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Get started using Microsoft Teams for your Blackboard course


Have a course Team automatically created for you:

  • A Team will be created with your course information
  • Students in your Blackboard course will be added to your Team as "members"
  • Instructors and Teaching Assistants in your Blackboard course will be added to your Team as "owners"

Contact us by phone or email to get started:


Learn the Basics of Using Teams for Academics


We have a self-paced learning course for Microsoft Teams at KU

  • 8 modules that cover the following topics:
    • Accessing Teams
    • Using Chat and Navigating the Platform
    • Creating a Team for your Class
    • Instant Messaging within your Team
    • Using File Sharing and Collaboration
    • Creating and Using Channels in your Team
    • Video Conferencing and Meetings
    • Connecting Teams to Blackboard and using other Apps in Teams
  • To enroll in the course and get started:
    • Navigate to https://courseware.ku.edu/ and login
    • Find the Course Search box on the My Blackboard page, type in "Microsoft Teams" and click Go
      • Blackboard course search box
    • Click the dropdown menu next to the course ID and click Enroll, then click Submit to confirm​​


Some Do's and Don'ts with Teams for Instructors


What does Teams offer for my course?

  • Persistent communication environment (these are called "Chat Channels")
  • Group collaboration and meeting space (live webconference meetings within Chat Channels)
  • Shared document workflow and storage (OneDrive, Sharepoint, and Office365 built in)


Is there anything in Teams that should not be used for my course?

  • Teams comes with a lot of functions and add-ons that should not be used
    • Many of these are better suited for non-academic purposes
    • Some features are available via Microsoft, but not optimized or supported
  • In particular, the following academic activities should not be handled in Teams:
    • Primary content delivery 
    • Assignment collection / assessment
    • Official grade recording


Frequently Used Functions with Teams for Academics


My Team is created, how do I set up and customize chat channels?

Chat in a team

Chat messages in a team channel are asynchronous meaning that your message will be kept visible to the individual(s) if they cannot immediately respond. But Teams chat also allows real-time interaction if all parties are online at once. Each team comes with a General channel by default so you can start communicating right away.

All team members can customize the notification they receive when a new message is posted. In a message type @ and then a person’s name, channel name or team name to increase the visibility of your message. See the options at: https://howto.ku.edu/notifications.

You can create new channels as needed for specific topics/audiences. Detailed information is found at: https://howto.ku.edu/channels.

Here are some examples of channels for a class:

  • Student group channels for work/collaboration
  • Q&A channel for students to direct questions back to the class
  • Exam review channel for an upcoming assignment

Chat with one student privately

Click in the textbox at the top of the Teams display:

Enter the student’s first or last name. Click on the name to select the correct individual:

If you’ve not exchanged messages before you will see the message ‘You’re starting a new conversation’ and can type your message into the textbox at the bottom of the screen.


If you’ve exchanged message in the past with this person you will see search results on the left of the screen. Click on the People tab, click the person’s name and type your message into the textbox at the bottom of the screen.




How do I facilitate meeting with my class in Teams?

Teams allows you to quickly and easily meet online. You can start a meeting with team members you know are currently online. You can also create a meeting for a future date and time, using either Teams or Outlook. More information is at: https://howto.ku.edu/posts-and-chat , in the Meet Now tab.

Meet Now

In the Team page click the Meet Now icon at the bottom of the screen:

Optionally add a subject at the top of the screen.
Click ‘Meet now’.
You are now in an online meeting and can invite others to join you using the People area on the right. Type in a person’s name, or a team name. You can also click the three dots to the right of listed names and select ‘Ask to join’.


Set a Meeting for a Future Time

In the Team page click the Meet Now icon at the bottom of the screen:

Click ‘Schedule a meeting’ near the bottom of the screen.
Enter a title, attendees, date and time. Select whether this meeting will repeat.
You have the option to enter information about the meeting in the textbox.
When ready click Send at the top of the page.
Attendees will receive an email with the link to the Teams meeting. The meeting will be automatically added to your Outlook calenda

Schedule a Teams Meeting in Outlook

Open Outlook Calendar view. Click the ‘New Teams Meeting’ icon:

You can invite anyone to the meeting, you are not limited to team members.



How do I manage shared document space in Teams?

Documents and files can be shared with and accessed by all members of a team or class within a given channel. Please remember that for academic courses, it is best practice to share course documents and to collect files (assignments) within the Blackboard course, not Teams. Remembering this, Teams provides a useful way for classmembers to share files and to collaborate. 

For more information about creating and managing files and documents, select from the following:

Create new files or folders

  1. Select a channel, then choose the Files tab at the top. [see screenshot] 
  2. Click +New in the top menu and select the file type or folder.
  3. Provide a title, then click Create

Upload files and folders

  • Click Upload at the top menu or drag and drop the file from your computer. 
  • In the Posts tab within a channel, you can attach a file to a conversation using the paperclip icon [see screenshot] or drag and drop the file into the message. These options will upload the attached file to the Files tab in that channel.

Edit files

  • You have the option to edit in the browser, from the desktop app, or in Teams. [see screenshot] 
  • While the browser offers many of Word's editing tools, you will get full editing tools when editing in the Desktop app

Edit a file collaboratively

Microsoft teams allows members to work on files together at the same time. Also, messages about the document stay with the file and show up in team conversations. 

  1. In a team conversation or in the Files tab, select the More options button next to the file. [see screenshot]
  2. Choose if you want to edit the file in Teams, on your desktop, or online.
  3. Edit the file. Colored flags show who else is working on it with you.
  4. Select Start conversation to add a message about the file.
  5. Type your message or @mention someone and select Send.

SharePoint back-up

Your Microsoft Team also comes with a SharePoint site. All files back-up to the document library found on that site which you can access by clicking Open in SharePoint in the Files tab. [see screenshot]

Each channel will be assigned its own folder in SharePoint. [see screenshot] 

  • If you add a channel in Teams, it will be stored as a folder in a SharePoint library. 
  • If you change the name of the Teams channel, it will not automatically change the name of the folder in SharePoint. You must do this manually. 

Private channel SharePoint back-up

  • When a private channel is created, a new, abbreviated SharePoint site is created just for that channel. This ensures any files created in the private channel can only be accessed by those who are owners/members/guests of that channel. The channel will have the same name as the team with Private channel added to the end of the name. For example, if your team name is Project Q, the private channel will be called Project Q - Private channel. This is a useful feature if you need to share files or conversations with specific groups of members or students. 





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