Educational Technology is compiling a list of some best practices for when it comes to using Teams video calls meetings and chats. This list will be updated frequently so be sure to check back often. If there is something that you think we should add, please let us know.
Tips to Take Before a Video Call Meeting:
- Practice hosting a video call meeting before you do the real meeting to test out your equipment and space in order to troubleshoot any errors.
- Get familiar with the Teams environment.
- Test and practice the features available during a video call meeting including recording, sharing your screen, and using the chat.
- Create a backup communication plan in case you or your participants have trouble connecting to the meeting. The backup plan might include the following: connecting to the meeting through a different device, collaborate through an online collaboration tool (i.e. OneDrive Word document), and record the meeting.
- Choose a trusted colleague or student (i.e.TA) to monitor the chats for you while you are doing the discussion.
Tips for During the Video Call Meeting
- Have participants mute their microphone and videos when they enter the discussion.
- Use background blur and background effects (only on desktop) to minimize distractions.
- Ensure that all participants can see and hear other participants as appropriate for the meeting
- Take turns using your video cameras for the discussion to ensure a better call quality
- Establish visual or verbal cues when someone wants to actively contribute to the meeting, this is where monitoring the chats will be useful.
- Provide an agenda to participants which might include an overview of topics
- When sharing a web page, zoom in. Ctrl/Cmd+= will zoom for most browsers.
- Use the chat to help share resources, information, and ask questions during the meeting to limit interruptions.
- Record the video session for others who were not able to attend.
Tips for After the Video Call Meeting
- Remind all the attendees to the meeting that chat and video recording (if applicable) will be available afterwards for everyone to access.
- Visit Stream after your video is done processing to get the share code to share with participants via email or Moodle
- Follow up with your participants and others who may have missed the virtual meeting to share valuable links and more.
Tips for Using Private Chats in Teams
- Use private chats for questions with specific people or to ping someone
- Teams private chat is equivalent to any other instant messaging service.
- Name your chats with a specific name to make it easier to find.
- File uploades in the chats are saved to OneDrive. The file automatically uploads to the Chat Files folder in the OneDrive of the person who uploads it and it is automatically shared with everyone in the chat.
- If you already have a chat going with three people and you create a new chat with those same three people, there will be two different chats with individuals in two different conversations. So avoid duplicating chats at all possible.
- Add participants to the chat and decide whether or not that they get to see the prior discussions
- If you have a lot of people in a private chat (10 or more), it probably justifies considering creating an Outlook group to create a Team (important for workings groups).
- Pay attention to individuals availability status in Teams to be courtesy when sending a reply back to a chat (when applicable).