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Manage Chat and Team discussions

This guide explains the difference between using chat and team channels for communication and how to manage the many parallel conversations taking place.


Chat

Chat allows you to immediately start a conversation with any members of the University (who are already on Teams), if they are available. You can use text, audio, and video. You can share your screen, for example to show a presentation. You can also share files to collaborate.

Watch Microsoft's introduction to starting chats and video/audio meetings.


Start a Chat with an individual or group

  1. Click on the Chat icon.
  2. Click on the New Chat icon.
  3. Enter the name(s), of those you want to contact, in the To: field and select them from the suggestions provided.
  4. Give the chat a name, click on the arrow icon and enter a name.
  5. Once all of the participants are added, enter your post and send it to begin the chat.

Pin a Chat

To make chats easier to find and quicker to access, you can pin up to 15 chats to the pinned list at the top of the chat list.

  1. In the Chat list, hover over the chat you want to pin.
  2. Click on the ellipsis menu (three horizontal dots).
  3. Select Pin.
  4. This chat will now apear in the Pinned list at the top of your Chat list.
  5. Drag and drop the chats to rearrange them in your list.

Delete or Edit a Chat post

  1. Hover over the post.
  2. Click on the ellipsis menu (three horizontal dots).
    • Click on Delete to delete the post. The post will displayThis message has been deleted and the option to Undo the deletion.
    • Click on Edit to edit the post and resend. The post will now say Edited in the top right corner.

Team channel discussions

A team can contain multiple "channels" which act as separate spaces for different purposes, for example, a channel might be created for a specific part of a team project. A team channel discussion enables continuous team-working and organisation features.

Discussions occur in the channels and any member of the team can join dicussions on public channels. Private channels allow only specified members of the team to join the discussion.

These channel-based discussions tend to be more asynchronous than chat, but also happen live.

The difference is organisational. Team channels provide a series of 'tabs' to help you organise content. For example, a Files tab for storing, sharing and collaborating on files (especially Office documents). You can add many different types of file and apps to channels as a series of tabs, for example, Planner to create a project board for keeping track of tasks.

Watch Microsoft's video about using team channels.

When replying to a post, click on reply to make sure you're replying to the post. A common error when writing a reply to a message is to write in the new message text field, this results in the post being created as a completely new message rather than a reply.

Add a new tab to a channel

  1. Open the channel.
  2. Click on the + icon next to the existing tabs.
  3. Select the file or app or use search.
  4. Click Add.

Pin a channel

To make channels easier to find and quicker to access, you can pin up to 15 chats to the pinned list at the top of the chat list.

  1. In the Teams list, hover over the channel you want to pin.
  2. Click on the ellipsis menu (three horizontal dots).
  3. Select Pin.
  4. This channel will now apear in the Pinned list at the top of your Teams list.
  5. Drag and drop the channels to rearrange them in your list.

Delete or Edit a Channel post

  1. Hover over the post.
  2. Click on the ellipsis menu (three horizontal dots).
    • Click on Delete to delete the post. The post will displayThis message has been deleted and the option to Undo the deletion.
    • Click on Edit to edit the post and resend. The post will now say Edited in the top right corner.

Give your channel messages a title

You may find that you are working in several, or even many, channels. The flow of new messages can be quite fast. Or you may miss a day and come back to lots of missed conversations.

If people give each new message a good, clear, distinct title, it makes it easier for others to follow the conversation. To do this, when writing a new message, click on the format icon just below the text entry box.


Search for messages

When you do think you have missed a message, or forgotten where it was posted, use the search box at the centre top of the screen (on desktop), or the magnifying glass icon at the top left (on mobile).

Responding to messages with emojis

You can respond to a message in chat or a channel with text. However, you can also respond with a thumbs-up, heart, smiley etc. On mobile versions of Teams emojis are accessed through three dots in the right-hand corner of a message. In the desktop app, you have to hover your mouse over that area.

Responding with a thumbs-up or smiley is a really good way to show you have read and acknowledged a message. It helps to keep people feeling connected and engaged.

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

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