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Introduction to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is not just a video conferencing tool or a place for team discussions and collaborating on documents. It brings together pretty much all of the types of online and mobile collaboration that you might need, in one easily accessible place – to be accessed at your desk (Windows, Mac or Linux), or on the move (Android and Apple phones and tablets).

One-to-one chat, team discussions, editing Office documents together, planning with task lists, video conferencing, web-based phone calls – it’s all included, plus much more. You can also use it to have online meetings with people from outside of our organisation.

You will find that every member of Warwick has an account in the Teams system, which means that, if they are already using Teams, you can contact them. If they aren’t using Teams, you can easily invite them to join.

Watch the videos below to gain an overview of Teams - many of these are 'bitesize' videos and will help you navigate the tool when you start using it.

Microsoft's introduction to Teams - this video introduces finding and creating teams, joining and scheduling meetings, making calls in and outside an organisation, and keeping track of activities.

All introductory videos from Microsoft - The video above is one of these 1 to 3 minute long videos for kickstarting your use of Teams. Browse the rest as and when you need to get a quick overview for an area of Teams.

9 tips for meeting with Microsoft Teams - many of us are using Teams for meetings, and these tips are also useful in relation to other types of communication - teaching, online conferences, personal tutoring etc.

Teams can be a little confusing and overwhelming as you start to use it. The sections below and our other guides aim to demystify the use of Teams for teaching.

We have created a specific guide for students who need to join Teams meetings organised by their tutors.

What are the limits on using Teams?

The limits are quite high:

  • Maximum number of people in a single team: 5000
  • Max in a “private” chat: 100
  • Max number of people in a meeting (audio and video conferencing): 250
  • There are no limits on the number simultaneous of meetings in our license.

 Warwick also has a license for the Teams live-streaming broadcast system Teams Live which has a maximum of 10,000 viewers.

What is the difference between Teams and Zoom?

Zoom is a tool for running pop-up videoconferences that happen over a limited time span (e.g. a half-hour webinar) and include anyone you want to invite. Teams, on the other hand, is a comprehensive collaboration platform that can be used for continuous collaboration over a long period (days, months or even years). Anyone can be invited to a Teams meeting. People from outside of the university can be added as guests to teams within Teams.

Teams benefits from the security of the Microsoft user account system. All university members have a Microsoft account. Access is secured using advanced two-factor authentication methods.

What is the difference between Teams and Moodle?

In summary, Moodle should be used for teaching materials and content, and Teams for collaborative working - not Teams for everything. Students should be directed to Moodle to access files, video, audio, and coursework related materials. Teams, in comparison, as noted above, is a collaboration platform, and should be used for working together online - using video and audio conferencing for one to one, small group and even small lectures, and team-based projects such as collaborative editing of documents and presentations.

Getting the software

Warwick has a Microsoft license, and you can use it for free.

You might already have the app installed and you can install it on more than one device (e.g. laptop and phone).

Download the app here.

The key elements of the Teams interface

The information on this page relates to Microsoft Teams and was last updated April 2020.

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