These FAQs have been created to support Teaching Online and Online Assessment during COVID-19 disruption.  This does not reflect our normal advice on planning and teaching for online-only delivery, and instead focuses on the basics that staff will need during this time. The FAQs are continually updated and include links to more comprehensive guidance where appropriate

Microsoft Teams allows groups to communicate (via text chat and video meetings) and collaborate (via shared Office documents and files).

The FAQs below result from the TEL teams conversations with staff around the University, particularly relating to Teaching and Learning.

For technical queries contact DD&T (Computing Services) via their helpdesk.

Also read more generic Microsoft Teams FAQs here

Initial Setup

Teams can run on any desktop via the browser: go to teams.microsoft.com and there are also desktop Teams clients for Windows/Mac.

The mobile client is available for Android and iOS.

All students and staff have a login via their abc123@bath.ac.uk login.

There are problems with Safari and the in-browser version. Use desktop version or try another browser 

It is impossible to list all of the functions of Microsoft Teams, but broadly Teams allows people to communicate and collaborate.

  • Chat
  • Hold online meetings
  • Collaborate on documents together

This page provides an overview of Microsoft Teams.

This quick start guide will be also be useful to read.

The functions in Microsoft Teams meetings are broadly:

  • Present using a webcam and microphone (we recommend using a headset)
  • Present a PowerPoint
  • Share your screen or a browser window (some issues when viewing in a browser not the Teams app)
  • Text chat
  • Make attendees presenters
  • Use a collaborative whiteboard
  • Share files
  • Take notes

This page explains the different Teams choices. 

They are broadly similar but the Class Team and Staff Team have hierarchical structures. The general advice is to use a Class Team for teaching with students and use a PLC or Other team when collaborating with colleagues.

Yes, students and staff have the same access to Teams login via their abc123@bath.ac.uk login. This lets anybody set up a Team, meetings (video), share files.

This can be useful for student group work, societies or other uses.

Also see Can I stop students presenting in a meeting?

Yes, externals can! They can either

You can have 250 people in total per meeting. For very large meetings, you may consider not having them as live events and should read our planning guidance.

It’s start time +8 hours.

If you are holding a live meeting where you will be speaking, a headset is important to limit noise and feedback for others.

These are available through the IT shop in the Library.

If you do get stuck without a proper headset, a handsfree kit (as you get with new mobile phones) can work (depending on your computer port) or even just a pair of earphones. These can also limit computer noise and feedback for the caller.

You can check your microphone, webcam and audio are working before going into a meeting with a test call. Have everything plugged in and then select your profile picture, then Settings Devices. You can review and change the selected devices here or just Make a test call to see if everything is setup.

While there are many options for meeting and working online, only Microsoft Teams and Adobe Connect are supported by the University. Also please consider data protection and GDPR legislation if using a third party solution (Data Protection at the University).

Standard staff and student users at the University of Bath are not licensed to create live events. Instead, create a Teams meeting which can be used for up to 250 people. 

Microsoft Teams Live Event may be more suitable if you are holding an event such as a conference or public lecture. In this case, contact the AV department to discuss your requirements.

Setting up Meetings

Watch our step by step guidance video or follow the instructions below:

  • Open Outlook desktop client, and open up your calendar
  • Select “New Teams Meeting”
  • Fill in all the details (title, date, description).
  • You can either manually invite participants, but this may be time-consuming for large groups, so the alternative is to forward a meeting URL by email to participants using the course email list, or pasting the URL into the relevant Moodle course. Participants can join by the meeting by clicking on the URL. Students can join the meeting via the web, the Teams desktop client or on the phones with the Teams App.
  • To get the URL, right click on the “Join Microsoft Teams Meeting” link.

