Imperial College recommends staff and students to use Teams to collaborate and virtually meet with your colleagues and external contacts. Teams are created using Office 365 groups.
Visit our dedicated Microsoft Teams (For Teaching and Learning) web pages for information on how to deliver teaching through Teams.
How to Access Teams
Microsoft Teams can be used in a web browser or can be downloaded as an App to your desktop or mobile device.
Using the Teams Desktop and Mobile App
ICT at Imperial recommends users download the application to their device for the best experience.
Using Teams in a Browser
You can access Teams when you log in to Office 365 and view all the applications via the waffle icon.
Please note that not all browsers support the full range of Teams functionality and therefore it is recommended that you consider using either of the following supported browsers:
- Google Chrome (across Windows 10, Mac OS X and Linux)
- Microsoft Edge (Windows and Mac OS X)
Browser versions of Teams do not allow screen sharing and provide a different meeting experience by only showing single speaker view, as opposed to the grid view of multiple people available in the Desktop and Mobile App.
What Team type shall I choose?
It is important to choose the right type of Team for what you're going to be using Teams for. Imperial College recommends the following options:
- Other – for general teams working and collaboration when the work is not directly for educating students or managing staff.
- Class teams – for educational instruction and collaboration
- Staff teams – for managers who want to work collaboratively and effectively with their team
- PLC – for communities of practice within the educators / academic staff
Note: Class, Staff and PLC team types contain specific OneNote notebook and other Teams features which may be restrictive in use where not used appropriately.
For more information, visit the Choose a team type to collaborate in Microsoft Teams Microsoft help web page.
How to use Teams
The Microsoft Teams help centre webpages offer several easy to follow guides for how to use Teams including:
- How to create a team
- How to create a team from an existing group
- Add guests to a team
- Chat and share files in Teams
- Join a meeting
- Add an app to a team
- Add channels within a team
- Use live captions in a Teams meeting
Download from Microsoft Teams
Meetings that have been recorded in Microsoft Teams from 29 March 2021 will be automatically stored in the recorder’s SharePoint or One Drive for Business, depending on how the meeting was set up and hosted. Recordings can be downloaded and then uploaded to another platform. For more information, please visit the Microsoft support web pages.
Adding video backgrounds in Teams
ICT have created an installer for those wanting to add backgrounds to their video calls in Teams. You will need administrator rights on your device to do this. To gain administrator rights, please Contact the ICT Service Desk.
The installer can be downloaded from OneDrive. Once downloaded, run the file and follow the Wizard until the installation is complete. The images will automatically download to the correct folder and should be available to select in your backgrounds next time you open Teams.
The installer is also being rolled out to all on site and remote College machines.
Mac users can find the installer in the the self-service tool as 'Microsoft Teams - IC backgrounds'. This will install the backgrounds on your Mac and will be available to select when you next open Teams.
Those working from personal Macs will need to install the self-service tool. Find out more here.
There are a number of features available to make Teams more accessible and easier to use. The links below provide further guidance.
- How to use live captions
- How to use keyboard shortcuts
- How to use the immersive reader
- Using a screen reader
Skype for Business
Skype for Business is going to be phased out this year, and all users will be advised to move to using Microsoft Teams.
Teams usage guidance
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in higher usage of Microsoft Teams throughout the College. Teams has helped the College collaborate more effectively during the pandemic and has been vital for the College to operate remotely under these exceptional circumstances.
Despite its many benefits this presents several data protection issues and correct ‘Teams etiquette’ is paramount to protect, not only the risk of sensitive data being published but the well-being of everybody using teams to hold virtual meetings.
Each Team meeting has chat functionality that is accessible to all participants. Please be mindful that Meeting participants can still view the Teams chat even after they have left the meeting. We need to be acutely aware of this and be conscious of what we post within the Teams chat function during and after any meeting has closed or in the case where a participant(s) leaves before the meeting ends.
If follow on meetings are required involving different participants then it is recommended to close the original meeting and create a new one. This will create a new chat. It is, however, good practice to remain mindful of the information we post within the chat function when using Teams.
Team retention period
Teams expire a year from the date and time the team was created. The team owner will be sent a notification for Team renewal 30 days, 15 days, and 1 day before the Team's expiration date. The team owner can let the Team expire or, should the Team still be needed, in the Team Setting select the option to ‘Renew now’ to reset the expiration date. For more information see the Teams Starter Guide and the Team expiration and renewal in Microsoft Teams web page.
If the Team owner doesn't renew the Team and there is no further activity on the Team until the end of the expiration policy, it will be put in a "soft-deleted" state, which means it can be restored within the next 30 days.