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Microsoft Teams Guide

What Can Teams Do? 

Teams allows for instant text messaging, voice and video calling, file storing, sharing, and collaborative editing, instant translation, and more with every faculty, staff, or student on campus. 

It can also provide a virtual classroom for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction as well as a space for collaborative student projects. 

Continue reading or click on one of the links below.

This guide also applies to students using Teams, since they have the same experience.

This guide will continue to be updated. 

For support, please email


Downloading and Setting Up Teams

  • Downloading Teams on desktop or mobile

    To download Teams, visit and click on the Teams icon. Then, sign in with your campus credentials. For additional functionality, the desktop Teams app can be download through the download App button at the bottom left of your Teams screen.

    Students sign in by using, without the Cougars part of the email.  And they click on SIGN IN, not SIGN UP. 

    You can also download the Microsoft Teams phone app for free on iOS and Android

  • Getting notified when someone messages you

    You can also manage your notifications (turning them on/off ) so you can know when someone sends you a message. This is an important part of staying up-to-date on all the conversations happening on Teams. 

    Remember: When you're added to a new Team or a different channel in a Team, you have to turn notifications for that Team/channel ON because they are OFF by default.  

Tips on Using Teams For Remote Work

  • Managing Notifications in Teams

    Notifications on Teams are an excellent tool for helping you stay up-to-date on conversations but can also overwhelm you if not set up properly.

    Notifications on Teams come in two types: Banner and Feed. For each channel in a Team, you can have Teams notify you for messages through a Banner and a Feed message, just a Feed message, or no notifications at all. 

    Banner Notifications: These are the "loudest" and should be used for Teams where you want to make sure you don't miss any message.

    When you receive a message and you have Banner Notifications turned on, you will see a notification pop-up either at the bottom right or top left of your screen accompanied by a notification sound.

    Feed Notifications: This type of notification is more subtle than a banner notification but still gives you a visual notification that you have received a message. 

    When you receive a message and you have Feed Notifications turned on, you will only see a small red number in your Activity Feed (the top left icon shaped like a bell). These silent notifications are great for channels where you want to keep track of conversations but don't want an auditory notification for every single message. 

    No Notifications: Finally, you can set your Notifications for any channel to OFF. If you do so, you will only be notified if someone mentions you directly (@name).  

  • Managing Notifications in Chat

     Chats (conversations in the Chat tab, not the Teams tab) will always notify you with a Banner Notification.

    However, you can Mute notifications from any chat by clicking on the three dots next to the name of the chat and clicking on Mute (useful when you are part of chats with multiple users). 

  • Helpful Tips

    Teams has several shortcuts and other tricks that can make your workflow easier (zooming in and out, saving messages, translating messages, and more). 

Communicating Using Teams—QuickGuide

  • Chat versus a Team

    In Teams you can communicate either through a Chat or in a Team.

    Chat is primarily for 1v1 or small group communications where everyone needs to be aware of all that is said. Everyone in the chat will get notified for every message and included in every video and/or audio call. 

    A Team is a virtual workspace that is better suited for established groups (e.g. a department or a committee) and for virtual classrooms. It can have a single channel (if Teams is a house, channels are the rooms) or multiple channels.

  • How to Text, Call, or Video Call in a Chat

    You can instantly message anyone on campus using the Chat tool.

    To draw attention to a message, you can use @ and a person's name (the name will pop-up once you start typing and you can select it), @channel (notifies everyone in the channel, and @Team (notifies eveyone in the Team). Using @ is a great way of ensuring those who need to read a message get notified. 

    Useful Tip: Since the  Enter key sends the message, if you want to add a second line of text without sending the message, click Shift+Enter.

    You can also voice call or video call in the same Chat window either on your computer (on the app, not browser version) or through your phone. This is an excellent replacement for calling someone's cell phone because as long as they have the Teams app on their phone, you can call them without needing to know their cell number. 

  • How to Message in a Team

    The Teams posts work similar to a Chat with a few excaptions. You can either send a new message in a Team channel or Reply to an existing message (which keeps the conversation together and makes it easier to follow). 

    The Format tool (accessed through the A under the message bar) also allows you to add a subject to a message. 

  • Starting and Joining a Team Video Call

    There are multiple ways to start a video meeting in a Team

    You can also Schedule a Teams meeting, which will create a calendar invitation that includes the link to join through Teams. 

    Useful Tip: To join a scheduled meeting, you can

    • click on the Join button that will appear on the Team page after the first person joins the scheduled meeting. 
    • click on the Join Microsoft Teams link in your calendar invitation.
    • click on the meeting in the Teams Calendar tab and click on the Join button on the top right.
    • click on the Join button (which will appear 5 minutes before the meeting time) on the meeting slot in the Teams Calendar tab. 

    If others can't hear you or see you, you can adjust your settings easily.

    In a Team meeting you can Invite others to join youShare Your Screen, and Record your Meeting


Creating and Joining a Team—QuickGuide


Sharing Files and Co-Editing—QuickGuide

  • Sharing Files

    When you share files in a Chat, the file is uploaded to OneDrive, which makes collaboration easy. 

    When you share files in a Team, they instead go to SharePoint

    In both instances, you can edit Office files on Teams or in the online and desktop Office apps, with options to collaborate with others in real-time. 

Using Teams for Virtual Student Drop-Ins

  • Virtual Student Drop-Ins

    With Teams, you can create Virtual Student Drop-In spaces where students can seek support through chat, audio, or video calls. Advising and Tutoring Centers are already utilizing Teams in this manner. 

    If you wish to explore such a possibility for your area, please email

Using Teams for Virtual Instruction—Quick Guide