Teaching with Microsoft Teams

18 January 2023

Microsoft Teams has replaced Zoom as Lincoln University's supported form of live video conferencing. This week’s tip will focus on the applicability of Teams to your teaching.

There are three common use-cases:

  1. Online – Delivering a synchronous online class where you and all your students are meeting at the same time on Teams. Note that “online” in this context may mean an online course as part of the Lincoln Connected programme, or simply an online component in an otherwise in-person course.
  2. Hybrid – Delivering a synchronous class where some of your students are in-person and some are online via Teams.
  3. Group facilitation – Fostering asynchronous discussion by creating a group for your class and using Teams’ “channels” to subdivide the class into groups, allowing group members to collaborate on a piece of assessment.
Teams for Online Teaching

Student engagement is difficult, and attention spans are short. No one wants to sit in front of a screen and listen to an hour-long lecture. As an inherently one-way form of communication, lecturing can sometimes feel like talking into a void. That void gets even larger online. When you have students online, the key question to ask yourself is: What is the best use of my online session?

Perhaps counterintuitively, small group discussions can be more effective online than in-person. Using the breakout rooms feature in Teams means each group has its own digital space, and the lecturer can move between groups with the click of a button. And once the lecturer wants everyone to return to the same room, another click of a button and it’s done – much less herding of people required.

Here are a few additional tips to create student engagement in your online class session:

  1. Start class with an icebreaker. Ideas to Engage Students on Teams has a few ideas for prompts you can pose to your students to ease them into learning.
  2. Poll your class, using a student response system such as Polly (a Teams app). Questions should be relevant to the course content and be used to drive the conversation. Here’s a short video demonstration of Polly:



Teams for Hybrid Teaching

If you have on-campus students as well as off-campus students, you may decide to deliver your class in a hybrid format that allows both groups of students to participate at the same time.

While Teams makes this modality of teaching possible from a technical standpoint, it is not easy from a pedagogical or administrative perspective. An alternative is to deliver separate face-to-face and online class sessions. However, there may be situations where a hybrid delivery is the best option for you or your students.

If you are thinking of delivering in a hybrid format, come along to our “Building confidence with hybrid delivery” workshop on 7 February to learn some tips to make this format work for you and your students.

Teams for Asynchronous Discussion

Using channels in Teams can be a great way for group members to collaborate in a format they are familiar with (text, GIFs, emojis, etc.), share files, or start video calls easily. Students can also tag you in a chat if they need your guidance and you can hold group meetings online.

Follow these steps: Create a team, add your students to the team, create what Teams calls “channels” within the Team (e.g. a channel for Group 1, another channel for Group 2, etc.), and give the appropriate students access to each channel.

Integrating Teams with Panopto

A final Teams tip: Follow the steps in the MS Teams section on Ākona te Akoraka | Learn about Learn to set your Teams recordings to automatically populate the Panopto block on your Akoraka l Learn course page.

Get Support with Microsoft Teams

Want more support with Teams?

  1. Click on the Help icon at the bottom left corner of your Teams desktop app
  2. Check out Microsoft’s Teams support page
  3. Contact Teaching Quality at

And come to our training session on how to optimise Teams for teaching on 25 January! Register here.