Microsoft Teams for teaching

The Digital Education Office is working with IT Services to scope and implement a simple way for Microsoft Teams to be used in programmes and units, with minimal administrative overheads. As part of the project, a suite of support and guidance materials, including case studies and exemplars, will be developed.

The Microsoft 365 Suite has great potential for use in education, both to fill gaps in our current digital learning environment and to extend and enhance our available toolset for learning and teaching. Potential use cases include:

Teams can also enable active learning activities which encourage student engagement with blended and online learning – and so address an issue reported by our students in the 2019 Pulse Survey and 2020 Jisc Student Digital Experience Survey.

Teams will be part of our core set of supported digital education tools in 21/22. We plan to develop a technical solution which initially focusses on a limited number of the most important use cases and then learn lessons by working with identified schools and individuals to inform future plans.  

One key requirement is that the use of Teams in teaching be as low-maintenance as possible. Teams spaces for units will be created automatically but will be hidden from students unless and until they are needed. Student membership of unit Teams will be synchronised with SITS data – if students join or leave a course, that will be reflected in the membership. The space will be linked to the relevant Blackboard unit. Programme spaces will also be available on request. Staff and students will still be able to create their own Teams for other groupings.

The project aims to deliver Teams for Teaching by the end of August. We are currently collating requirements through a survey, interviews and focus groups. For more information or to get involved, please contact digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.  

Timeline

  1. Project scope
  2. Use cases agreed
  3. Stakeholder engagement
    • Survey
    • Stakeholder interviews
    • Focus group
  4. Development (June/July 2021)
  5. Testing and iteration (July 2021)
  6. Educational case studies and documentation published (end of July 2021)
  7. Launch (end of August 2021)