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This page will help clear up some common misunderstandings and help you to get the most out of Teams.

You might think of Teams as being video conferencing software. It isn't. It's not an equivalent of Zoom or Facetime. It includes video and audio conferencing tools, but they are part of a more comprehensive platform of collaboration tools. Teams is a team-working platform with videoconferencing. In fact, video and audio tools appear in several different parts of the system, and work in subtly different ways. This can cause some confusion. So we recommend getting an overview of the whole system before diving in to use it.

No Chat tab in a meeting? The most common problem, and how to avoid it:

Note that Teams is a semi-open system. Some aspects of it, such as meetings, can be accessed by people who are not signed in to Warwick's Microsoft service. For example, we can share the link to a videoconference meeting, and they can join the meeting using the link. They are forced to wait in the meeting lobby until someone in the meeting admits them. Once in, they have restricted functionality (for example, no chat). As a consequence, if a Warwick member joins a meeting through a link, and they are not signed in to their Warwick Microsoft account, they are treated as a guest, and have limited functionality (the usual cause of this problem).

When participating in a Teams meeting, always open Teams first and make sure you are signed in using your Warwick Microsoft account (

If you invite someone to a channel-based meeting (see below), make sure that you first add them to the team for that channel.

It may also be the case that when using Teams in some web browsers, meeting functionality is restricted. Always try to use the installed Teams application.

Resource accounts cannot be used with Teams

As of July 2021, it is no longer possible to log in to a resource account. This means that you cannot set up a Teams meeting using the resource account, and let others join and manage the meeting. Teams meetings need to be set up and managed by a single named person.

The 3 aspects of Teams

There are three distinct areas in which collaboration happens:

1. Chat - ideal for tutoring, student support, supervision etc.

A location for on-going private chats between 2 and 250 people (in reality its best to keep it for 1-to-1 or small groups). Start a text chat here, and return to it at any time to post messages just to the specified participants. Files can also be shared and co-edited in this private space. If needed, start an audio or video call within the chat (use the Meet Now option). When a message is posted into a chat, the members are alerted (unless they have set their presence to "do not disturb".

2. Teams channels - ideal for continuous team working, or for groups that meet up regularly

A team space has a list of owners and members. The space can be set up as private, with the owners adding members, or a "join code" provided for people to self-enrol. Or it can be public, meaning that anyone in the organisation can join. We can also add people from outside of Warwick as guests. The team space has a set of channels. Each channel has an ongoing posts feed of text, images, links etc. It also has a files area, into which files and folders may be put, with collaborative editing of Office documents. Further tabs may be added containing many different types of app, for example the Planner task list system, and the OneNote notebook tool. Team members can be notified using the @teamname tag in a post. There are several types of team, including Class teams. When we create a class team, a shared OneNote notebook is set up, with private folders for each member (known as a student in this kind of team). Teachers (owners) have access to these private folders, can send pages into them, and create OneNote based assignments.

Meetings can be scheduled for team members using the Calendar (see below).

It is also possible to create an ad hoc meeting in a channel using the Meet Now option - this can cause confusion if participants should be in a scheduled meeting, but use this option instead.

3. Calendar

This is synced with Microsoft Outlook. Teams-based meetings may be scheduled in the calendar. But note, there are different types of meeting that behave differently. It's important to know this:

a. Channel meetings: specify a channel for the meeting to take place in, and all members of the channel are invited, meeting chat and files are saved into the channel. If the meeting is a regular occurrence, or with a group that collaborates in other ways, use a channel (or create a new team for the group if it doesn't already exist). The best way to enter a channel meeting is to open the Teams app (signed in), and go to the channel or the calendar to find the link.

b. Non-channel meetings: don't specify a channel, invite people individually, chat and files are saved into the meeting record in Calendar. There is a danger that they will enter the meeting without being signed into Teams. That gives them a limited set of features, including no chat.

c. Teams Live Events: a system for broadcasting events to very large numbers of people online (contact the IT help desk for this).

d. Webinars: a new feature in Teams, includes registration forms and an attendance dashboard.

In addition, the Calendar includes a Meet Now option to create ad hoc meetings immediately. These meetings actually run through the Chat system.

Maximum participants

The maximum number of participants in a meeting is increasing from 300 to 1000. If the number exceeds this limit, further people may join but get a simplified non-interactive experience.

Recording meetings

When meetings are recorded, the recording is stored in Microsoft Stream. This is changing temporarily in January 2022, with files saved into the same location as files and chat. Stream is being redeveloped by Microsoft. It will then be reintegrated with Teams.

Attendance records

Meeting organisers can save an attendance record and open it in Excel. However, in the past this record has proved to be unreliable.

Creating Teams

Anyone within Warwick can create a team for any purpose. For teaching, we have a system that automatically creates teams to match Moodle course names and participants (for modules in the records system). Private teams are created (not Class type teams). This can also create channels to match groups in Teams. Note that Teams spaces are not recreated automatically as part of the annual Moodle Rollover process. Departmental Moodle managers will need to request that new Teams spaces are made each year (in September when data on student membership is near complete and reliable in SITS). Moodle linked Teams spaces are not automatically archived or deleted - here's some information from Microsoft about archiving and deleting.

Moodle-Teams synchronisation.