Using Teams for online classes - preparing for your first lesson
Created on October 28, 2020
A short guide on how to prepare for your first Academic Support Class on Teams.
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Using Teams for online classes
How to get ready for your first lesson
If you'd like to learn more about how use Teams during a class, click on this button!
Here you can access different channels that you may use in your lessons. Lessons will mostly take place in general channel, but you may be asked to go to other groups for specific tasks.
If your tutor asks you to join Group 1 it is really easy to swap the group and join a second meeting. Just click on the name of the group you are supposed to join (e.g. Group 1) and you will be taken to a new page.
The group highlighted in grey is the one you are currently in so it's really easy to spot if you are in the right group at any moment. In the example above the student is currently in Group 1 doing some work with others students.
The little camera icon shows if there's a meeting currently taking place in any group. It is possible for you to join more than one class/call at a time. For example if you are in the main lesson in general channel, you do not have to leave to join your friends in Group 1.
You can easily switch between them clicking on the Play button (see below) if you want to swap calls. This will put you on hold in the meeting you are in and you will be able to join the other group quickly and easily.
The Meet button is one that you can use to start a new meeting/video call. It also gives you an option to schedule a meeting on a specific date and time and sends invites. It's useful for setting up meetings for group-projects.
Once you open the drop down menu you'll have 2 options.
Meet now will immediately start a meeting in the current group. Any other member of the group will be able to see that the meeting has started and will be able to join it.
Schedule a meeting allows you to create a scheduled meeting for a specific time and date and allows you to invite any people you'd like to attend. They will get an invitation e-mail and will be able to accept it to show you that they will attend the session.
The picture belows shows you all the options for setting up Scheduling a meeting. This function can be really useful to set up a meeting if you need to work in a group.
Here you will see all of the messages and communication that you tutor will use throughout the lesson. This is also the space in which you will be able to join a class that your tutor will start every day.
As you can see on the example below if there's a meeting currently running on a channel you can join it by clicking the Join button.
Similarly, this page will also show you any scheduled meetings that have been set up ahead of time. You will be able to add that meeting to your schedule and join it once it starts. This page is the main space where most of the messages will be seen.
Remember that everything you write on this page is visible to all members of this team, that means the tutors and other students will be able to see anything you write here.
Activity allows you to see the most recent activity on your Teams. Whether it's a message someone sent to you, a file that has been uploaded a or mention of you in one of the teams, you can quickly check what happened since your last visit here.
The chat function is something that you should get familiar with as you are likely to use it on a regular basis.
The chat function works exactly as it sounds. It's a direct chat message similar to What's App, QQ, or WeChat which allows you to write to a specific person directly. This is the best way to contact your tutor if you have an issue or would like some help.
Writing here makes sure that only you and the person you are writing to can see the messages so your conversation is kept private.
This option will show you all of the Teams that you are part of. It allows you to go between teams in a quick and simple way.
Assignments allows you to look at all of the tasks and homework that you have been asked to complete. It will provide you with a list of all the assignments given to you by your tutor, along with their deadlines and any necessary information.
This is also the place where you can submit your completed work for grading.
Calendar is very useful for organising your time and checking your schedule. You can add events, meeting, classes and tutorials here to organise your timetable and get all of the information you need in one place.
If you have been invited to any of the scheduled meetings you will also be able to join them from the calendar once the meeting starts.
Calls function allows you to make direct calls to any of your contacts. If you'd like to call your classmate to ask about some homework, or call your tutor for advice this is function that you can use.
A polite thing to do before calling is to ask someone on the chat whether they are free to take your call as they may be busy or in a meeting and unable to answer. This could be distracting so a quick message to ask if a person is available for a quick call is always a good idea.
Files allows you to see any of the files that have been uploaded and made available to you via Teams or OneDrive. Here you will be able to access any documents and files you, your classmates or your tutors uploaded and made available for you to access.
Click on the buttons on the left to learn more about them.
This button allows you to add a number of additional apps to your Teams. You can find an app or just browse through the available apps in here and add them to the menu on the right side of your teams. If you are a fan of using a Planner, or perhaps would like to add some other app that you use, you can do it here.
