Microsoft Teams

What is Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a service that combines several parts of Office 365 into one package. The main interface is a community chat window.  Other apps include an attached document repository and group mailbox. Microsoft Teams can be used from a web browser, or from an app on your computer or mobile device. This service is available to any active faculty, staff or student. Outside guests can also be added to existing Teams.

Microsoft announced changes to its higher educational licensing in August 2023, effective mid-2024, that will affect Microsoft OneDrive, Exchange email, Teams, and SharePoint storage limits. Please take steps to eliminate large files that you don't need from your Microsoft 365 account.


What to use Teams for
Basics for using Teams
Creating a Team
Adding members/owners
Naming conventions
Additional channels, directories, and access
Further documentation 

What to Use Teams For

  • Microsoft article with videos: Use Cases with Microsoft Teams for Higher Education
  • Use Teams to chat with your group or another group. It's a great tool for groups in separate locations.  A chat allows for a quick exchanges of information.  The document repository can be used for group documentation.
  • This service is approved for Level II data.


Basics of How to Use Teams

Tools in Microsoft Teams

  • Chat – for one on one or group communication
  • Team list – lists the teams you are a member of
  • Channels – Conversation groupings.  As an example, For a course, you might have a channel for each class meeting.  For an IT project, you might have one channel for feature requests, one for bugs, and so forth.
  • Conversations – appear within each Channel.  Conversations are chat windows.
  • Files – unique to each channel. These are files.  (probably need some details on sharing from here).         
  • The + - you can add other tabs too.  Some of the more useful and common:
  • Planner – links a Kanboard or calendar to your team.
  • Wiki – links a wiki to your team.  (Housed in a SharePoint site.)
  • OneNote – adds a notebook.  A notebook is added by default to a class or professional learning community (PLC) type team.
  • NEW: Shared Channels – This option allows internal collaboration in Teams by creating shared channels for those within UD, but individuals on the channel do not have to be a member of the whole Team. Learn more about Shared Channels. 

Be cautious before using

  • Email – Microsoft recommends against using this feature.
  • Uploading a lot of files. Start moving documents slowly, and make sure you are on a stable wired connection.
  • Sharing files from a Team site to non-team members is not recommended.  It may work, but is not the expected way to use teams.  If a document needs to be shared out, save a copy to your OneDrive, or send a copy via email.
  • Videoconferencing – UD's primary videoconferencing solution is Zoom. Teams should only be used for videoconferencing when Zoom is disallowed by an external collaborator's institution.


Creating a Team

At the top of a Teams list there is a Join or create a team button. Click this button and follow the on-screen instructions. 

Review the UD Naming Conventions for advice on naming your team.  We recommend adding a description to identify what your Team is for.  Depending on your Team's purpose, you may want to include some document tabs that cover some basic information; for example, “Community Guidelines”, “Usage”, or “Etiquette Guidelines”.


Adding Members/Owners

To add Team members or owners, click the ellipses next to team name.  Select add members.  An owner must also be a member.


Naming Conventions

All teams must start with “Team-“.  We do maintain a list of blocked words that you cannot use.  Those are the only limitations.  However, we do have some guidance:

  • Name teams specifically to avoid confusion. 
  • Do not assume a top level name when a sublevel name is more appropriate. For example, “Team-advisement” for a departmental advisement group would be a bad choice. 
  • Try to follow a sensible naming pattern (see below for some examples).
UD Microsoft Team Naming Conventions
Team use Format Example(s)
Class Team-<class prefix>-<class code/number>-<section>-<semester> Team-MEEG-417-010-2018F
Departmental unit – general Team-<department code>-<unit>


Cross Departmental – general communication


Team-<General Topic>


Cross Departmental – project specific

Team-<Project Name>

Team-Project-<project name>




Additional channels, directories, and access

You may wish to add additional channels (directories) to your team at the top level. In the example Team site below, in addition to the General channel, you could add a new channel for read-only resources, separate directories, or focused resources.

You can add a channel from the teams interface by first selecting Teams on the left bar. Then click your Team's name from the main window, click the ellipses (), and then choose Add channel from the menu.

shows the drop-down menu that appears after clicking on the ellipses. Add Channel link is available from drop-down.


Adding a channel also creates a file folder in SharePoint Online, which you can view by clicking on the channel, choosing Files in the ribbon, and then clicking Open in SharePoint.

The Conversation, Files, and Notes tab in Teams. The Files tab is selected, and the Open in SharePoint clickable link is available.

If you have already created a root level folder in SharePoint under the base Documents folder, you can add a channel with the same name, and the folder will be added to your Team site.

To make any file or folder (and it’s sub-folders) read-only, follow the instructions here:

Or, right-click on a folder in SharePoint, and select Details.

image from a SharePoint has been right-clicked. Details is available in the drop-down menu.

The Details pane opens on the right side.

Note: By default three groups are created: Owners, Members and Viewers.  You may not be able to see the full name of the groups, but the icons will indicate which group is which (TO, TM,TV in the example below).

You can change a group's access by using the pull down (Can View), or select Stop Sharing to remove that groups access altogether.

Share Tab is selected. Teams and groups that have access show in the "Manage Access" section.

You can also use the Grant Access field at the top to add groups or individuals. If you do not uncheck the “Notify” field, then each individual will get an invitation.

Grant access screen: One groups has been added for access. "Add another" field shows and the option to uncheck the "Notify People" check box is available.


Further documentation

Microsoft Teams for Education Webinar
Microsoft Teams Technical Documentation landing page
Microsoft Get Started with Teams page
Microsoft Teams information site
Microsoft landing page for Microsoft Teams technical documentation
Microsoft get started with Teams landing page


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Article ID: 511
Thu 8/1/19 4:02 PM
Thu 5/16/24 3:05 PM

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