This article is written for staff using Channels to provide dedicated online spaces for collaboration and meetings between students. See the Microsoft video Introduction to Channels for a quick overview of functionality.
Setting up Channels:
Please note, all Team spaces have a ‘general’ channel:
- cannot be renamed, reordered or deleted.
- can be open for all to post, or restricted so that only owners can post messages to the general channel.
- After requesting a Team, owners are responsible for creating channels, naming them and assigning channel membership (as needed).
- It is recommended that Team owners customise membership permissions within the Team to prevent members from deleting or adding unwanted Channels, see: Manage team settings and permissions.
- A summary of Channel membership and activity can be seen in show Channel info.
- Channels can be open to all members of a Team or made ‘private’ (viewable by certain members only). For info, see: Teams can have standard or private Channels or the video Create and use private Channels. Please note; Team owners have access to all Channels.
- Before choosing to implement private Channels, see Private Channels in Microsoft Teams for considerations. For example, a single Team can have 30 private channels maximum.
Share a link to a Channel:
Owners and members can copy the ‘link’ to a Channel and share via Blackboard or Outlook to direct others to the space. Please check permissions of your Team space if requiring guest access to a Channel, see Manage team settings and permissions
Communicating via Channels:
Blackboard remains the central hub for T&L, and the core platform through which students expects to receive T&L communications and learning content. If requiring a meeting space for delivering online live interactive session, please see how to make online interactive sessions available to students.
Channel meeting rooms:
- Every Channel has its own ‘open’ meeting room; members and Team owners can join at any time. The advantage of using the Channel meeting room (as opposed to a standard Teams meeting space) is that a record is posted in the corresponding Channel (the record includes the meeting date, duration, chat messages, file exchanges and links to any meeting recordings that have been made). Any Channel member or Team owner can access the historical record, it is displayed in the Channel posts.
- A link to access the Channel meeting room can be found within the Team space; it can be copied and posted in Blackboard to direct students to join a specific Channel meeting room.
‘Schedule a channel meeting room’:
- Team owners and channel members can ‘schedule’ a reminder to join the Channel meeting room at a future date/time. Please note; this option will not send an email to Channel members; individual email addresses must be manually added to the invite. It may be quicker to set up Outlook email groups or copy the meeting room joining link and display via Blackboard.
- It is recommended to use Blackboard to share links for sessions that include staff/student interaction.
- The event will post in the Team calendar.
Please note: Private channels do not allow scheduling of channel meeting rooms, however, a link to the meeting room can still be accessed, copied and shared to other online spaces for access i.e. copy link and paste within an Outlook invite or on Blackboard.
It is possible to cross post a new Channel conversation (including files and links).
Manage Channel notifications
Individual users can customise their own notification settings for Channels. See Microsoft support video: Show or hide channels or Show or hide a team or channel (MS article)