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What is Teams?

Find out how to use Teams to create a secure, shared workspace for conversations, file storage and real time collaboration

How to hold virtual meetings using Teams

Find out how to use Teams to have virtual meetings
Download our Teams starter guide [PDF, 283 KB]

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.

Teams offers a shared calendar, shared file storage using SharePoint, OneNote, Planner and much more to allow you to work together on projects with up to 10,000 people in a Team. 

Visit our dedicated Microsoft Teams (For Teaching and Learning) web pages for information on how to deliver teaching through Teams. 

Teams supports voice or video call meetings of up to 300 people. For meetings of more than 300 people, ICT recommends you hold a Teams Live Event. For more information on Teams Live Events please contact the ICT Service Desk.
 
If you require external callers to dial into a Teams call, they will need an Audio Conferencing add-on license. Please fill in the Audio Conferencing Add-On License form if you require this service. 
 

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:

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.

Windows users

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

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

Accessibility functionality

There are a number of features available to make Teams more accessible and easier to use. The links below provide further guidance.

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.