FAQs for using Teams in Teaching & Learning Part 1

Written by: Hannah Duke and Tom Buckley
Edited by: Michael Harris and Ghizzi Dunlop

Who is this page for and what does it refer to?

This page is for the practitioners within the Faculty TEL team to help guide their initial efforts using MS Teams in Teaching and Learning.  Teams has various terms associated with it. This reflects the wide array of things that it can do. Not all features are available at UWE and be mindful that when discussing the use of Teams we can often be talking about different functions of the system. This can lead to confusion.

This survival guide has been split into 2 parts. As we explain each Teams related term below we will say which part of the guide if at all this is covered in.

Teams The entirety of the Teams offering and platform. An app within Office 365.

Teams Site (Part 1) A grouping on Teams where a specific area has been created for specific people. This area can have various functions such as a committee or a teaching cohort. Within this area conversation and files can be shared. Questions answered here are:

  • When setting up a Teams Site how do you populate the site?
  • When setting up a Team for the first time when would I require a ‘Class’ variety of Team Site?
  • Can I manage smaller groups in one Team Site?

Teams Room At the time of writing (260121) this functionality has only been deployed at a small scale in the Universities estate for piloting purposes. A Teams room is a physical location that has hardware that links it as a virtual location for a Teams Meeting. Hybridizing space.

Teams Meetings (Part 2) A synchronous / live / all in the same place at the same time event. Akin to a webinar. When used for teaching this can be referred to as a virtual classroom or webinar. Questions answered there are:

  • How do students get invited to a Teams meeting?
  • What do I have to do to ensure students/staff can record a Teams Meeting?
  • Are breakout rooms fully operational?
  • How do I use Teams meetings with people outside of UWE?

Teams Live Events (Part 2) Like a Teams Meeting but at a large scale. At the time of writing this type of live event (260121) is locked down by the institution. Questions answered there are:

  • I have a large event, can Teams Live Events handle it?

When setting up a Teams Site how do you populate the site?

There are three ways to add students to Teams site quickly. Either by:

  • adding the module distribution list when adding members;
  • providing a code for students to add themselves to the team;
  • or sharing the link to the team and sifting through those who use it to request addition to the Team.

Adding the module distribution list when adding members

For a team that is already created go to the ‘Teams’ option on the left hand menu of the MS Team desktop app. From there:

Screenshot: Annotated Team Site Drop Down Menu as of Jan 2021

1. Click the three dots
2. Select ‘Add member’

Screenshot: Add members to Team via email

3. Add the module distribution list email details

Please note that this is not a live link between teams and the module list. So if a student is suspended or a late entrant this will not synchronise with your Teams membership.

Generating and providing a code for students to add themselves to the team

You can generate a link or a code within Teams settings and place onto Blackboard for students to join themselves. By generating a code this means a student can join straight away without you needing to vet/approve them. You cannot control where this code is shared so be careful.

To generate the code

For a team that is already created go to the ‘Teams’ option on the left hand menu of the MS Team desktop app. From there:

Screenshot: Annotated Team Site Drop Down Menu as of Jan 2021

1. Click on the three dots
2. Select ‘Manage team’

From the the ‘Manage team’ screen:

Screenshot: The manage team menu

3. Go to the ‘Settings’ tab at the top
4. Expand the ‘Team code’ menu option on the left. You will see the button to generate the code once this side menu is expanded.

Once you have the code you will need to give it to students. Probably via and announcement or item in Blackboard.

For students to use the code

Students will need some support in joining a team using a code. They will need to:

  1. Log into either the Teams desktop app or web version.
  2. Go the the ‘Teams’ menu option on the side. This is where Teams you are a member of are displayed.
  3. At the top right of this page is an button with the text ‘ Join or create team’.
  4. From here enter the code provided to join the requisite Team.

Sharing the link to the Team

Using this method will mean a little bit more administration as you will need to approve those who have requested to access the Team. For a team that is already created go to the ‘Teams’ option on the left hand menu of the MS Team desktop app. From there:

Screenshot: Annotated Team Site Drop Down Menu as of Jan 2021

1. Click on the three dots
2. Select ‘Get link to team’

For students that use the link

A student will be presented with an onscreen prompt screen when they click on the link. They will need to request to join BUT will still need authentication.

When setting up a Team for the first time when would I require a ‘Class’ variety of Team Site

You would need a ‘class’ team site when you want to use a form of a OneNote called Class notebook. This is a very powerful tool however the university does not have a support model in place. Any uses of this feature is at your own risk. Another of the powerful features is the ‘Assignments’ functionality on the Team. The ‘Assignments’ area within a class team is currently disabled by the University.

Members part of the team are called students and teachers. Find out more about the different type of Teams.

Can I manage smaller groups in one Team Site?

The answer is yes. This is mostly done through making channels in the site. These channels being private to a particular group of students and those with higher privileges on the site.

You can create private channels in your team and add users.

Screenshot: Within a Team. Drop down menu. Selecting Add Channel

1. From within the team, click 3 dots and select “Add channel”.

Screenshot: Creating channel options as of Jan 2021

2. When creating the channel select “Private – Accessible only to a specific group of people within the team“ in Private.

3. You will be presented next with a screen to add members of the team who can use this private channel.

Continue on to Part 2 for resources aimed more at our ‘live’ meeting.

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