DigiTip 33: Enable live captions in your MS Teams meetings 💬

Here is your final DigiTip for this academic year but you can catch up on all of our previous DigiTIps from this page. We hope that you’ve found our tips useful, and we’ll be back in September ’24 where we’ll continue support your confidence with technology, one DigiTip at a time!

Do you sometimes struggle in larger meetings to know who is currently speaking? …..“was that Ffion or Bethan?!” Maybe you’re working in a loud environment and are struggling to hear others in the meeting speak? Perhaps you’ve joined a meeting where the language spoken isn’t your first language? Or perhaps you appreciate the accessibility of having subtitles?

If any of the above are true for you, then you will likely find the functionality to enable live captions in MS Teams useful. Watch the video below to learn how to enable live captions:

It’s worth noting a couple of things if you’re using this feature:

  • Live captions are only visible to those that have enabled the feature within the meeting, meaning that if you switch them on, they won’t automatically appear for everyone!
  • Live caption data is permanently deleted after a meeting, so no one will have access to this information.

Visit this webpage for further support and guidance in using MS Teams.

Rock your LinkedIn Profile 🤘🏻

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

As the end of the academic year approaches, you may be starting to think about job prospects and future careers and where to start with this journey. LinkedIn now offer “Rock your Profile” webinars to help you learn how to build an interesting profile that is appealing to your ideal audience as well highlighting key features and best practices for building an engaging profile. These webinars are available at different times of day, register now at: Rock Your Profile (linkedin.com).  

Aberystwyth University Careers service also offer reviews and advice on improving CV’s and LinkedIn profiles. You can access these services through in person drop-ins at Level D Hugh Owen Library during term time, the Careers team are also available via email at: careers@aber.ac.uk. Alternatively, the Careers team also conduct sessions on successfully building a CV and a LinkedIn profile, these sessions are advertised on the career’s portal: www.aber.ac.uk/ABERcareers. We also had a session about how to use LinkedIn at our Digital Skills Festival which you can access here: How to use LinkedIn – Digital Skills Festival 2023 (6 – 10 November) (aber.ac.uk). You can view further resources on LinkedIn through the videos below: 

Boost your productivity in MS Teams 💡 

Blogpost by Sioned Llywelyn (Digital Skills Lead) 

As someone who uses Microsoft Teams every day for work, I’ve discovered a collection of useful keyboard shortcuts and tips that have helped me in navigating the platform more efficiently. Whether you’re a staff member jumping from one meeting to the next, or a student using MS Teams to collaborate on projects or attend virtual lectures, these tips should help you to make the most of MS Teams. 

Keyboard ShortcutDescription
Ctrl+Shift+O Turn off your camera 
Ctrl+Shift+M Mute your microphone 
Ctrl+K Create shorter hyperlinks 
Shift+Enter Start a new line in the chatbox without sending the message 
Summary of the key keyboard shortcuts mentioned in this blogpost

Turn off your camera quickly

There are times when you need to quickly turn off your video during a call, it may be that your bandwidth is limited or there are distractions behind you. Quickly toggle your camera on and off by using the Ctrl+Shift+O shortcut. 

Customise your hyperlinks

Instead of cluttering your messages with lengthy URLs, make use of the Ctrl+K shortcut. This shortcut allows you to customise the displayed text for your hyperlink, making your messages more concise!

Mute your microphone

Background noise can also disrupt meetings (I have two dogs that bark whenever someone rings the doorbell, so this is my most-used shortcut!) Use Ctrl+Shift+M to mute and unmute your microphone swiftly. 

Refine your search results

Teams has an useful search functionality, but sometimes it can yield too many results! Make the most of the available filters to refine your search and to save you time.

Start a new line in the chatbox without sending your message

Typing messages in Teams can be tricky, especially when you want to add line breaks without sending the incomplete message. Use Shift+Enter to start a new line in the chatbox without sending the message prematurely.

Make quick decisions with the polling feature

Do you need to gather opinions or make decisions quickly? If you’re looking to create a poll once you’ve started your meeting, Teams offers a built-in polling feature.

