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  Basics for using Microsoft Teams for the Classroom (for Students)


Microsoft Teams is a tool we use to facilitate communications for your class. Our primary application for courses is CampusNet, which provides the academic information and materials for your course.  You can think of Teams as a kind of communication side-channel.

If your instructor has opted in to Teams for your class, this article will give you an overview of using the main functions of Teams.  It includes information on the various Teams platform versions as well as the controls to use when joining a class meeting over Teams.

Table of Contents

1. Teams Platforms

2. Opening Microsoft Teams for your course

3. Using Teams (Primary Functions and Controls)

4. Location of Teams and Channels

5. Some Important Tips for Using Teams

5a. Expectations for Communications

5b. Teams Channels - New Conversations vs Replying to Posts

5c. The Basics of Meeting in Teams

5d. Notifications and Pinning Posts

1.Teams Platforms:

  • Browser-based:  Uses a window in your browser after logging in with your SEBTS student ID.
  • Desktop App:  A downloadable app for your computer which provides a dedicated Teams application
  • Mobile App:  Phone-based apps available for both iPhones and Android phones.

App Link [Use buttons to select Desktop or Mobile]:  Download Microsoft Teams Apps  

These platforms are quite similar in use, and your information is always kept current on all, so it is easy to move between the platforms as you wish.

If you are an owner of multiple SEBTS accounts (such as a student with a separate staff account), see this article for ways to switch between your Teams accounts:

         Link: For Owners of Multiple SEBTS Accounts: Switching Teams Accounts

2. Opening Microsoft Teams for your course:

  • From your browser, login to office.com with your SEBTS student (9-digit ID) email address and password.
  • In the left side menu pane, click the Teams icon to open Microsoft Teams:

This will open Teams in a new browser tab.  

3. Using Teams (Primary Functions and Controls)

Once the Team for your course section has been automatically created, you will see the class listed on your Teams screen, which is accessed by clicking the Teams icon:  

  (Location: left side on desktop, bottom of screen in Mobile app).

Once you select the Team for your class, on the main screen you will see its Channels.  A newly-created Team will only have one channel: General, which is used for general information about your class and may have class announcements from your instructors.  As Teams is very customizable by the leaders, your instructor may have also created more Channels, which can be for various uses such as a "Qs and As" channel to answer questions, or possibly a Private channel which can be used separately for communication within any class groups your instructor sets up.  Your leaders should inform the class about any expectations and requirements for using the class Team and its Channels as well as what are the typical response time you can expect for communications.

4. Locations of Teams and Channels:

Other sections of Microsoft Teams can be accessed from the icons (on the left in the Browser or Desktop version, and on the bottom of the mobile version).  Here are some of the main sections:

  - Activity:  This shows recent activities in your Channels and Chats.  

  - Chat:  A repository of all of your Teams chats.  You can also use the Search field at the top to find any person in the SEBTS organization in order to start a chat, video call or audio call using the icons at the top right.  If you want to see all the activity for this person in the Teams you have in common, click the More tab at the top and click Activity from the list.

TIP:  Chat Conversations:  The Chat function in Teams is good for communicating one-on-one, or in a small group.  Conversations are displayed serially as they occur, with the latest post at the bottom.  However, there are no conversation threads in Chat, such as those that appear in Channels.

  - Calendar:  Click this icon to view your Outlook calendar.  You also use this section to Join any Meeting or Call for which you are scheduled.

  - Calls:  Shows a listing of your past calls and missed calls, along with controls for making new calls.  On the Browser and Desktop versions you can click the Contacts tab at the top to see all SEBTS contacts.

  - Files:  Shows different views of your Teams files.  You can also click the OneDrive icon to access your OneDrive files.

5. Some Important Tips for Using Teams:

Since Teams is very customizable to fit the needs of you class, how you use it will depend largely on how the Team is set up for your class.  Here are a few tips that can help you work with Teams in general.

5a. Expectations for Communications:

Your instructors are requested to put into the Course syllabus the expectations for how your class Team will be used. One important area is how online communications will be handled.  There are several communication tools in Outlook and Teams, (e.g., Email, Forums, Messaging, Chat).  Your instructor should inform the class which tools will be used for your class, as it would be very cumbersome to allow all methods of communications.

5b. Teams Channels - New Conversation vs Replying to Posts:

In a Channel, you should only use the New Conversation button to start a new topic.  If instead, you want to put your post into a topic that already has a thread of posts, you should click the Reply link that is directly under that thread.  This will keep all posts for that thread topic together.  (See example below).  Once the post is submitted, that thread will be moved to the bottom of the Channel, making it easy to find the latest posts.

5c. The Basics of Meetings in Teams:

If a meeting has been scheduled or started for your class or group, here is how to participate and control your settings:

  • When it is time for the meeting, lick the Meeting icon that appears in your Teams Channel.
  • Click the Join the meeting link or the Join button at the top right.
  • In the meeting screen that appears, prior to clicking the Join now button, you can adjust your audio and video settings with the controls at the bottom.
  • When you are ready to join, click the    Join now    button.
  • After joining, hover your mouse to see the controls at the bottom for controlling your video and audio.
  • Use the other controls and the 3-dot ellipsis to control your view of chat, notes, your preferred screen / gallery settings, etc.
    • The organizer also has the ability to group attendees into separate virtual meeting "rooms", if desired.  If that is done, you will see a 10 second notice on your screen before being moved to your group virtual room.  Chats done in a virtual room will not show in other rooms, however the organizer will be able to see a record of the activities and chats for the various rooms.
  • You can click the red Hang up button to leave the meeting.  Also, the organizer may choose to end it for everyone.
  • If your organizer makes a recording of the meeting, it will be available in your Teams channel under the meeting link.

5d. Notifications & Pinning Posts:  

For information on setting up Notifications for new posts and for Pinning a post to increase its visibility, see this article:  Teams Tips: Notifications settings & Pinning Posts