  • It is recommended to use the following options when creating a meeting in Microsoft Teams. This will give you control over who is able to present during a meeting. This is especially useful in large meetings where there are many participants and also for data protection purposes.
  • Select “Meeting Options”
  • Screen shot of Teams Invite configuration screen with arrow pointing to "Meetings Options"
  • Set the options as follows: Who can bypass the lobby? “People in my organisation” Who can present? “Only me.”
  • Screenshot to demonstrate recommended options in Teams
  • Once the meeting is running, click on the icon to show participant details if you need.
  • Screenshot to demonstrate how to edit participant options in Teams
  • This gives you options to mute participants microphones and make attendees into presenters (this gives them the ability to share their screens and present)
  • Screenshot to demonstrate how to make an attendee a presenter in Teams

There are different ways to initiate a Teams meeting: the methods are covered in our guidance video.

For a large cohort of students already registered on a unit, the simplest method is to create a Teams meeting and forward the meeting link to the cohort (see University of Bath unit lists). NOTE: You cannot add the cohort as attendees. You must email them the meeting link.

You can use the Scheduling Assistant tab in Outlook or Teams.

Note that everyone has just one calendar that is synced between Outlook and Teams (Teams meetings give the additional option to “Join Now” for video chat and share files).

Teams in Microsoft Teams are spaces with a dedicated group of participants who have common access to communication and collaboration tools (shared documents). Creating a Meeting in an existing Channel in a Team means that all existing members of the Team can attend (you don’t have to invite participants) and will have access to any Teams files. This is not appropriate for inviting members who aren’t part of that Team.

On the other hand if you are creating a meeting outside of a Team, then this is a standalone discussion and any documents/text chat will only be visible to those participants.

By default everyone can present during a Meeting (initiate a share screen). It is possible to limit this to Only you/Specific People/People from our Organisation (see guidance on how to change this).

Even as non-presenters, participants are still able to text chat on the side and also unmute their microphone (the presenter can also mute participants).

For meeting with more than 5 people, new participants join muted by default.

It is always possible for a presenter to mute select or all participants (if ‘who can present’ option is enabled).

It is also possible for a participant to unmute their microphone and start talking (this is the same as in lectures where it is only social norms that prevent this!), but can allow for questions.

When you have a meeting in a channel, everyone in the team will be able to see it and join it in that channel.

If you wish to restrict meetings to only certain people, then it is advisable to hold a meeting outside of a Team.

Once you’ve created a meeting you, invited someone AND saved it: there will be a footer on the event description with ‘Meeting Options’

Screen shot of Teams Invite configuration screen with arrow pointing to "Meetings Options"

The default is to skip the lobby for all. The lobby can only be enabled for people (i.e. external participants only) not within the University of Bath (students).

Running Meetings

The meeting and participants will still be there but not the presenter.  Any content that the presenter is sharing also won’t be available.

For presenters it is especially important that they have a reliable signal and fast connection.

The image below shows the main meeting controls:

Screenshot showing a participant inside a Teams meeting with key controls highlighted.

To edit/delete a piece of chat hover over the top right of the message you want to change > Select the Three Dots (…) > Edit/Delete.

If you have it saved in Teams/your University OneDrive you can share it with the Present > Powerpoint option.

Otherwise you can share a window/your whole screen, which also works for things that aren’t Powerpoint presentations (other documets, simulations, etc)

Breakout rooms (breaking up a main meeting into smaller group meetings) aren’t officially supported in Teams yet (this is a planned feature from Microsoft but doesn’t have a release date). There are only a limited number of licences for Adobe Connect that does have breakout rooms.

Instead you could consider replanning your teaching activity around chat (either on Moodle) or encouraging students to use Teams.

*Experimental* breakout rooms solution in Microsoft Teams 

The Teams breakout room solution outlined below is experimental and not officially supported – please proceed with caution, planning and testing.

There is an experimental work-around that emulates break-out rooms for participants by running an additional Teams Meeting in a Channel, thereby placing the main Meeting on Hold. Once joined participants can switch between meetings at the click of a button.

