Microsoft Teams for Teaching

Remote Teaching

Microsoft Teams for Teaching

Microsoft Teams for Teaching

You can use Microsoft Teams (part of Office 365) for teaching. Leiden University, however, only recommends using Microsoft Teams for online teaching for small (interactive) groups. This restriction is due to the tool’s functionalities and moderation possibilities. Please consider these guidelines before you start working with Microsoft Teams.


The supported features for Microsoft Teams include:

  • Conducting video calls and facilitating meetings*
    • Microsoft Teams supports calls between two and two hundred fifty people. Please be aware that only the most recent nine speakers will be shown on screen.
  • Sharing and/or editing documents**
    • You can use the integrated Microsoft Office suite to work on documents simultaneously.
  • Chat
    • The chat functionality allows you to have written conversations with one or more others.
  • Teams
    • You can create a team for every individual working group to provide a platform for collaboration and keep track of the progress.

* Please note that Microsoft Teams should not be used to make recordings or store sensitive and/or personal information via OneDrive.

** This tool is not a place for long term file storage. This should still be done through existing data management options such as JDrive and PDrive/OneDrive.

Setting up Microsoft Teams

  • Looking to quickly set up Microsoft Teams? Then follow these steps.
  • The following tips will help you host a meeting seamlessly.

Go to the helpdesk and click on the ‘Working from home’ tile for more information about using Microsoft Teams.

General manuals and training

Microsoft has made several manuals and documents available for Microsoft Teams. Please keep in mind that not all functionalities are available or can be used to facilitate education (e.g. in accordance with AVG/GDPR legislation and privacy considerations).

Microsoft Teams for working from home

Besides its use for remote teaching, Microsoft Teams can also be used for working from home, having meetings with colleagues, or working remotely with your colleagues. See here for more information.

Applications and use of MSTeams

Although Brigthspace is the go to platform for all LU education, MSTeams can offer additional possibilities for collaboration and interaction. On this page, examples of the most used educational activities are explained briefly.

Small interactive sessions*

  • Microsoft Teams supports (video) calls using audio and, when preferred, video. You will see a maximum of 9 other participants on screen and can use the presenters mode to pin one speaker.
  • It is not possible to create break-out rooms, although you can create smaller groups (called channels) in which people can have collaborative (video) calls.
  • During a meeting you can share your screen with others, for example to give a presentation or show non-shared files.
  • Every (video) call comes with a dedicated chat where participants and moderators can discuss, ask questions and/or help each other when needed.

Collaborating online

  • Online collaboration can best be facilitated by creating dedicated teams or seperate channels in a team.
  • You can use the automatically integrated Microsoft Office suite to work on documents simultaneously. Here you can also upload existing files and download the saved documents.**

Giving and sharing feedback

  • By using the chat, document sharing, and calling features in Teams, you can easily give and share feedback with students and peers.

One-on-one conversations with individual students

  • Microsoft Teams has integrated Leiden University accounts so you can easily contact students through their ULCN. This can be done through a video call, audio only call or chat.

Conducting oral exams with individual students.

Invite guest speakers, experts or other speakers

  • Not having externals providing their input to academic education would be a big loss. In MSTeams it is possible to add guests to a team or a call.
  • Another option would be to use a prerecorded video or interview and play this during a call by sharing the screen with audio enabled.

* Please note that Microsoft Teams should not be used to make recordings or store sensitive and/or personal information via OneDrive.

** This tool is not a place for long term file storage. This should still be done through existing data management options such as JDrive and PDrive/OneDrive.