Students from around UTS are back again to provide their perspective on one of the trendiest new tools in town – Microsoft Teams. Here are some of the things that students love about Teams, as well as a few hints and suggestions to make your Teams experience even better.
Teams as a social platform
Providing a space for students to engage and feel as though they’re a part of a classroom has never been more important. Although the every day student is surrounded by social media platforms, Teams can provide a space where interacting with other students from the same cohort is easy and accessible.
I love how my tutor has created a specific channel for us to share pet photos. It makes it feel like you’re sitting next to other students and sharing photos during that awkward first class!Georgie, FASS
It’s really user friendly and easy to get the hang of, sometimes it feels like you’re just having a chat in class.Aidan, Science
With the help of Teams, sharing documents just got easier and almost every student I spoke to was breathing a collective sigh of relief. Any documents uploaded in the ‘general’ section of a team are available to everyone, which means important documents that students ask about such as assessment briefs can be uploaded and accessed anywhere, any time.
It makes my life so easy because my tutor uploads all the useful files for the week into the channel’s files and all the big important documents into the General files…so when I need something I know where it is, rather than scrolling through Blackboard.Poli, FEIT
Using teams has been a positive experience so far! We usually use it as more of a platform that supplements other modes of communication, like Zoom, so that we can quickly share work and templates during class.Tom FASS
Communicating made easy
Move aside emails! Rather than sending an email every time a student needs to check in or ask a question, they can now use the chat feature to contact tutors or subject coordinators directly. Another popular feature that Teams offers is the ability to tag your peers as well as your tutor in any questions, replies or posts that you make. It’s almost like being in class!
Teams is super convenient for collaborative work because you can quickly tag people to let them know what’s happened and everyone can see what’s going on in a subject. Sometimes I even tag my tutor so she can give me quick and timely feedback!Kalila, FASS
I think teams is good because it lowers the amount of unnecessary emails, it’s super quick to use and to just flick off a message in a more casual chat-like manner. Also you can easily send photos and attachments.Tasia, Law
The challenges of new technology
Teams is a great platform for organising large classes and keeping in touch with different groups in a quick and reliable way, but it is not without its drawbacks. I asked a few students what their biggest challenge with Teams was, and how they found a solution.
Sometimes Teams doesn’t have a sense of urgency for people to respond. Also, I may miss a notification if someone sends documents and answers through teams but I don’t have the time to check it. Lots of other people had this problem, so now our tutor posts the weekly content in different channels so we have to check it to get the work done.Kalila, FASS
Learning the difference between channels and teams was tricky at first, but my subject coordinator sent us the student guide, and once I figured it out it was super easy to know where I was and find what I was looking for.Emma, DAB
Sometimes it’s really stressful trying to find the link for a teams video meeting, especially if I’m running late. It would be great if the meeting link was posted on Blackboard or sent in an email in the morning as this kind of ‘one source of truth’.Yeh Rim, FASS
Looking for more?
Want to learn how to use teams as a part of the teaching and learning experience? LX Resources offers a range of information on Microsoft Teams to get you up to date and ready to go. A Microsoft Teams Student Guide is also available. You can also see what your students have to say about Zoom, the other trendy tool in town.
Feature image by freepik.