Please note: We suggest that you use Vevox, AU’s polling tool, if you’re looking to set up a poll in advance of your online meeting or session.

Mark messages as urgent or important

Do you want to send an important message on Teams and are worried that it will get lost within a stream of messages? To solve this issue, you can mark any messages as urgent or important in MS Teams.

Do you have any other shortcuts or other general tips when you’re using MS Teams? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Share your tips and shortcuts in the box below

DigiTip 28: How to add comments in collaborative documents online 📃

Are you planning to work on a collaborative group project with your peers or do you want a co-worker to provide you with comments without permanently editing the document?

Today, we will look at how to add comments to collaborative documents that multiple people can edit. By utilising the comment function, others can understand your ideas behind any changes, ask any questions and offer alternatives without affecting the main document.

With the comment function, there are various features you can make the most of – replying to comments, reacting to comments, and resolving them through tracked changes.

Let’s have a look at the video below for a brief demonstration:

N.B. This video was recorded in Microsoft SharePoint. However, the process with SharePoint and OneDrive are very similar to each other.

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week! 

Develop your Digital Communication Skills 📱

Want to learn how to improve your digital communication skills and especially how to use Instagram to promote your Business or Social Enterprise?

AberPreneurs, part of the University’s Careers Service, are running an exciting online event, Instagram for your Business/Social Enterprise – with Kacie Morgan, on Wednesday 24 April (14:10-15:00). This session will be delivered online on MS Teams, and you can join here.

For any queries, please contact aberpreneurs@aber.ac.uk.

Spark new ideas with Ayoa! 🌟

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

As a visual learner, I work best when I can lay all my ideas out in one place. I used to do this through pen and paper but now, with Ayoa I can do this online! Available both online and as a phone app, Ayoa allows you to create mind maps for free. It is a multilingual service, available in both English and Welsh where you can create as many mind maps as you want to help with multiple different projects or even if there is one plan that you want to split up further.  

Features provided within the app include the ability to begin a mind map from scratch or select from one of the pre-created templates. Within this you have full power over customisable features for example, you can add unlimited branches from your centre title and colour code these according to your project and what makes sense to you! You can also fully edit font and text size as well as the sizes and shapes of each box and change the colour of each branch. If you even decide that a series of ideas and branches need to be a different colour you can change these through the “children” function which will subsequently change all formatting along this branch.  

There are also additional features such as being able to insert emoji reactions to each branch and being able to insert or upload images that may help spark further ideas or reinforce points. You can add notes to certain points to add more information. If you want to share your mind map with others, you can export it as a JPEG and PNG and each mind map that you create will be saved to your Ayoa homepage.

These functions are all available on the free version of Ayoa which is permanently free. There is also a paid version of Ayoa (Ayoa unlimited) which has additional features such as the ability to collaborate live on a mind map as well as share mind maps with others in the app itself. You also gain access to different types of boards including whiteboards and task boards.  

For more information view Ayoa now at: Ayoa – Mind Mapping, Whiteboards & Tasks. Powered by AI.

6 Tips for Successful Online Meetings 💻

Blogpost by Noel Czempik (Student Digital Champion)

Banner with Student Digital Champion

In today’s digital age, online meetings have become an integral part of academic and professional life. Whether attending a virtual lecture, collaborating on a group project, or attending a job interview, knowing how to navigate online meetings effectively is crucial for success.

In this blogpost I’m going to share some tips to help you navigate online meetings, and you can also visit this webpage for FAQs and training guidance on using MS Teams.

1) Prepare as you would for an in-person meeting

Online meetings provide the convenience of not needing to leave your house. This comes with the temptation to roll out of bed 5 minutes before the start of the meeting. To give yourself the best chance for success:

  • Dress as you would for an in-person meeting.
  • Give yourself some time to get mentally ready to avoid feeling rushed and get into the right headspace.
  • Take the chance to go over your notes, prepare any questions or gather any files you need to share.