The video below demonstrates how to setup and use breakout rooms in Teams. Essentially, you need to create a Team with a channel for each breakout room, then use the Instant Meeting button in each channel to initiate each breakout session. Every students needs to navigate to their allotted channel and Join their breakout session.

 

Pointers for running breakout rooms in Teams
  • Remember you will need to setup a Team (including inviting students) and an additional channel for each Breakout room.
  • Ensure you, students and any additional demonstrators are familiar with how to use breakout rooms in Teams (for example, students will need to know which breakout room to join and how, there will need to be a prearranged way to inform students to rejoin the main meeting, etc). 
  • You can preload any resources to each breakout room channel to have students collaborate on material while in their breakout room.
  • In the breakout channels, all participants are presenters and so are able to share screens and facilitate discussion (and also can record the breakout session – appropriate guidance may need to be given to students)
  • In Microsoft Teams, you can be on a maximum of 4 calls simultaneously. For teachers and demonstrators, if you need to move to a 5th breakout room, then you will need hang up on another call, which you can manually rejoin later.
  • Meetings in Teams are persistent. If you hang up, all participants, chat conversations will remain – you can then just rejoin.
  • The Teams breakout room solution outlined above is experimental and not officially supported – please proceed with caution, planning and testing.

Firstly, before the meeting try to pre-empt possible issues. Common problems include:

  • Losing internet connection (Try to use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi)
  • Participant technical issues (Ask participants to arrive up to 10 minutes before the start time to iron out any problems. You will not be able to solve everything during the session!).
  • Too many questions from participants whilst presenting (Use the chat function. Ask a colleague to help monitor the chat so that you can focus on presenting. Make it clear that questions will be covered in a suitable break or at the end).
  • Screen/document sharing (Don’t have too many windows open at once, just what you need for the session. Can you also host the documents elsewhere such as Moodle so participants can view them if there is an issue with Teams?)
  • I’ve never done this before! (Have a test meeting first with a colleague to give you confidence before the session)

This document outlines top tips for running a webinar.

We recommend to use asynchronous activities (pre-recorded material/share documents, Moodle forums etc) rather than run entire Meetings live where possible. This limits the need for a fast and stable internet connection at peak times and mitigates problems if people drop out (additionally this is more convenient for many).

Microsoft have some really useful guidance and tips on how to Use Teams for schoolwork when bandwidth is low

It’s also worth considering what contingency there if connection completely drops: is there someone to step in for a facilitator, can the outputs be shared/recorded, use of text chat, etc? 

Microsoft Teams meetings have a maximum of 9 visible attendees at any one time. The attendees much have their webcams switched on (but be aware that this will increase bandwidth and may not be suitable for users with a variable internet connection). For more information see this blog post.

When sharing your screen, e.g. to play a YouTube video, ensure that you tick the option to ‘Include system audio.’ For more information see the Microsoft support pages.

Yes, but this can only be done DURING a meeting by the meeting organiser. For more information see the Microsoft support pages.

During a meeting participants can turn on live captions to follow what others are saying. This can make meetings more inclusive for attendees. For more information see the Microsoft support pages.

The meeting organiser can end a meeting for all attendees by clicking on ‘…’ and then ‘End meeting.’ This ensures that everyone leaves the meeting, rather than just ‘hanging up’ where the meeting continues for those that haven’t hung up. For more information see the Microsoft support pages.

Attendees can pin a presenter so that one person takes up the full screen (as opposed to up to 9 people sharing their webcams on the screen at once). For more information see the Microsoft support pages.

If you have a weak internet connection, it is advisable to stop viewing other attendee’s webcams and just listen to their audio. During a meeting you can choose to ‘Turn off incoming video.’ This short video explains how to turn off incoming video.

Collaborating in Meetings

Screensharing or sharing a certain widow is useful for sharing applications that aren’t Powerpoint or if you want your cursor to be visible. Some users may find screen sharing uses lots of bandwidth so is a bit laggy.

