How can Microsoft Teams support my online teaching?

Microsoft Teams is the web conferencing tool that enables live online teaching and learning  on Canvas. Every Canvas course can be customised to create a ‘virtual classroom’ for live lectures or tutorials; and to create spaces where smaller groups can meet and collaborate. 

This enables a level of interaction and responsiveness that is not possible with pre-recorded videos. Students can interact via video and microphone, and post comments or questions in the thread. Microsoft Teams is also AUT – supported, meaning that training from ICT is available. 

The challenge lies in understanding the features of Microsoft Teams and how best to use it to support teaching and learning. 

Five Top Tips

  1. Consider whether Microsoft Teams is the right tool for your paper. If the idea is to use it to present a 2-hour lecture, then consider using pre-recorded videos that students can watch in their own time instead.

  2. Microsoft Teams can work seamlessly to facilitate active learning sessions with students, especially smaller class (i.e., not more than 25 students). Think about the activities that students will do and how they could be achieved online. Using ‘Breakout rooms’ is one option. Consider a consultation with altLAB to generate ideas.

  3. For Microsoft Teams sessions to work interactively with larger student numbers, it may be necessary to have two teachers present during the session – one to field and respond to questions in the chat; and to help monitor Breakout rooms.

  4. Clearly communicate times and accessibility steps to your students ahead of the live streaming.

  5. Evaluate how the sessions in Microsoft Teams are supporting student learning. Look for ways to invite feedback from students. Be open to trying new strategies as you explore this means of teaching.

Technical guidance

If you’re new to Microsoft Teams, start with the basics (presenting, sharing files) and slowly bring in the use of more features of the tool. The online module on Canvas (you will need to log onto your Canvas account for access) will guide you through the following topics:

Topic 1: Creating Teams Meetings in the Canvas Calendar

Topic 2: Creating Teams Meetings in your Course Content

Topic 3: Embedding Teams Meeting Recordings in Canvas Courses

Topic 4: Accessing Online Sessions and Recordings as a Student

Topic 5: Using Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams