Teams Meetings: Teaching Online with Teams Meetings

Summary

This article provides some basics on how to use Teams Meetings for teaching.

Body

Summary

Teams is an easy-to-use video conferencing platform that allows for real-time video and screen sharing to hold live class sessions at a distance. USNH has a campus-wide license for Teams which means every faculty, staff and student may use it to host meetings and collaborate! 

You can host meetings with unlimited minutes for up to 1000 participants at once.The features Teams Meetings include:  Screen sharing, breakout rooms, whiteboards, live polls, application sharing, synchronized web browsing, chat, hand raising, and more. To plan an effective online course, familiarize yourself with the various options that may be used during a class.  This article provides some basics on how to use Teams Meetings for teaching. 

 

Getting Started

Teams have many applications in teaching and learning:

  •     Teaching to remote students
  •     Bringing remote presenters into the classroom
  •     Teaching class when you have to be away from campus
  •     Meetings and work sessions for group projects
  •     Office hours
  •     Managing around curtailed operations on campus

Please refer to the following two knowledge base articles to familiarize yourself with Microsoft Teams Meetings:

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Class Collaboration Options for Teaching

These Microsoft Support articles cover common collaboration tools:

  • Screen Sharing allows sharing the contents of your screen with another device or multiple devices. For example, you can share a PowerPoint presentation with your class. 

  • Breakout Rooms creates new, temporary rooms for small group activities during a larger class meeting.

  • The Whiteboard allows instructors and students to share a whiteboard that can be annotated upon.

  • Raising One Hand allows students to place an icon such as a raised hand beside their name to communicate with the teacher.

  • Polling allows the creation of several kinds of polling questions that your students can answer.

 

Pedagogy Considerations

  • A synchronous online class should be engaging and interactive.  To do this, plan on using Teams Meetings' features for students to collaborate with each other and interact with the instructor and content. 

  • Use frequent and varied interaction; 5 to 10-minute intervals (give or take) is a good marker. Use all the tools at your disposal so that the interaction avoids becoming mundane. Polling is an obvious option, but also consider asking students to type in a response to a question or comment using the chat box.  Hand-raising is also a quick and easy way to interact with your attendees.

  • Consider using a blend of small group and individual work. Teams provide the option for students to work in small breakout rooms with screen sharing and chat features.

  • Avoid “death by PowerPoint” – visualize the content:  Text-heavy slides may seem meaningful and informative, but what they actually do is draw attention from the verbal content.  Replace those wall-of-text slides with images, single key terms, or brief phrases that help to drive the content home without distracting from the presentation.

  • Post presentations a week before your class in Canvas.  This practice promotes further thinking and advanced preparation of the content on the part of the students, as many students enjoyed having the notes printed out to follow along during the class sessions.  Additionally, students who have English as a second language often need advanced preparation time to translate the slides. 

 

Preparation Best Practices

Download the Microsoft Teams Desktop Application and set up some test meetings to become familiar with the basic Teams Meetings meeting controls. Review some Microsoft Teams documentation if you're brand new to using Microsoft Teams. 

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Meeting Controls

  • Use the Canvas Application to add Teams Meetings to your course.  Students can join by using the links within Canvas, which just makes everything much easier to find.

  • Try a practice teaching session with a colleague or friend.  Schedule at least 30 minutes a few weeks prior to your first session to review the technology and practice using the Teams Meetings features such as break out rooms, launching polls, etc. It takes practice and time to learn the basics, even if you're used to other web conferencing technology, and to figure out which features you will want to use in a class setting. 

  • Follow a lesson plan and keep some extra material ready for each class in case it goes quicker than expected.  Keep a timer and put time markers in your lesson plan to keep you on track.

  • Pick a good teaching location when you teach your class. This location should be quiet; use an office or conference room away from high-traffic areas.  Place a note on the door letting others know that you are teaching. 

  • Lighting should come from in front and never behind you to avoid casting shadows on your face. One or two lamps set up behind your computer monitor and facing you will accomplish this nicely. Your background should be interesting but not distracting.