Advantages of using the Powerpoint “Share” feature in a Teams meeting are that:

  • It uses hosting from Microsoft so is much less reliant on the Presenter’s internet connection
  • Users can navigate through the Powerpoint at their own pace.

Sharing content in Microsoft Teams meetings – help guidance from Microsoft

During a meeting you can share a collaborative whiteboard that everybody can ink onto. This function works best if you have a touchscreen device.

The whiteboard does not get recorded in a Teams meeting. There is a workaround which involves sharing a window in a meeting, and opening the whiteboard directly from Microsoft Office so that it is being shared from your browser window.

Likewise, it is possible to use Whiteboard outside of Teams. Open it directly from Microsoft Office and send the link to others to collaborate with them.

Pedagogical support

We recommend that staff use Moodle or other familiar platforms for the majority of their teaching delivery during this period. There is guidance here about teaching online at this time.

If you do wish to use Microsoft Teams for this, then use it in conjunction with Moodle (e.g. A quiz activity) or Microsoft Forms https://teachinghub.bath.ac.uk/microsoft-forms/ (create a form and send the link to students so they can fill it in online). You could distribute the questions electronically and give students some time to answer (remember that students may be ill or in different time zones). Then set up a Teams webinar if you wish to discuss as a small group and follow up on the answers/misconceptions and field any questions the students have (this could also be done in a Moodle forum).

Our general guidance promotes asynchronous discussions (for example Moodle forums or Microsoft Form questionnaires) to initially gather questions. This can have the added benefit of learners being able to think and generate questions and also takes the pressure of a live presentation (both in terms of gathering and responding to questions and also presenter/participant connection issues).

Asynchronous learning can also be supported by a recording of a stimulus (e.g. recording a Powerpoint presentation with a voiceover – see our Drop-in material and recording). 

If you plan to run some element of live meeting, please consider:

Recording Meetings

Important: There is currently an issue worldwide with Teams not recording screenshares/PowerPoints in meetings. This seems to be an intermittent issue. We advise that if you have to record a meeting then you should record your Teams meeting using the Panopto desktop recorder. This can capture your whole screen. It can then be uploaded to the appropriate folder in Panopto after.

Meetings can be recorded pressing the More Options button () and then Start Recording (see screenshot). This will record the audio and video channels (including screenshares and webcams) from the presentation. 

screenshot showing a Teams meeting with the more call options and the start recording highlighted

Please remember to inform participants that the meeting is being recorded and Stop the recording when you finish. The recording will then be available to all participants in the chat.

If you have setup the Meeting in a channel then the recording will be available to everyone in that Teams Channel. If you have setup the Meeting as a standalone Meeting (e.g. via Outlook) then the recording  will be saved into your Microsoft Streams

By default any participant at the University (staff/student) can begin recording in a Meeting (external guests cannot).

To restrict who can start recording then you need to designate Who Can Present (Just me/people in my organisation/specific people) in the Meeting Options.

Screen shot of Teams Invite configuration screen with arrow pointing to "Meetings Options"

The recordings of Meetings in Teams will be shared automatically with participants at the end of the meeting (following a slight delay for encoding).

To ensure the right people have access and for managing the recordings for the course in the long term consistent with our data retention policy, we would advise staff upload the recordings to Panopto (see instructions).

No, so long as the recording is hosted on the Re:View platform and only accessible behind the University of Bath single-sign to students on the relevant, or a related course of study then it may be considered a digital extension of the classroom. Therefore, there should be no need to remove such content as it will likely qualify under the educational exceptions to copyright so long as the amount used is reasonable and proportionate, being used for illustration and instruction, for the purpose of teaching.

Unfortunately there does not seem to be an easy way to do this. When you finish a meeting the chat remains in the ‘Chat’ section of Teams (you can see it on the left hand side of Teams). It is possible to manually copy and paste this into a text editor like Microsoft Word. For longer chats it is advisable to do this in several shorter chunks.