Microsoft 365 for Course Instructors

Microsoft 365 Apps (Office 365) are available to all faculty, staff and students and provide powerful collaboration tools that can be used to enhance instruction and facilitate collaboration in your courses. This document describes the relationship between Brightspace courses, Office 365 groups, Microsoft Stream and Microsoft Teams with a focus on how to use these tools for use in your UWindsor course.

Course Groups

A group is a collection of users and it is used for controlling access to resources (documents, videos, etc.) You can share a resource with a group of users, instead of having to manually enter them one by one. When a user is added or removed from a group, and that group was used to control access, that user’s access is adjusted automatically.

To make it easy for course instructors, we are using the School Data Sync (SDS) system to automatically create and manage Office 365 groups that correspond to Brightspace courses.  When a student enrolls in a course, they are added to the Brightspace ourse, and added to the Microsoft 365 group. When a student drops a course, they are removed from the Brightspace course roster and the Office 365 course.

This sync process occurs daily at 5:00 am, so there may be a delay for the group memberships to be updated.

The naming systems will match between the two courses. For example, the Brightspace course site with name “NURS8500-1-R-2020S” will have the Office 365 group name of “NURS8500-1-R-2020S”.

Group Owner(s)

The course instructor(s) assigned to the course in Brightspace will become owners of the Office 365 group (and corresponding Team, if enabled).

Using Groups in Stream

Permissions can be set for each video or channel.

Restrict access to a video

For a video, click on the three-dots menu and select Update video details.

If you want to restrict your course video material to only participants of your course, search and select the group from the list.

The settings above will only let people in the NURS-8830-91-S-2020W group view the video. Notice that the checkmark next to Allow everyone in the company to view this video is not set.

Restrict access to a channel

If you are going to produce a number of videos for your course, consider creating a group channel.  Select Channel from the top-level Create menu item. Give it the name of your course and select Group channel for access.  Search for the group name for the course and press the Create button at the bottom of the window.  You can only have one group linked to a channel, but you can put a single video into multiple channels.

Course Teams

A Team (in Microsoft Teams) is not automatically created, but the instructor(s) can create the team instantly based on an existing group with a self-service process.

  1. Press the Teams button in the left side menu of Teams
  2. Press the Join or create team button in the upper right corner.  
  3. Press the “Create team” button in the tile that says Create team from a group
  4. Choose the group that you want to use for the team.  You will only see a list of groups that you are an owner of. Press Choose Group and select the course.

This will create the team with the students being members, but students are not yet able to access your team. This will give you time to organize and setup your team. When you are ready, press the “Activate” button in the banner at the top of your team.

Organize and Setup your Team (before activation)

Before you activate your team and let the students in, you should take some time to adjust the settings. By default, the team is “open for peer-to-peer collaboration”: members will be able to create channels, post messages, be able to edit and delete their own messages. If your class size is large, you may want to adjust some of these permissions to prevent some unwanted “organic” channel sprawl.

Select Teams from the left menu and choose the team. Press the three-dots to the right of the team name (in bold) and select Manage Team.

Switch to the Settings tab and then expand Member permissions. Set the checkmarks as you desire. Below is a typical setup for a large course. Notice that we removed the access to allow members to create channels, apps and tabs:

Setting up Channels

If you (and/or the other team owners) are going to create channels to separate topics or activities, you may want to adjust settings in each channel.

To create a channel, use the three-dots menu to the right of the team name (in bold).

To manage a channel, use the three-dots menu to the right of the channel name.

Channel Moderation

The General channel cannot be moderated but message posting can be restricted to owners only. This is set in the Channel settings tab from Manage channel.

Other channels can be moderated by setting channel moderation to On in Channel settings.

Channel moderation controls who can add new posts and if team members can reply to these messages. Moderation does not provide a review process for posting.

By default, channels are moderated by Team members. Press the Mange button and you can add and remove moderators, who can be any member of the team.

Private channels have additional settings for membership and member permissions. You cannot set moderation on a private channel. Members of a private channel are a subset of the overall team membership. A private channel can have one or more owners, who can manage the private channel.

Activate your team

Press the Activate button in the top banner of your team when you are ready to let students see the team. Until the team is activated, students will not see the class team in their app.

If you don't want to use the team in your teaching, don't activate the team, and hide the team icon if you don't want to see it. Click on the three dots in the team icon and select "Hide" from the menu. Do not delete the Team as it will be re-created automatically by the sync process, hide it instead.

Team Template

The created team will follow the Class team template. This is very similar to a regular team, except that:

  • Members (students) are not able to see the list of members (other students)
  • Assignments and quizzes are available if you want to use them.

All teams must have a General channel. This cannot be deleted, but you can manage the settings. The General channel cannot be moderated but posting can be restricted to owners only.

If the sole owner of a private channel is removed from the team, then a member of that channel is promoted to the channel owner, to prevent a private channel that nobody can manage.

Additional Resources

A special team has been created to help support instructors using Microsoft Teams for teaching. The team is called “ITS – Teams in Classroom” and you can join the team by following this link.

For More Information

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Article ID: 107997
Mon 5/18/20 9:10 PM
Mon 5/8/23 8:34 AM

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