Master Microsoft Teams for EducationReading Time: 4 minutes
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, many schools have closed and completely switched to online learning. Currently, there are more than 1.2 billion children in 186 countries affected by school closures due to the pandemic. And, since pandemic is nowhere from being over, teachers and school heads are breaking their heads over the sustainability of online learning and they’re wondering whether this form of education will continue to persist even when the pandemic ends.
However, there was a noticeable growth in the adoption of online learning even before the pandemic started. Some estimates even indicate that the overall market for online education was projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025.
There is something that we cannot deny.
We cannot deny the fact that online learning comes with a wide variety of benefits, despite the doubts of many over this form of learning. Research shows that students who learn online retain 25-60% more information compared to their in-classroom counterparts that retain only 8-10%. What’s more, online requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom. This is because students can adjust their learning pace, go back and re-read, skip or accelerate lessons to match their needs the best.
However, to get the full benefit of online learning, teachers and school heads should invest the effort to provide the structure for their students, mainly by using a wide range of collaboration tools and engagement methods that promote inclusion, but as well personalization.
One of those tools teachers use is Microsoft Teams for Education, and we will show you here how to master it.
What is Microsoft Teams for Education?
Microsoft Teams for education is a communication and collaboration tool within Microsoft 365 package, that’s essential for remote learning. It’s a tool that hosts a set of features that allow teachers and students to move forward with the learning process, without sacrificing anything.
How to start with Microsoft Teams for Education?
For Microsoft users, installing Microsoft Teams is a breeze. They just need to go to the app menu, download, install and launch the app. Once they’ve launched the app, they need to create a team for their class by clicking on the “Teams” button in the left sidebar, and then the “Create a team” button.
A good thing with Microsoft Teams for Education is the Calendar feature that helps teachers and their students stay organized a year around. Teachers with a regular schedule can even make the class schedule and leave a link for the class in advance.
To do it, they just have to select the Calendar tab, select the New Meeting button, then enter a course name and a section. Furthermore, they’ll have to enter an email address to create a sharable link to the meeting. Then, they have to set the time and date for the meeting and click send. After they’ve done this, everything is set!
How to create assignments for a class in Microsoft Teams for Education?
To create assignments in Microsoft Teams for Education, teachers will have to go to the General channel in their class team and then click on the Assignments tab. Once they’ve done this, they’ll have to select Create Assignment and fill out the details in the assignments tab.
Teachers can choose either multiple classes or individual students in one class to assign to. Furthermore, they can add additional instructions their students might find useful and add resources for task completion if needed. Once they’ve done this, they’ll have to select a due date and time, how many points students may win for the assignments, add a grading rubric and category, and select Assign to finish the process.
How to view and track grades in Microsoft Teams for Education?
To track the student’s progress and access their grades, teachers will have to go to the Grades tab. Assignments will appear in rows and student’s names will appear in a column. Assignments will be ordered by the due date, and student’s work will have different statuses, including:
- Viewed: where the student opened and viewed the assignment,
- Turned in: when the student turned in the assignment and the teacher can grade it.
- Returned or points: in case student’s work is already graded. The returned status is when the assignment doesn’t have points.
- Blank: In case no action has been taken on the assignment.
To grade students, teachers will have to navigate to the General channel and select the Grades option. They can grade their student’s work by selecting the “More options” button on a cell, then “Open student work” which will open the student’s assignment with a Feedback and Points field you can fill in. Select “Return” when grading has been done.
How to get organized in the class’ team?
Every class team comes with a General channel but teachers can create as many as they like to organize work in their class. Channels serve to organize files, conversations, and apps teachers and students use in one place. What’s more, each channel comes with Tabs for further organizations.
The General channel has these tabs:
- The Posts tab for all the messages in this channel.
- The Files tab for file storing.
- The Class Notebook tab.
- The Assignments tab.
- The Grades tab.
To add a channel, teachers should select “More options” next to their class team’s name, and then “Add a channel”. Furthermore, they should enter a name and an optional description for their channel. Lastly, they should click “Add” and they’ll be set.
How to track student’s leave in Microsoft Teams for Education?
Even though it’s primarily meant for employee leave tracking, Vacation Tracker can also serve as attendance tracking software in Microsoft Teams for education. Vacation Tracker is simple to use and it’s pretty intuitive, which will make its adoption a breeze. All students have to do is to start a chat with the bot in Microsoft Temas and they will be able to fill out the forms explaining why they cannot attend the class. On the other side, teachers will be able to have all the information about their students’ attendance at their disposal at any given moment and ensure everyone has proper and equal access to knowledge. If you’re interested in how Vacation Tracker can help you improve your virtual high school classroom, sign up for a 14-day free trial period.