Microsoft Office 365 for education
Leiden University is using the Microsoft Office 365 software suite. Two of the programs in this suite are highly suitable for remote teaching: Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Live Events. This page provides a short description of both programs and additional sources about the use of these tools in education.
Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaborative environment, part of Microsoft’s Office 365 software suite. The tool is designed to house groups of users in an environment where they can schedule and host video calls, create threads of text conversation, share and collaborate on documents, make recordings (according to GDPR regulations), etc.
Teams has many useful applications for education. It is a powerful tool for collaboration and communication, but every tool for education comes with trade-offs that need to be considered carefully. No tool is perfect, and Teams likewise has it limits. Explore the page below to see if and how the use of Microsoft Teams can contribute to your program.
The latest news about the use of Microsoft Teams at Leiden University can be found at the help desk portal page.
Good to know:
- Integration with Brightspace is currently not technically possible. Microso and D2L (the creator of Brightspace) are developing this feature, but it is not expected before the end of 2020. This means that Teams are not synced or connected to Brightspace Courses. Therefor users in a Brightspace Course cannot be automatically synced with a Team. Users cannot be imported by .csv or Excel sheet, either. Adding all students in a course must therefore be done manually, which is time consuming for a teacher. With sufficient planning, it should be possible for ISSC to do bulk uploads of users, though presently this solution is not tested. To request this, it’s best to make a make a ticket in the ISSC HelpDesk.
- The architectural management of the Team is also manual. Channels must be created, any files must be moved across there.
- Teams is only suitable for short-term storage. If Teams is used for educational purposes, all documents, recordings, files, chats, etc. need to then be moved back to Kaltura Video Portal & Brightspace for long-term storage.
- Like every tool, it has capacity limitations. No tool is 100% stable, and this is true of Teams also. When utilising large group sizes (over 100), lagging, stuttering, and dropouts are possible. Communicate clearly to students what connectivity best practices they can follow, but it does not solve everything.
- Are you planning to teach live to over 25 people? Get a moderator. A moderator in the call (a student or teaching assistant) improves both your experience and that of your students.
Microsoft Live Events
Microsoft Live Events is the webinar software of Office365, which support up to 10,000 simultaneous passive attendees. Its primary purpose is as a broadcasting platform large-scale conference and broadcasting events, and it is designed to allow audio and video codentsfor broadcasting production inputs. Before planning for Teams Live Events, consider if your program's goals can be reached and how the passive nature of the tool will impact your education. Live Events creates a very passive experience for your students. You cannot see them, and they cannot talk with each other. Due to the broadcast delay, back-and-forth interactions are not in real time.