at the University of Bath. Familiar programs such as Word (for word processing), Outlook (for emails) and Excel (for data and calculations) are supplemented by applications that enhance teamwork and productivity. For example, OneDrive is a cloud storage platform that makes work available wherever you are and OneNote is a note-taking tool that works across multiple devices. Students who have group projects could take advantage of using Teams as the tool is designed to make collaboration easier by bring together various productivity tools into one place.
What are the pros & cons?
- Work anywhere as long as you have internet connectivity (although some applications such as OneNote and OneDrive can be used offline).
- Microsoft applications work across devices such as desktop, mobile and tablets. You can begin working on a Word document on a laptop and continue later on your mobile device.
- Collaborate easily with colleagues by contributing to, sharing, and editing documents in real-time. Sharing calendars, chat within teams and conduct meetings via video call.
- Built-in accessibility features makes it possible to make accessible documents.
- Download Microsoft 365 for up to 5 devices.
- Regular features and software updates are being rolled out all of the time by Microsoft to improve the service.
- Cloud-based storage means that if the internet is not working then you may not be able to access your files.
- You need to be organised to keep track of your files and who you have shared them with.
- As the Microsoft 365 package is vast, you may need to invest some time into becoming familiar with its features. Similarly, Microsoft roll out updates frequently so features may be added and removed and you may have to adapt to changes.
- You may find it difficult to 'switch' off if you are constantly connected. You will need to become familiar with the privacy and notification settings to ensure that you maintain a balance.
- Not all aspects of the Microsoft 365 package are currently supported by DD&T at University of Bath.
How Teeside University is filling the digital skills gap
Glazunova, O., Kuzminska, O., V. Voloshyna, T., P. Sayapina, T., I. Korolchuk, V. E-environment based on Microsoft SharePoint for the organization of group project work of students at Higher Education institutions 2017. Information Technologies and Learning Tools 62, 98.
Microsoft have produced an overview of accessiblility features in Microsoft 365 for Education.
Further guidance and support
Complete an online course on Microsoft Teacher Academy (log in with your University of Bath username and password to track progress) Streamline efficiency with Office 365 apps
Complete an online course on Microsoft Teacher Academy (log in with your University of Bath username and password to track progress). Developing workforce ready skills in Office Online
Complete an online course on Microsoft Teacher Academy (log in with your University of Bath username and password to track progress). Training teachers to author accessible content