2022 UPDATE:  For the latest articles and videos for using Microsoft Teams as a student at Southeastern, see this Helpdesk folder:   Teams for Classrooms

What is Teams?

Teams is a business communication platform for messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing, presentations, and file collaboration. Yes, it does a lot.

  • Chat for individual and group messaging
  • Teams for departmental file sharing and conversations, organized by channels (sub-groups) with threads (conversations) & replies.
  • Calls for voice or audio calling between Teams users. Calling can be used on any desktop or mobile device with a microphone and camera.
  • Files for your SEBTS OneDrive storage. Open a file right from Teams.

Why Now?

Teams is likely the future of business communication for many organizations, including SEBTS. We have made significant effort to accommodate remote work conditions including personal and departmental file migration to OneDrive. Together, Teams and OneDrive free up campus hardware dependency and provide a universal platform for accessing resources while off-campus.

Why Should You Care?

  • Teams can essentially replace email for internal communication. You can even add attachments (click the paperclip icon).
  • Teams is real-time. Users can even see when another member is typing their reply (like other messaging apps).
  • Teams displays your colleague's status. You will know if they are available, away, in a meeting, in a call, or in do not disturb mode. 
  • Teams centralizes most of your common tasks for day-to-day communication and meeting needs.


Here are some settings each user should configure as soon as you start using Teams.

1. Download Teams desktop app here

You can use teams in a browser if you're in a pinch, but we recommend using the dedicated app. Also available for mobile.

2. Join the Teams Tips Team to receive ongoing updates as we discover or add features

Select Teams in your sidebar, then click the button in the bottom left-hand corner:

Enter the code AL6U497, then join team

3. Change your default Teams view to see all Teams and channels at once

If you are a member of multiple teams, the default layout is likely not ideal. A bold channel name is the only indication of activity. Instead...

  • click Teams (1), 
  • then the settings gear (2), 
  • then switch view (3).

Then, choose List view and close the window:


4. Enable channel notifications

By default, you will not receive notifications when a conversation is happening within a team channel.

Then choose Banner and Feed, then include all replies

5. Watch some super-helpful training videos by Microsoft:

Click here to visit the site


1. Use channel replies to keep conversations together

In Team channels, use the "reply" feature to allow multiple conversations at once. The alternative is an ongoing chat with a completely linear conversation like text messaging. It's easy to lose track of conversations.

2. Don't type [enter] when composing a long message

By default, [enter] will send the message. Instead type [shift] + [enter] to add a new line.

3. Optionally use the Teams calendar to schedule meetings instead of Outlook

Don't worry -- your Teams meetings will still show in Outlook. When you create a new meeting within Teams, it assumes a team call. You and the other party can click "JOIN NOW" when the meeting time arrives within Teams. You do not need to schedule an Outlook appointment and then scramble to figure out how to or who should initiate the Teams call. 

Bonus tip: You can add the meeting to a channel to include all members instead of typing them out manually. This will also post a message to the channel about the meeting.

Teams Management (for owners)

When you create a team, you become the proud owner of that team. You will be prompted to add members at that point. Here are some things you can do with your team.

1. Add channels to keep your team organized

Select the 3-dots menu next to your team, then add channel. By default, all channels are public and will be seen by all members and owners of your team. Recommended: choose to "Automatically show this channel in everyone's channel list."

If you want to create a private channel for a limited selection of members, choose Private instead of Standard. Remember: the creator of a private channel will be the owner of that channel and have access to all conversations within it. In the case of multiple Teams owners, for example, it is possible to have a channel that is only visible to some (not all) owners and some members. (You might need to read that a few times to get the idea).

2. A note about Private Channels

If you are the owner of a Team and a member creates a private channel that does not include you, you will see the channel but not the contents of the channel. Furthermore, you will not be able to add yourself as a member or owner. This is an intentional feature that gives users an appropriate sense of privacy.