The bar on the right remains the same and gives you access to all of the options you that have been introduced earlier.
Click on each of the buttons below to learn more about their function.
Here you can see all of the participants in a call. Top part shows you who is already in that call, the bottom gives you list of suggested members for the call.
Here you will be able to see people in your meeting/call if they switch on their cameras. Remember, you should have your camera switched on throughout the whole lesson!
This shows you how long is this call. It's useful to make sure you don't run over the allocated time and helps with time management.
This button allows you to switch on and switch off your camera. Depending whether the camera icon is crossed off or not, it indicates whether you have your camera on or off.
This means your camera is switched on. Remember that during your lessons, your camera should be switched on at all times.
This means that you camera is switched off. If you click it, it will turn your camera on and your teacher and your classmates will be able to see you.
Similarly to the camera this button allows you to mute and unmute your microphone. If you see this icon (see below) it means that your microphone is on and people can hear you.
On the other hand if you see this icon, your microphone is switched off and no one will be able to hear you speak.
During the lesson it is best to have your microphone muted (switched off) and only switch it on when the tutor asks you a question. This allows you to listen carefully and not distract the others with any sounds that you may have in your background. For example if you have pets, it's not the best idea to get everyone distracted when your dog starts barking around. If you microphone is muted, no one will hear anything.
It's really important that you remember to mute and unmute your microphone during classes as necessary. Most of the time have it switched off. If your tutor asks you a question, unmute it, answer the question and mute it back. It's really easy to build that habit if you start doing it right from the beginning
This button allows you to share your screen with others. This means that you can show what you can see on your computer with others. When you click on this button a new menu will show on the bottom (see example below).
From that menu you can choose what you want to share:
Desktop - will share everything you see on your screen. What you see and do on the screen will be visible to everyone.
Windows - will share a specific window you use. For example if you are writing something in Word, you can just share that specific window and people can only see that document and nothing else. This is the best way to share your screen.
PowerPoint - allows you to share your PPT slides if you are delivering a presentation.
Whiteboard - is exactly what is says, it's a blank white screen with options to use your screen like a whiteboard in a classroom.
Once you are done with sharing click on this button again to end it.
This button opens an additional menu with extra settings regarding the meeting. You can do a number of things, one of the most useful one's are adding a background effect and recording the meeting.
You can play around with other options to see what they do but in this guide I will explain the two main ones to you.
Start recording allows you to record the call. Be aware that if you would like to record a meeting you must get permission from all of the members. You can't record a lesson without asking your tutor about it first. It's a great option to practice your presentations and seminars as you can record them and watch them back to see how well you have done and what else you may need to improve.
Show background effects allows you to add a background to your camera. If you don't want others to see your room you can add a background to your camera so they can only see you and nothing else. There is a number of background to chose from, from a simple blur to special one's. You may want to ask your tutor if you want to use some of the silly ones. They may find it distracting.
As you can see in the example below there is a number of background to chose from. Just chose the one you like and click apply and you're done!
This button allows you to raise your hand. Once you click on it a hand icon will appear next to your name in the participants list.
This is the best way to indicate to your tutor that you have a question that you would like to ask without interrupting them. Sometimes your tutor may also ask you to use this to indicate that you have completed a task and you are ready to continue.
This button opens the chat function for the particular meeting. This is not the same as your personal chat from the left side of your screen. This chat is one that is shared with everyone in the meeting. Anything you write here will be visible to everyone in the call.
You can use chat function to answer some questions asked by the tutor or send some pictures or files. Some tutors may ask you to use it in classes, so make sure to try it out and get familiar with it. It's really simple so I'm sure you'll be fine
This button shows the participants list. Once you click on it a menu will show on the right side of the screen which shows all of the participants in the current call, meeting or a class. That's the tab that is open in the picture on the main screen. You can see all of the participants here.
If you use the 'Raise hand' function it will show up here next to your name for your tutor to see .
This button allows you to leave the call. Once the lesson is over and the class is finished click here to close the call.
Remember that you do not have to leave the call if you have to if you want to join another group or another call. Teams allows you to have up to 4 calls at the same time. If you join another call you will be put on hold in the current one. People won't see or hear you, but they will know you are still there just likely attending to another group at the moment.