Teams - Introduction

The Teams app is designed to make collaboration easier for groups of people who work closely. The Teams app is a way to bring many different parts of Microsoft Office 365 together, with users able to access many different apps easily, and to store and share files. When working in Teams you can work individually or in a ‘team’ or connected group of people.

The Teams app can be used solely as a video conferencing tool. You can schedule Teams meetings with your installed version of Outlook, your webmail and with the calendar in the Teams app.

It can also be used to chat with individuals or groups of people on campus, including text and audio/video chat as well as file sharing.

The Teams app also has the capability for people to create teams, or groups of people who can chat, share files, and work collaboratively.


What is a team?

In the simplest terms, a team is any group of people working together to get something done. A team in Microsoft Teams is a group of people who are able to get things done easily by all having access to the same apps and files

In a team, the focus is usually around the type of work that we do like Institutional Advancement or Marketing, or the projects that we're working on, like a specific class or club.

Some tips:

1. There's no "right number" of teams.

Some people are on four teams and some on 40. There’s no right number of teams to be a member of but most people actively participate in at most 5 – 10 teams at a time.

When you first log in to Teams, you may already be a part of some teams. That’s great! That means someone has added you to them and you can dive right in. If want to look for other teams to be a part of or need to create one of your own, if you are in List View go to the bottom of your teams list, or if you are in and select   

Join or create team button

2. Be thoughtful when naming a new team.

Whether you're on a few teams or a lot, a thoughtful, descriptive name is important. A good team name gets people to the right place quickly, while an unclear name creates confusion. Worse, it could mean your team doesn't get used.

Look at what teams already exist to avoid duplicating a name or creating one that's so similar that people don't know which team to use. (Team names that are very similar are a clue that what you really need might be a single team with a few distinct channels.)

Also try to include a team image—sometimes fun, sometimes serious—as a visual landmark to help people recognize that team in their list. Like with names, try to make these distinct.

3. Reorder your teams to make sense for you.

Teams put your teams in order based what it knows about your relationship to them, like when you were added and how often you use them. If you would like to change the order that the teams appear in, you can do so by selecting and dragging where you would like, in either grid or list view.

You can also move teams that are not used that often out of sight by selecting the More Options ellipsis next to the team name and choosing Hide from the menu. These might be teams that have useful info, but that we just need to check in on every few days or weeks. They're still easy to get to. Just go to the bottom of your teams list and select Hidden teams.

If you ever want to take a team out of hiding, just select the team and then Show.

4. Retire teams that are no longer needed.

Part of the natural life cycle of things in Teams is to retire teams that have run their course. When a team is no longer being actively used for a particular project, event, or feature area, it should be Archived.

Archiving is more than just hiding the team. The team is put into an inactive state, everything is still available to search and browse through, features like Chat are unavailable and it can even be made Read-Only for everyone but owners. Archiving moves teams out of the way but keeps them available. Team owners can bring them back if needed.


Teams tabs



The Activity Feed - accessed by clicking on the Activity tab in your left sidebar - displays all of your activity across the teams, channels, chats, and apps that you have access to. It includes @ mentions of you or a team, activity within a team, and responses and reactions to posts or chat.

Teams Activity tab




Chat is at the center of whatever you do in Teams. In Chat you can either talk one-on-one with someone or have a small group chat.

You start one-on-one and group chats the same way, by selecting the New Chat icon in Teams, which is found at the top of the chat list.

Once in a chat, you’ll be able to send messages that include files, links, emojis, stickers, and GIFs - whatever you need to get your point across!

Chat is also where you will find all the chats that have occurred in meetings.

Teams Chat tab



The Teams tab is where you can Join or Create a team, you can see a tabular list or a tiled view of all the teams you belong to and you can go to a specific team by selecting it from the list. On the teams tab you can also hide teams, delete them, or manage them.

Teams Teams tab


Although the Assignment tab will be visible, it will be empty unless you have created or belong to a Class Team which uses the Assignments feature.

Teams Assignments tab


The calendar tab on the Teams app shows your Outlook calendar. Any Teams meetings scheduled will automatically contain a Join button at the time of the meeting for easy access. Appointments created on the Teams Outlook calendar will be the same as if created in Outlook, but all meetings created in the Teams calendar will automatically be Teams meetings  and contain a link to join the meeting virtually.