Unit 5: Collaboration in Microsoft Teams
Think About It
Please take time to brainstorm answers to the following questions.
1. What are ways you have/you have seen collaboration in the past? This could be between students, teachers, administrators, etc.
2. Why is collaboration important in education?
Importance of Collaboration
It is incredibly important to collaborate in education. One way to collaborate it through learning communities. The ultimate goal of learning communities is to develop a collective knowledge – not an individual knowledge. While individual knowledge will be increased in a successful learning community, it is in the community where the knowledge is situated. Bielaczyc and Collins said “in a learning-communities approach, the goal is to foster a culture of learning, where both individuals and the community as a whole are learning” (1999, p. 223). This idea is that of a collective responsibility. Zhang et al. said, “collective responsibility implies responsibility beyond improvement of personal knowledge. For the group to take collective responsibility, ideas must have an ‘out-in-the-world’ existence” (2007, p. 118). This unit will look at how Microsoft Teams can be used to help collaboration in the classroom.
Brainstorm an answer to the following question.
- How do you think Microsoft Teams can be used to support collaboration?
How Teams Can Support Collaboration
Microsoft Teams allows for collaboration in a number of ways. "Use the Teams built-in meetings features to effectively hold classroom meetings, collaborate on virtual whiteboards, and share documents. With assignments, conversations, files, notes, and video calls all pulled together, Teams is a great all-in-one hub for the collaborative classroom" (Microsoft, 2020). In addition, "with Teams being a hub for education, a core part of this also includes built-in Staff teams and Professional Learning Community (PLC) teams to go along with Class Teams. This provides a one-stop shop for educators. Staff Teams and PLC teams allow educators and staff to easily communicate and collaborate during remote learning" (Microsoft, 2020).
Collaboration on Teams
Discussion boards are a great way to get students collaborating in class. Especially with how the world is now with the Coronavirus Pandemic shutting down many schools, there has been a transition to online learning. "Discussion boards are arguably the most important part of the online course. In a traditional f2f classroom, students see each other and interact in the physical classroom space. In an online course, discussion boards provide that same visible, interactive space for students to interact academically and socially with their peers. Asynchronous, online discussions where students can process the material, interact with each other, and form a collaborative community are key to successful online teaching" (Johnson).
Create a discussion board channel
- Follow the directions for creating a channel from Unit 1.
- Give your channel the title 'Discussion Board' and then make a post for others to respond to (example below)
Staff Teams, or PLCs, are a great way to collaborate in education. They allow teachers to connect with each other and share resources, and grow in their careers. On Microsoft Teams you can "form PLC teams around interest areas, grade levels, or across subjects. New educators can be added at any time, and team members can share files and collaborate in channels, even when they’re not at school" (Microsoft, 2020). Microsoft provided a list of many benefits of PLC Teams:
Create a Staff PLC
- Step 1 - Follow the directions from Unit 1 for how to create a Teams Page.
When selecting which kind of Teams Page you are creating, select Professional Learning Community (PLC)
- Step 2 - Add teachers to your PLC Team
Collaboration With Teams
Providing Feedback to Microsoft
While feedback is incredibly important to students, it is also incredibly important to companies like Microsoft.Microsoft is always looking to improve their user interface and provide more opportunities for Teams to grow and serve the needs of its users better. Microsoft uses a website called UserVoice to gather feedback for improving Teams. On UserVoice, you are able to submit ideas for improvement to Microsoft. Not only are you able to submit your own idea but you are able to see the ideas others have submitted, and vote for them. The more votes an idea has, the more likely it is Microsoft will see it and implement the change on Teams.
Provide Feedback to Microsoft
- Click here to provide feedback to Microsoft. You can vote for ideas you like, create your own topic, or both. Feel free to spend some time exploring the site. When you finish, return here for your final activity.
Thank you for taking the time to take this course. Please click this link in order to provide feedback about this mini-course - to allow for improvements to be made in the future. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
Bielaczyc, K., & Collins, A. (1999). Learning Communities in Classrooms: A Reconceptualization of Educational Practice. Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, 271-292.
Johnson, S. M. (n.d.). Online Course Development: Discussion Boards. Retrieved from Vanderbilt University: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/cdr/module1/discussion-boards/
Microsoft. (2020). Create a PLC team in Microsoft Teams. Retrieved from Microsoft Support: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/create-a-plc-team-in-microsoft-teams-ad803fa2-c967-41b4-ae37-0bf60f17fa00
Tholfsen, M. (2020, April 17). Top 5 Ways Teachers Can Use Microsoft Teams During Remote Learning. Retrieved from Microsoft Education: https://educationblog.microsoft.com/en-us/2020/04/top-5-ways-teachers-can-use-microsoft-teams-during-remote-learning/#:~:text=Connection%20and%20collaboration%3A%20Use%20the,hub%20for%20the%20collaborative%20classroom.
Zhang, J., Scardamalia, M., Lamon, M., Messina, R., & Reeve, R. (2007). Socio-Cognitive Dynamics of Knowledge Building in the Work of 9- and 10-Year-Olds. Education Tech Research Dev, 117-145.