Microsoft Teams Instructor Guide

Microsoft Teams logo

Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one collaboration tool to create virtual meeting spaces and facilitate group work. In Teams, you can meet and collaborate with UBC faculty, staff, and students through web-conferencing and group chat. The platform also includes file-sharing and real-time document collaboration using Microsoft Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Cost Yes Free
Bandwidth Partial High demand
Canvas Integration No None
Privacy Yes Microsoft Teams is FIPPA compliant and data is stored securely in Canada
Similar UBC-Supported Tools Zoom is a web-conferencing and collaboration option
Mattermost is a chat and collaboration option
Microsoft OneDrive is a real-time document collaboration option

What can I use it for?

You can use Microsoft Teams for a variety of activities:

  • Chatting with other faculty, staff, and students
  • Collaborating synchronously on documents
  • Sharing information and files
  • Holding office hours, meetings, and phone calls
  • Running lectures and presentations

What do I need to use Microsoft Teams?

A UBC Microsoft account

Active UBC employees should not need to do anything additional to get access to Microsoft Teams. You should automatically be able to log in using your email and UBC CWL password.

However, there are certain behind-the-scene technical requirements your employee account needs to meet. If you have trouble logging in or your UBC email account does not end with “”, please contact the UBC IT Service Centre Help Desk for help.

The Microsoft Teams application or a supported web browser

Although Microsoft Teams has a web interface for some features, you may find it more convenient to install the Microsoft Teams application on your computer or mobile device.

If you will be using the web browser to access, Microsoft Teams supports using Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11 and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. Teams will not work with Safari.

Audio/visual equipment

Web-conferencing uses a microphone and a webcam.


  • Using headphones with a microphone will ensure good audio quality for you and your students.
  • If you are on a mobile device, use the latest version of iOS and Android for the best experience with Microsoft Teams.

How do I use Microsoft Teams?

There are many ways to interact with Microsoft Teams, but it’s easiest to install the application to give yourself one central place to access and use all the Microsoft Teams features.

Click any bar below for instructions and tips for using Microsoft Teams.

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Install the Microsoft Teams application

  1. To download the desktop application, go to the Microsoft Teams download page and click Download for desktop, then click Download Teams.
    • The website will automatically detect your operating system and download the right installation file.
  2. Open the Teams installer that downloads, and follow the steps to install the application.


Log in to Microsoft Teams

You can access Microsoft Teams from the web portal or the Teams desktop or mobile application. No matter how you access Teams, you will log in with your UBC credentials.

  1. Enter your email when prompted for your work, school, or Microsoft account.
  2. Enter your UBC CWL password when prompted.
  3. This should log you in to Teams. You may need to read and accept the terms of use first.


  • You can choose to stay signed in to reduce entering your login credentials. If you are on a personal computer this option may be good, but please opt out if you are on a public machine.

Request a team in Microsoft Teams (aka set up a course)

A team refers to a specific group of people in Microsoft Teams who want to collaborate together exclusively. Each team gets access to a private space where members can share communications and content using Teams. To request a team at UBC (e.g., for a course), you will need to submit a form.

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click Get Started in the navigation.
  3. Select Microsoft Teams for UBC Instructors, then scroll down and click the Course Team Request Form button.
  4. Complete the form with the proper information (for courses this includes the course name, code, number, section, and term) and click Submit.
  5. We'll check your request in the LT Hub, and you will receive an email confirmation once it's approved.

Manage your team in Microsoft Teams (aka manage your course)

If you manage a UBC team (typically a course) in Microsoft Teams, you'll have the ability to invite people to the team and create channels for the team. Channels are places where team members can communicate with each other and share files.

Invite people to your team

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click Teams in the navigation.
  3. Select the more options (the 3 horizontal dots) next to the team name.
  4. Choose Manage team from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click the Settings tab, select Team code, and generate one for your team.
  6. Click Copy and share this code with your students or other invitees in a secure way.
  7. Anyone with this code can then use it to join your team.

Create a new channel for your team

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click Teams in the navigation.
  3. Select the more options (the 3 horizontal dots) next to the team name.
  4. Select Add channel from the drop-down menu.
  5. Give the channel a descriptive name and description to make it easier for others to understand what this channel should be used to communicate about.
  6. Choose a privacy setting:
    • Standard: Accessible to everyone on the team
    • Private: Accessible only to specific people from the team that you will select
  7. Click Add to add the channel to the team.


  • Add channels for specific topics/projects in your course to help organize your team space and make it easier for students to find information and engage.
  • The general channel is always included for non-specific discussions and cannot be removed or renamed.
  • Options for securely sharing meeting information with your class are detailed on the Keep Teaching website.

Collaborate on documents in Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft Teams, you can collaborate on documents with other instructors, staff, or students in real time. Files can be edited by multiple people at once, and each person can view the edits as they are being made.

Share a document

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click either Chat (if you want to share documents through a chat) or Teams (if you want to share documents through a channel) in the navigation.
  3. Under the message bar, click the attachment paperclip icon to share a file such as a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document.
  4. Select where the file is stored (OneDrive or local) and choose the file you want to share.
  5. Write a message to go along with your file to help collaborators know what you're sharing.
  6. Click the send icon in the bottom right corner.
  7. Once the message has been sent, anyone who can see it (i.e., anyone with access to the chat or channel) can open the file and start editing.

