Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides an inherently collaborative and expandable platform for working together toward common goals through tools such as Conversations, Shared Files, Online Meetings, Private Chat, and more.

Click here for a brief tour of the Microsoft Teams platform.


Please select a topic to learn more

Accessing and Downloading
Persistent Tools and Features
Teams and Channels
Meetings (video conferencing)
Files (shared documents)

Teams is an Office 365 app and hence is accessible from the O365 website.
Search for the Teams Icon and launch the web application.

Once the app opens Download the Desktop App by clicking the "Get App" button on the left. The Desktop application has more features and provides a consistent interface.

More detailed instructions on accessing Teams can be found here.

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Microsoft Teams Sample Page

Microsoft Teams was designed to facilitate collaboration between individuals and groups by providing a space for each topic or goal, much like a University.

Like our first time to campus, it can be confusing to find our way around when we first arrive.

The Navigating Microsoft Teams page is designed to give you some key landmarks to ease any navigational trepidations.

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There are several features which are persistent across the Microsoft Teams platform.  Knowledge of these features and controls can greatly increase your confidence with and ability to capitalize on Microsoft Teams.

You can use @Mentions throughout teams to bring an individual's attention to an item, conversation, or chat by sending them a notification.

Type the "@" symbol followed by their name and Microsoft Teams will prompt you with suggestions.


Click here for more on @mentions or watch this brief video tutorial

Note: You can only @mention members of the team or chat in which the @mention occurs, protecting you from sending a notification to an individual who cannot access the information.

The 3 Ellipses icon, adjacent to many items in Microsoft Teams, gives you access to additional options for that item.  Try selecting it to see what you can do as the menu changes based on the selected item.

Example: the 3 Ellipses adjacent to a Team Channel allow you to do things like follow the team or pin it to your Channel listing. Try selecting this icon to see what is possible.

Tabs are separate work spaces in Team Channels and Chats just like the tabs of an Excel document are components of the workbook. The Conversations and Files are present by default, but add tabs to enhance your Microsoft Teams experience.

Watch a brief video on using Tabs in Microsoft Teams.

Use the 3 Ellipses icon to receive notifications for activity on Team Channels when something occurs.

This is a great way to stay on top of all of your work.

Click here for more information on Channel Notifications.

When something changes in a followed Team or Channel, or you are @mentioned by someone, you will receive a Notification in Microsoft Teams.

Notifications appear as red alert icons next to the area in which the item is housed, within your Activity feed (upper left side of Microsoft Teams) and in an email.

Click here for more information on keeping up with new activity in Microsoft Teams.

Click here to learn more about managing your notifications.

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A Team is the group of individuals brought together to achieve a goal.
Channels are focused workspaces within the Team to accomplish the individual components required to reach the global Team goal.

Click here for a brief video overview of Teams and Channels.

Teams and Channels Tutorials and Help:
The Set Up and Customize your Team videos are a great starter
View the Create and Format a conversation post video tutorial
Visit the Teams and Channels page for more in depth instructions

Switching Your Team view between Grid and List

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Collaborating with others is the key of Microsoft Teams.  Conversations and Chat are both essentially instant messaging contained within Teams.  Since they are in Teams they are searchable, secure, and saved.

Conversations consists of Threads.  In order to keep the Conversation space organized it is important to distinguish the difference between Replying to an existing thread vs. Starting a new one.

Reply to an existing thread by typing in the "reply" area of the thread.

The "Start a new conversation" box at the bottom starts a new thread.

Adding a subject to a tread gives it context, just like the subject line of an email.  Use the formatting icon to add a Subject to a new thread.Click here for a series of short videos on formatting your post.

Did you know that you can have conversations connected to documents and tabs?

This is a great way to collaborate on items and provides a contextual history for any changes which occur.

You can turn any conversation into an impromptu video conference by clicking on the Meet Now icon on the Conversations tab.

Please see the section of this page on Meetings (Video Conferencing) for more on meeting, sharing your screen, recording, and more.

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While Conversations occur within the context of a Team Channel, Chat gives you all of the tools associated with them but opens the potential participants to everyone at WashU who is using Teams for individual or group chats.
Click on a topic below to learn more.

There is a wealth of chat information on the Chat in Microsoft Teams page.

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Video conferencing in Microsoft Teams is called Meetings.
We strongly encourage you to view Microsoft's series of Meetings videos.

You can initiate a Meeting in the following ways

  • scheduled through the left navigation option Meetings
  • impromptu within a Team Channel with Meet Now
  • with the members of a Chat using Video Call

Note on Scheduled Meetings:

Individual invitees receive an outlook invite to the meeting.  Selecting a Team Channel does not send an outlook invite to Team members, but will send a notification to anyone following the Channel.

Pro-Tip: Invite those who need to be in the meeting, select a channel to increase transparency.

Microsoft Teams increases meeting productivity through

It is can be very helpful to navigate to a different part of Microsoft Teams during a Meeting.

For example, collaboratively edit a document while talking about it.

Please see Microsoft's video Move around during a Teams meeting

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The Files tab in Team Channels and Chats allows you to quickly share files with the members of the Team or Chat without having to manage sharing as you do in Box and OneDrive.

Please visit Microsoft's Collaborate on files with your Team page to learn how to upload, create, and co-author documents.

You can add a Box folder, or any cloud storage, to a team.
Sharing permissions of the box folder must be maintained in Box.
This caveat makes Box a solution for sensitive documents which should only be shared with certain members of a Team.

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Microsoft Teams is a constantly evolving platform,
with engineers continually developing new ways to interact.

The most up to date training is always available
through the Office 365 Training Portal

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