2) Connect early

  • This will give you a chance to resolve any technical issues. Test your software, as it might require updates, causing you to have to restart the app or device.
  • You can use this additional time to ensure that you’re familiar with all the available functions in MS Teams, such as the chat, raise-your-hand, screen sharing and live captions functions.

3) Curate your visuals

Here are the top tips for making a positive, professional impression:

  • Choose a laptop over a phone or a tablet if possible. This can help with image stability, as well as allows you to take notes more freely. If you can’t access a laptop, consider using a device stand.
  • Position your camera at eye level, as this will result in the most natural-looking image.
  • Look at the camera rather than the screen when talking, particularly in group meetings. This is as close as you can get to making an eye contact.
  • Ensure that you have good lighting.
  • Choose the right background. Follow this FAQ for instructions on how to add a virtual background.
Screenshot showing the various virtual background that can be added in MS Teams
Virtual background and effects available in MS Teams

4) Optimise your audio

  • Opt for a carpeted and furnished room, if possible. This will result in a warmer, more natural sound without an echo effect.
  • If possible, use a headset instead of the built-in microphone to help improve with the quality of your audio.
  • Keep your microphone muted when you’re not speaking to prevent any unwanted noise.

5) Minimise distractions

  • Choose private, quiet spaces over communal or public spaces.
  • Silence notifications and inform others not to be disturbed if necessary.
  • There may be times when you need to step away from the meeting (e.g. if someone rings the doorbell), in which case let the people in the meeting know by leaving a brief message in the chat.

6) Mind What You Share

If you need to share your screen during the meeting it’s always better to share a specific window rather than your entire screen, but there may be occasions where this is unavoidable. In which case:

  • Close any irrelevant tabs.
  • Mute or close programs to avoid notifications or other pop-ups. Or alternatively, turn on the do not disturb mode.
  • Move, rename, or delete any sensitive bookmarks or files.
  • Consider deleting your cookies and search history if your browser shows previous searches or uses auto-fill.

Begin a new chapter – Apps to help your reading habits 📖

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

With the advancement of phones and technology there’s now an app for everything – including reading! As an avid reader I like to challenge myself with yearly goals, discuss books with fellow readers and gain reading stats. With my top three reading apps – all of these are possible! 

  1. Goodreads  

Goodreads is great for tracking your current reads and staying on track for your reading goals.  

  • Set yourself a yearly reading challenge and Goodreads will tell you whether you’re on track. 
  • Track your current reads to see how far through you are.
  • Receive a badge if you reach your goal. 
  • View books you’ve read in previous years. 
  • Create reading shelves for your needs like “want to read”. 
  • Scan book covers instead of searching for them. 
  • Discover new books based on your recent reads, new releases and trending books.  

Read More

DigiTip 18 – Express yourself with Emojis with the hidden keyboard shortcut 🥳🤩💖

Emojis have become an essential part of how we communicate, and they can be fantastic for expressing our emotions with just a single character 🥰🤣🙄🤯😴 

Most of us will be more familiar with using emojis on our mobile phones 📱, but there will be times when we’ll want to include emojis when using our laptops or computers 💻. Instead of googling for the emoji you need, why not access it directly from your keyboard!? 

On both Windows and Mac, you can access your emoji keyboard in seconds by selecting: 

  • Windows – Windows Key + “.” (period button/full stop) 
  • Mac – Command Key + Control + Spacebar 

Watch the video below to see how this shortcut works on a Windows device. 

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!

DigiTip 10 – Brainstorm new ideas using the whiteboard in MS Teams 💡

Do you need to brainstorm new ideas with your peers for a group assignment? Or perhaps you have a work project that you want to discuss new ideas for with colleagues? The whiteboard in Microsoft Teams is a fantastic tool for this and provides you with a range of templates to choose from.  

Watch the video below to learn how to get started, or please click on this link if you wish to view the below video with closed captions.

We’ll also be showing how to use the whiteboard during our Mastering group work with online tools and strategies session this afternoon (7 November, 15:00-16:00) as part of the Digital Skills Festival! You can join this session directly from the festival programme.

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!