Microsoft Teams, WPI, & You: What do I need to know?

Did you know that ITS @ WPI has created a Class Team in Microsoft Teams for every course at WPI? It’s been a long, busy summer, but we wanted to make an official announcement to let you know about this exciting news!

microsoft teams logo

How do I access Teams?

Since it is part of Office 365 suite, you can access it from your web version of Outlook by clicking the Apps button at the upper left corner. You can also access it from or download Teams for your desktop. There is also a shortcut to Microsoft Teams in the course navigation menu of your Canvas site and also under “Account” in Canvas.

You can access your Class Team site within Microsoft Teams by clicking on Teams in the left hand menu, then clicking on your course name (as recorded in Banner) under the “My Teams” header.

You can share a direct link to your Class Team (or incorporate it into your Canvas class) by following these instructions.

How is my “Class Team” different from other Teams I’m enrolled in?

Instructors are already enrolled in their Class Teams. The instructor will need to activate their Class Team before can students see it by clicking the Activate button at the top of the screen (like Publishing your Canvas course site).

A-Term and Fall ‘20 semester student enrollments are already available. For B-Term classes, student enrollments will be added one week prior to the start of the term. Currently, student rosters will be updated weekly from Banner. Once Workday Student is active, rosters will update more frequently.

Teams will be archived and become read-only 2 weeks after the term ends. Teachers may restore a Class Team at any time following these instructions.

TAs, PLAs, and Graders will need to be manually added to be able to access the Class Team. There are only 2 roles available: Teacher and Student. You will need to determine how you would like to classify them based on tasks you will assign in your Class Team.

Please note: Cross-listing and merging is not possible in Teams. If you have a cross-listed course or usually merge your course sections in Canvas, and you would like this mirrored in Teams: Choose 1 Team site to be your “main course” and then manually enroll the students from the other course sections into that main course. Here are instructions on adding students to your Class Team.

Can I use Teams & Canvas together?

Yes! Team Meetings can be launched and shared with your class from Canvas.

Using Microsoft Teams, you can invite your class to join you in a web conference from your Canvas course site.

You can either copy your custom Teams Meeting link from your Calendar in Teams and paste it into a Canvas Announcement, or use the Meetings integration in Canvas wherever you see the Rich Content Editor (Announcements, Assignments, Calendar, Discussions, Pages, etc.)

To open Microsoft Teams Meetings from the Rich Content Editor, click the “plug” icon in the toolbar, and then select Microsoft Teams Meetings from the list. Depending on your specific toolbar, the “plug” icon may be under the “three dots” icon which enables a drop-down menu containing additional tools.

Students will also be able to use this tool in the Rich Content Editor within their Canvas Groups.

Check out this great video that outlines how to best utilize the Teams and Canvas integration.

More info on the Canvas integration

Anything new and cool to know about Teams?

Monitor class engagement with Attendance Reports. This September, educators will be able to download Attendance Reports after a class meeting. The reports will include students’ Join Time, Leave Time, and Duration, so teachers can easily monitor attendance and engagement.

Maintain control before, during, and after meetings with Hard Audio Mute. With the new Hard Audio Mute feature, educators can control students’ ability to mute and unmute their audio and meeting chats, ensuring the class can focus on lessons without interruption. When it’s an appropriate time to open the conversation for questions or discussion, teachers can unmute the class.

Keep students focused with Student Lobby. The Student Lobby allows educators to choose when students are admitted to a scheduled meeting. This helps teachers maintain control of the discussion and keeps student-to-student interaction to designated, supervised time.

Coming in October! Breakout Rooms: Meeting hosts can create breakout rooms to be used by meeting participants for smaller group discussion. They can assign participants to a room and call them back to the larger group when the breakout is complete. (October 2020)

Under the “Apps” tab in your class team, you may add optional integrations and plug-ins to your site. Some are free, and some require accounts or subscriptions. Here are a few suggestions of apps that might be useful in your site:

Whiteboard – shared synchronous drawing, sketching & annotation
Microsoft Planner – project management tool
Polly – informal polling tool
Flipgrid – student video sharing

How can I learn more?

We’ll be hosting workshops and office hours for Teams beginning at the end of September. Register here for Teams office hours with WPI IT and Microsoft!

Eager to start learning on your own? Microsoft has many resources to help you get started now:

Train yourself with Professional Development with the popular Microsoft Educator Community course, Transform Learning with Microsoft Teams.

Watch helpful “how-to” videos with Teams Quick Tip videos on YouTube (or pick from a different Teams video playlist here).