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 employees to work and communicate on different topics. A typical Team comes prepopulated with a single channel: General. Channels start with a few standard tabs:
- Posts: Text-based conversation can be sent within Channels and will show up under the Posts tab for each Channel.
- Files: Uploaded files are associated with each Channel and will show up under the Files tab. In a Team that was created using an Office 365 group, these uploaded files will also be available in OneDrive in the Office 365 group with a folder of the same name.
- Staff Notebook: Notebooks can be used to set up a OneNote, digital notetaking app for all members of the Team to use and collaborate.
Teams has the following limitations on the numbers of people who can participate:
- Private Chat: 100 people
- Meeting: 250 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 your phone number, if that information is viewable within the University of Tennessee online directory.
Log on to Office 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.
- 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.
- Create a Team. View detailed instructions within the OIT Knowledge Base.
- OIT recommends, if you have an existing Group within Office 365, to convert the Group to a Team. View the instructions on Linking a team to an existing Office 365 group in LinkedIn Learning.
A Channel provides focused conversation and file sharing within a Team. Create Channels for different groups in your team based on projects or team functions. Learn how to create and use Channels.
Each Channel is built around a topic like “Projects” or “Newsletter Articles” where you can have conversations about those topics and share related files. Perhaps you want a Channel where team members can ask questions, if so, create a channel called “Q&A”.
Each Channel has a Files tab associated with it. When your 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.
The Chat App: Keeping Chats Organized
The Chat app, available within the Teams app is used when chatting with different members of your team or staff from anywhere within the University of Tennessee. You can easily end up with many conversations, making tracking and locating conversations challenging. Imagine a team of 5 individuals sharing information throughout the day. You could have as many as 120 different conversation combinations.
Pin a Chat: If you have Chats that you to return to frequently, pin them to the top of your Chat list. This will prevent them from getting buried among the various Chats you might have with your co-workers. Learn how to pin a chat from our knowledge base article.
Re-name a Chat: Title each Chat to provide context for your various conversations. Do you have three people you usually communicate with regarding administrative tasks? Re-name your Chat with those three people “Administrative Tasks.” To rename a Chat, check out our OIT Knowledge Base article.
COMMUNICATE WITH STAFF
You can use Teams to communicate with your whole office, create breakout rooms, create project teams, have video-based chats, and more. Chats can be text, voice over internet calls, or video calls.
Within a Team, you can have conversations within the Channels. The General Channel includes all team members. Each Channel can be a focused conversation.
Use Channels for:
- Creating breakout rooms to communicate with smaller groups.
- These breakout rooms are great for setting up collaborations based on project assignments or services areas. Members can text, call, or video call within their small group.
Each Channel includes a Files tab. Members can upload files to their shared work area that will only be available to members of that chat.
Use Chats to:
- Communicate with individual co-workers. You can set up Chat sessions, phone calls, or video meetings with one person.
- You can add people to a Chat after it has been set up. You can choose whether they see the Chat history, how much, or at all. Learn more about adding people to a Chat.
COLLABORATE WITH THOSE OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY
You can add individuals who are external to the University to your Teams as guests. The guest can participate in both Teams and Channels, receive and respond to Channel Posts, access files within Channels, participate in communication, join video meetings, and collaborate on documents.
Share files with your co-workers. Check out this five-minute video for sharing files in Teams.
Or see our instructions for uploading files to your channel.
NOTIFY YOUR WHOLE GROUP AND POST ANNOUNCEMENTS
You can make announcements and send notifications, so all your co-workers 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 all your co-workers about something they need to do. 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.
LinkedIn Learning Resources for Microsoft Teams
In this LinkedIn Learning Collection, 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: https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads.