One of the great things about Teams over Blackboard Collaborate is that it allows students to organise themselves independently. It gives them the power to set up meetings, come together as a group, collaborate on files and even reach out to external people without you having to set up the structures to allow them to do this. Particularly for final year and Masters students, this independence will help them develop transferable skills and will enable successful group projects and research activities.
There is comprehensive guidance for students on Using Microsoft Teams in the Study Skills section of the UWE website.
One important thing to note is that currently students are not able to record, or view recordings that have been made in Teams. There are a couple of ways around this.
- Students can use Panopto to record a Teams meeting. Please make sure they are aware of this guidance, especially the need to get participant consent, and making sure they capture computer audio when recording.
- If recording is required for a research project, students can request permission to record. They will need to provide the email address of their academic supervisor for approval. Further information for staff about recording in Teams is available on the Intranet. It is up to you to make sure they are aware of this information.
Data protection and anonymity
It is possible to create an online meeting where participants can join anonymously. This may be necessary if, for example, a student wants to run a focus group where participants have not agreed to share contact details. This may be particularly relevant where external guests have been invited.
To do this, the student needs to set up the meeting from their online Outlook calendar:
- Access Calendar from the Office 365 dashboard or from Outlook mail in the web browser.
- Click on New Event
- Under ‘Response options’ choose ‘Hide attendee list’.
- Add other details and invite attendees as usual and click Send.
When sent, the email invitation will only show the name and email address of the organiser; it will not list the other participants.
When a participant enters the meeting – providing they are not already logged on to a Microsoft Office account – they will have the option to enter a name or pseudonym. Their email address will not be shown.
If students want to meet virtually to discuss group work, they can use Teams in the following ways:
- Arrange a Teams meeting from their Outlook calendar (either the online or desktop version)
- Set up a Chat group and make an audio or video call from within it
- Set up a Team and meet in a channel
In all these scenarios, the chat and any files they share within it will be available afterwards. The guidance on Using Microsoft Teams on the UWE website will help them understand their options.
Using Teams well does require practice, but another benefit of Teams is that it is a tool they are likely to encounter in their working lives; becoming familiar with it here will be another skill to add to their CV.