Microsoft Teams for teaching

Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration tool that supports synchronous web meetings with video/audio, screen sharing and whiteboard; asynchronous discussion; file sharing and it supports the integration of a wide range of external web apps and tools. This guide discusses effective processes in using Teams for teaching.

Teams may be a useful tool for managing student groups, acting in concert with Moodle and Google tools to provide a central group-oriented collaboration space. Teams enables teaching using the “social constructivism paradigm of educational theory” (Martin, L., & Tapp, D. 2019).

If you are unfamiliar with using Teams, the Getting started with Teams guide is useful for understanding the interface and functionality. The Monash Library guide offers an introduction to Teams for students, with links to software and a guide to the interface.

NOTE: Teams is not a replacement for Moodle. All assessment instructions, material, and assessed content should be in or captured in Moodle for retention and administrative purposes.

Microsoft Teams for tutorials and group work

Teams strongly enables student collaboration, through easy sharing and curation of resources, multiple channels for communication, and persistent chat conversations.

Microsoft Teams for creating videos

While Meet Now is primarily a tool for instant video calls, it can be also used for creating video content. The Video meetings and recordings in channel section in the Communication in Teams guide, provides instructions on how to record the videos, create closed captions, blur your background, and delete your video recordings.

The MEI guide on filming tips is also a useful resource that you might consult before filming.

Once you have created the video, you can post it in one or several channels.

Exemplar: FIT5057 Tutorial - Group project

Teams was used for a collaborative activity that prepared students for their group assignment project plan report. The activity provided students with a high level of understanding of the planning processes in project management, as well as sound skills in the use of project planning tools.

Strategy used

The educator’s key task was to create a platform for synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration for each project team. This tool needed to provide opportunities for students to discuss project requirements, share links and documents, create and co-edit the assignment report.

Teams was used as the primary student communication and collaboration tool. A separate team was created for each tutorial.

Students were assigned to large groups (‘group 3’ in the example above) and sub-groups (project teams 111 and 112). Each project team had its own private channel with no access to other team channels.

The channel provided students and educators with one central hub for all the communication relating to the project. The channel had two main tabs: Posts for communication and Files for storing documents, resources and forms.

Student collaboration: The Posts section was used by project team members as a common working space to collaborate with each other and organise small self-managed group meetings.

See below for some examples of collaboration between the students in Group 3.

Example image of students using Teams: Live streaming discussion arranged by a student; Sharing ideas and collaborating; Peer feedback and co-learning

Communication with students: The channel tool provided the educator with one central point to communicate all the project-related details, with clear and concise instructions.

In Teams the educator communicates with the teams via livestream consultations or posts

References

Martin, L., & Tapp, D. (2019). Teaching with Teams: An introduction to teaching an undergraduate law module using Microsoft Teams. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 3(3).

Oana, B. (2020). Refocusing group work on collaborative learning and diversifying assessments in political science departments. European Political Science: EPS, 19(1), 140–157. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-019-00212-6