What is Teams?
Teams is an online collaboration tool from Microsoft. A ‘team’ is a dynamic workspace that allows members work together and interact in one place. A team is made up of ‘channels‘ in which you and your students can:
- Post chat messages and have conversations,
- Store and share links, images and files,
- Hold meetings for interactive sessions and presentations,
- Be notified about activity.
Are there restrictions on use of Teams for Teaching and Learning?
Where Teams is used for teaching and learning, Blackboard (or Canvas) must remain the central hub for the delivery of:
- Core learning content,
- Essential academic module communications (do not use Teams calendar or channels for essential module communications),
- Summative assessment submission and feedback,
- Copyrighted materials, for examples scanned articles made available in the Talis Reading List.
Use with students
Teams can be used with students, in conjunction with Blackboard, for the following purposes:
1. as a webinar solution for live interactive online sessions (for example, seminars)
- Links to interactive online sessions must be displayed in Blackboard modules. See How to make online interactive sessions available to students for general advice on procedures, and a feature comparison between Teams and Blackboard Collaborate.
- Both Collaborate and Teams offer the ability to create breakout groups, although they work in different ways:
Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams
Blackboard Collaborate: Using Breakout Groups
- If you require a webinar solution featuring auto live captioning Teams offers this functionality (whereas Collaborate does not).
2. as an ad hoc screencast tool (for example, to record quick and simple lecture presentations)
- TEL provides guidance for MS Teams: Making a recording. Poor internet connectivity will affect quality of the recording – see internet connectivity and key considerations before making a Teams recording.
- For more recording options; see Recording tools for university staff and a useful Features comparison of PowerPoint vs Teams recording
3. as a space for informal collaboration between students (for example, Group work and file sharing)
- Staff can request a new Team space for informal use with students; with the option to auto-enrol members from a single module code and/or manually add Team members.
- Where the space is used for Teaching and Learning, it is recommended that a member of staff is the Team ‘owner’. Note; ‘essential’ learning content must be shared via Blackboard.
- Team owners can assign members to specific channels for collaboration, these can be made private to restrict access.
- Team channels have their own ‘open’ meeting room, which can be joined at any time by Team members (or channel members only, if set to ‘private‘). The channel meeting room posts a historical meeting chat/file sharing to the channel feed, after the meeting has ended.
- Students can access their Teams space or channel meeting rooms by:
– setting up the Teams mobile app,
– via the automatic email notification received when added to a new Team
– Team owners can copy a joining link (for example, a link for joining a Team, specific channel or a channel meeting room), and displaying on their Blackboard module. This will ensure all students have a central hub through which to access collaborative working, group work or projects occurring on Teams.
Recording policies relating to the use of Teams in Teaching and Learning
- Policy for the Recording of Teaching and Learning Activities (Learning Capture)
- Retention Schedule for Recorded Content
- Student Policy on the Recording of Online Teaching and Learning Activity
- For information about privacy of all users regarding call recording and etiquette for chat and calls see the DTS University of Reading guidelines for using Microsoft
Staff who use Teams with their students need to be self-supporting.
Sources of support for using Teams.
Technical support for MS Teams and Office 365 tools is provided by Digital Technology Services (DTS). Please email DTS@reading.ac.uk.
Further info about Teams