What is it?
Microsoft 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.
How might I use it?
Teams is a chat-centred workspace, it can be used to bring people, conversations, files, and tools into one place so everyone has instant access to everything they need. This could be for a research project, to plan teaching units or to share updates within a department.
Within Teams you can schedule group or team meetings, store files within the Team and access your work on any device using the Microsoft Teams app. External guests can be invited to a Team which enables collaboration from outside of the University.
It is possible to create Class Teams with students where staff maintain ownership. As Teams integrates with other Microsoft 365 applications such as Class Notebook and Forms, it has the ability to enhance teaching and learning and becoming a space for collaboration between staff and students. Conduct quick polls, send out journal articles for students to read and collaborate on, or hold meetings with participants from around the world. It is possible to use Teams on both desktop and mobile devices in the office or at home, or from teaching rooms from the AV machine on campus, opening up a blended approach to learning.
How do students use it effectively?
Students can be members of Class Teams or create their own Teams to work on projects and assign tasks. Within Teams students can make use of channels for communication, Planner for allocating tasks, and a file section for collaborating on documents.
They can take advantage of in-built Class Notebooks to take and share notes and work collaboratively. Students can hold virtual meetings with their peers so do not need to be in the same physical location to communicate.
What are the pros & cons?
- Enables collaboration by using chat, channels, file storage and sharing within the Team.
- Hold online meetings which reduces the need for participants to all be in the same place at the same time.
- Use the Microsoft Teams app to access your work on any device.
- The ability to add external users to a Team from outside of the University (some features may be limited for external users).
- Teams integrates with other Microsoft 365 apps (such as OneNote and Forms and Planner).
- Students can collaborate on projects and record meetings/presentations.
- Teams is not currently linked to our LMS (Learning Management System), therefore staff and students need to either manually add students or use this spreadsheet upload option.
- Teams does not offer a robust system for anonymous marking, archiving or originality checking. Therefore we don't recommend Teams to be used for summative assessment.
- If using with students, staff need to set out clear expectations and guidelines around behaviours and contact with staff (commonly known as 'netiquette').
- As with all social platforms, there is a risk of inappropriate use.
- An internet connection is needed to use Teams.
- Currently, we do not recommend using Microsoft Teams for LOIL sessions with students where recording is taking place. More information is available here.
University of New South Wales using Microsoft Teams
University of Central Lancashire using Microsoft Teams
Further training and guidance
Complete an online course on Microsoft Teacher Academy (log in with your University of Bath username and password to track your progress). Introduction to Microsoft Teams – the digital hub for educators and students.