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Microsoft Teams for Education

MS Teams is an app to help you collaborate, communicate, and share files in a single area with a select group of people. You can manage access for the entire Team and create Channels or Groups to allow sub-sets of members or students to work and communicate on different topics.  One Team type that you can select to assist you in managing a class is simply called “Class.” This Team type will help you run classes and meetings, share files, manage assignments, and assign students to workgroups. The Teams for Education Class type comes prepopulated with 5 work areas, General, Posts, Files, Class Notebook, Assignments, and Grades.  

Teams has the following limitations on the numbers of people who can participate: 

  • Private chat: 250 people 
  • Meeting: 300 people 

Note for privacy: There is no way to suppress your personal information from other team members within a Team. Participants will see your email address and phone number if that information is available within the University of Tennessee’s online directory. 

Get Started 

Sign in to Microsoft 365 with your NetID and Password, and select the Teams icon 
Note: If you have not used Teams before, you may need to select All Apps to locate Teams.

  1.  After you have opened Teams, select the Teams icon on the left side of the Teams interface. Any Teams that you are already a member of should now be visible to you.  
  2. Create a Class Team. View detailed instructions here


Channel provides focused areas where you can chat, share files, and post assignments within a Team.

Each Channel can be built around a topic such as a class project or a learning unit discussion. Perhaps you want a Channel where students can ask questions. If so, create a Channel called “Class Q&A.”  Learn how to create and use Channels

Channels are typically open to everyone on the Team. But if you would like to create a Channel for lab groups or each section of a merged class so that students in those groups can interact with one another, you’ll need to create a private Channel or set up a separate Chat discussion in the Chats app.

To learn how to set up a private Channel with a sub-set of a larger group, see this knowledge base article.

Each Channel has a Files tab associated with it.  When your Class Team was created, Microsoft also created a Group in the background. Documents saved to the Files tab within a specific Channel will be associated only with that Channel. 

Communicate with Students 

Use Channels to:
Post text-based messages, share files, or stream live lectures for your entire class. Posts can be text or video, you can not do a Voice Over Internet call using a Channel.

Use Chat to:
Set up online office hours to meet one-on-one with a student or set up Chats to have discussions with small student groups. Chats can be text, Voice Over Internet calls, or video calls. 

You can add additional people to a Chat after it has already been set up. You can choose whether they see the chat history, how much, or at all. Learn more about adding to chat

Deliver Course Content 

Share files with your students. Check out this five-minute video for sharing files in Teams

Or see our instructions for uploading files to your channel

Notify the Entire Class and Post Announcements 

You can make announcements and send notifications so all your students see them. Additionally, you can mark a message as important to make sure it’s not missed. 

Notifications are a message that tags everyone in the team. They will receive a notification that a message is waiting for them. Learn more about notifications.  

Announcements are a better way for people to see your post in chat. Use an announcement for notifying students that an assignment has been posted or something of interest to your group is happening. Learn more about announcements

Files can be uploaded into each Chat Channel. A Channel is like a specific conversation you set up in your team. Learn how to upload files.  

Assign and Assess

Using Microsoft Teams, you can set up collaboration tools, hold office hours where you will be available for one-on-one chats with your students, and create assignments and quizzes.  

Learn how to set up a collaboration tool and create assignments and quizzes 

Encourage Student Participation 

In addition to all the ways you can communicate with your students using Microsoft Teams, we’ve provided some instructions to make it easy for your students to join the Team and complete assignments. 

Student Instructions for uploading assignments 

Student instructions for joining a Teams Class 

LinkedIn Learning Resources for Microsoft Teams 

In this LinkedIn Learning Collection (link above), you’ll find fifteen different Courses and Videos relating to the different features and capabilities available within Microsoft Teams. Here are the titles of different videos and courses: 

  • Learning Microsoft Teams for Education 
  • Microsoft Teams for Educators 
  • Microsoft Teams Essential Training 
  • Create Teams and Add Members  
  • Create a New OneNote Notebook in teams  
  • Share Files and Resources with Your Class 
  • Three Ways to Share Files in Teams  
  • Post Messages to Teams and Channels  
  • What is Microsoft Teams 
  • Copy a Presentation from OneDrive to Microsoft Teams 
  • Creating and Saving a New Presentation in Microsoft Teams 
  • Manage Collaborative Conversations with Teams 
  • Keyboard Shortcuts in Teams 
  • Add a News Article or Page to a Teams Channel 
  • Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks 

Download the App 

OIT recommends downloading the Teams desktop application from here:

Get the mobile app to have access to all your Chats, Files, and Teams. Available for download free from the Apple® App Store or Google Play