  • Change your Teams Meetings settings to set any of your Teams Meetings to record automatically . Doing this will place each recording into your My Recordings area in OneDrive, but it is quite easy to upload these into Kaltura

  • Consider using dual monitors . With a second monitor, you can host the screen sharing on your primary display and move windows like your participants list, chat, Q&A, and polling to a secondary monitor which will give you a greater ability to track everything at a glance. Don’t have dual monitors? Bring a second laptop, make sure it is made a co-host and you can monitor additional features there.

 

Prepare the Students

  • Advise students they should plan to attend the session, and make sure they download the Teams Desktop application  This way they will be able to better see the presentations and interact with other students. 

  • Ask students to install the Teams Desktop application and test their headsets or speakers, cameras, and microphones to ensure that they are working properly.  This should be done in the week before the first session. 

  • Tell the students to use either live video or add a picture to their Teams profile.  

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Explain Class Etiquette Guidelines

  • Remind students to be sure that their background is appropriate while sharing video, along with how their image is displayed to the rest of the class.

  • Explain how you want students to request an opportunity to speak. Will you allow everyone to speak at once, ask them to raise their hands, or submit a question via the chat box?

  • Ask students to turn on their cameras when speaking and keep their microphones muted when they aren’t contributing.

  • Remind students the sessions will be recorded.

  • Students should log in to the session a few minutes early. This will ensure they have time to troubleshoot any software issues. Late arrivals may be distracting to the professor and to fellow students.

  • Ask students to be an active participant. Students can advantage of the expertise and experience of the instructor and your fellow students by asking questions, responding to others' questions and comments, participating in breakout sessions, and providing your inputs to polling questions.

  • Ask the students to be respectful. They can help the chat box be a dynamic and engaging element to the live sessions by keeping their contributions considerate, focused, and thoughtful. Disagreements can be productive to learning, but please disagree in a way that extends the conversation rather than shuts it down.

 

Best Practices When Teaching

  • Start the Teams Meetings session at least 15 minutes prior to the start time.  During this time display a slide or ask questions that will be presented later in the session.  This will help activate each student's prior knowledge of the content.  Another option is to show a greeting screen with any class announcements.  Be available during this time to assist with any technical difficulties. 

  • Open the applications you’ll be using and close the ones you won’t.  Some applications take time to get up and going. If it isn’t critical to show how to launch an application, have all your applications and presentations ready to go.

  • Turn off all meeting reminders, email notifications, and other pop-up screens.

  • Speak slowly and clearly.  Students who have English as a second language may have difficulty understanding.

  • Make eye contact:  Look at your webcam instead of your screen.  This will give the effect of eye contact and visual engagement. Use the gestures and mannerisms that you would typically use in class.

  • Pause your instruction more often to prompt students for questions.  This is especially important if you have muted all of your students' audio.

  • Use annotation to grab and direct attention:  You have a lot of options for drawing, highlighting, making lines and arrows, and more.

  • There is a mute-all button in the Participants list . This is a go-to button when you hear audio feedback. 

    • From the meeting controls, click or tap the Participants icon to reveal a menu.
    • A  panel appears on the top. Note sections in the Participants panel such as "In this meeting," Presenters or Attendees. If sections are collapsed, click or tap each section to show current participants to see if they are muted.
    • If some participants are unmuted, click or tap the Mute All button. 
    • This prompt appears for each section you mute: "Mute everyone? This will mute everyone in the meeting but you."
    • Muted participants will be notified that they have been muted in the meeting.
  • Ask for feedback. You will be most effective when you know what resonates with your students.

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Further Readings

USNH Knowledge Base Articles:

Microsoft Support Documentation :

 

Need additional help?

For assistance concerning site creation, content sharing, file synchronization, or other common SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, or Office app activities, we recommend our Microsoft 365 Learning sites:

Learn more about the great tools our Microsoft 365 Learning sites offer!

Visit the Technology Help Desk Support page to locate your local campus contact information or to submit an online technology support request.  For password issues you must call or visit the Help Desk in person.  

Details

Details

Article ID: 4855
Created
Thu 2/1/24 1:17 PM
Modified
Thu 4/25/24 11:49 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office