MS Teams: 10 Common Questions

Following training sessions that we have conducted over the past few weeks on using MS Teams for learning and teaching activities, here are answers to 10 common questions. Further information on using MS Teams can be found in our Microsoft Teams FAQs, and please do not hesitate getting in touch with us if you have any further queries (lteu@aber.ac.uk).

Q1: If I am sharing my screen can I still see the chat function?
A1: Unfortunately, unless you have two screens then this will not be possible. You could either ask a student to monitor the chat for you or you could stop sharing your screen from time to time to check what has been posted in the chat. There are some advanced share screen options that may enable you to see the chat in some instances, and we’re happy to discuss these with you further.

Q2: I would like to add an external individual from outside Aberystwyth University to one of my ‘teams’ within MS Teams, is this possible?
A2: It is possible to add external individuals who have an Office 365 account with an ac.uk domain, but any external individual who has an email account that is not an ac.uk address will need to complete a request form to have their domain added to AU Teams access. Alternatively, you could set up meetings with external individuals through MS Teams without having to request access.

Q3: After recording a meeting, how would I access the recording and how long is it available for?
A3: After ending a meeting the recording will appear in the meeting’s chat and this will be available to download for 22 days. Please familiarise yourself with the University’s Lecture Capture Policy for details on what type of sessions are appropriate to record.

Q4: Can I upload a recording of an MS Teams meeting to Blackboard?
A4: Yes, after downloading the recording from the meeting chat onto your device, you can upload it to Panopto and then provide a link (or an embedded video) on the module folder in Blackboard, the same way as you would for any other lecture recording.

Q5: Is there an option to exclude someone from a recording? For example, if a certain individual does not want to appear on the recording?
A5: Firstly, you could ask all individuals who do not wish to appear on the recording to turn off their cameras and microphones. Secondly, you could stop the recording to take questions or comments from any individuals who do not wish to appear on the recording and then re-start the recording after taking these questions or comments. Please familiarise yourself with our guidance on recording Teams sessions.

Q6: Can I mute and unmute other participants in a meeting?
A6: From the participants list in a meeting, you can mute a specific participant or select the “mute all” button. This can be very useful for limiting background noise. You can neither unmute all or individual participants. The participants need to unmute themselves.

Q7: If I am presenting a PowerPoint slide in a meeting, will students still be able to see me as I lecture?
A7: Yes, if your camera is on then your image will appear in the bottom right hand side of the student’s screen. You don’t need to select any specific function, this will happen automatically.

Q8: If I use the Whiteboard feature in a meeting, can I keep a copy of what was written/drawn on the Whiteboard?
A8: Yes, you’re able to export the whiteboard as an image following the session or alternatively you could take a print screen of the whiteboard.

Q9: When are breakout rooms being introduced in MS Teams?
A9: Microsoft have advised that breakout rooms will be introduced in October 2020. We will release guidance on using this functionality once it has become live. In the meantime, if you really do need to use breakout rooms then there is a workaround to this by using Teams and Channels, but it is very labour intensive. We would suggest that if you can wait for when the functionality becomes live then it is better to do so.

Q10: What is the maximum number of participants you can see on the screen at one time?
A10: Currently the maximum number of participants you can see on the screen at any one time is 49 (in a 7×7 format).

Using the Whiteboard Feature in Microsoft Teams

In this blogpost we will be taking a look at one of the tools available to make your teaching in a Microsoft Teams session more interactive. The Whiteboard is a space where you and your students can collaborate.

The whiteboard can be used for:

  1. Students sharing ideas or thoughts
  2. Talking your students through a complicated diagram
  3. Mind-mapping ideas or concepts
  4. Sharing or charting a complex process

There’s a great video on using the Whiteboard in Teams by The Virtual Training Team: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDqtWRu0rTA

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