View a document's changes over time

Each shared file has something called version history. This history tracks changes made by each person and saves different versions over time, so you can see who made which edits and restore or save older versions.

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Access the file you want to view versions for (you can click Files in the navigation to find it).
  3. Once in the edit screen, click File at the top, then select Info.
  4. Click Version History.
  5. This opens up the file in versioning view, where you can move between different versions and see who made which edits.


  • You can switch between editing and reviewing mode to make direct edits or add comments and suggestions instead.
  • Access all files from the Files navigation item in the Teams application, which displays both files that you have shared and that have been shared with you.

Chat in Microsoft Teams

In Microsoft Teams, you can chat privately with individuals or groups of people. Chat is best used for casual conversation. It is not meant for exchanging confidential or sensitive information, nor for formal decision-making. Chats exchanged in the "Chats" area of Microsoft Teams are deleted after 90 days, as part of a UBC Records Management Office retention schedule.

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. At the top of the application, click the "new chat" pencil icon that is to the left of the search bar.
  3. Enter a name, email, group name, or tag in the “To” section to invite others to the chat.
  4. Enter your message in the message bar and use any of the additional options for chatting there:
    • File sharing: Enable document collaboration by sharing a file.
    • Enhanced message formatting: Use the additional features of a rich text editor.
    • Delivery options: Change the status of a message to important or urgent.
    • In-chat meeting scheduler: Schedule a meeting with chat participants.
    • Other reactions: Send emojis, gifs, and stickers.
  5. Click the send icon in the right bottom corner.
  6. You can also launch audio, video, or screen-sharing with people in the chat.


  • The search bar at the top of the Teams application can also be used to start chats or to bring up chat history by typing in people's names.
  • You can set what message history is available for the people you add to an existing chat.
  • Skype for Business users can chat with you by default, if it's enabled for them and they start the conversation. You will see a little Skype icon next to their name (and some functionality may be limited).
  • Your one-to-one and group chats will be deleted after 90 days, even if they have been bookmarked. To share information and files that are kept beyond 90 days, consider using a Teams channel or hosting files on Microsoft OneDrive.

Schedule a meeting in Microsoft Teams

You can schedule meetings to hold lectures, office hours, or check-ins with individuals or groups in Microsoft Teams. Meetings are presently capped at 300 attendees.

    1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
    2. Click Calendar in the navigation.

  1. Click + New meeting at the top.
  2. Fill in the meeting information, including title, attendees, date and time, recurrence, or any of the other available fields.
      • To invite people, you can search for them by name or by email. Alternatively, you can add team channels and anyone who is part of those channels will have access to your meeting.

      • Click Save to save and send your meeting invite.


  • Some students may not have access to their Microsoft Teams account right away. Therefore, you may need to invite them outside of Microsoft Teams by securely sharing session information another way.
  • You can schedule a meeting directly from a team channel to automatically allow anyone with channel access to join.
  • Host online real-time lectures at the same day and time as you would normally hold class.

Run a meeting in Microsoft Teams

During Microsoft Teams meetings, you can interact by video, audio, and text, as well as share things like your screen, applications, and files.

  1. If you scheduled the meeting using Microsoft Teams:
    • Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
    • Click Calendar in the navigation.
    • Click Join on the item in your calendar.
  2. When you are ready with your settings, click Join Now.
  3. During meetings, you have several options available to you:
    • Talk to students over video, audio, and text chat.
    • Share your screen, applications, and files.
    • Take meeting notes that will save in the meeting details.
    • Add documents in chat that can be collaborated on in real-time.
    • Manage participants such as muting their microphones.
  4. To end the meeting, click the hang up phone icon on the bottom.


  • If you experience unexpected lag time when hosting, turn off incoming video by clicking more options (the 3 horizontal dots) in the middle of the meeting toolbar or try turning off your own video (if possible).
  • There is no call-in number for meetings in Microsoft Teams, so attendees must join through the Teams application or the web.
  • Get someone (e.g., teaching assistant) who can help moderate during a lecture to monitor chat questions and handle technical troubleshooting with students.

Microsoft Teams FAQ

Find UBC-specific answers to frequently asked questions by clicking any bar below.

No, Microsoft Teams will not be replacing any current tools, such as Zoom. It is available as an additional collaboration tool, to give you and your students a platform where you can communicate, chat, and collaborate on documents in real time.

The primary goal of Microsoft Teams is to facilitate student group work through instant messaging and document collaboration. In addition, when you create a UBC Microsoft account, you gain access to Microsoft OneDrive, a secure file-hosting service that allows you to store, share, and synchronize up to 1TB of encrypted file storage.

Yes, if you want them to do more than attend a meeting. To join your course space (called a "team"), students will need to create a UBC Microsoft account. You can direct them to instructions for setting up an account in UBC's Microsoft Teams student guide. Once students have accounts, you can invite them to your course.

No, you can install the desktop or mobile application to run Microsoft Teams as an app, but you can also access it from your browser by signing in at with your UBC Microsoft account. The same is true for your students.

Yes, Microsoft Teams meets UBC policy and BC requirements for security. All data in Microsoft Teams is encrypted, stored securely, and hosted in Canada. The data are technically stored in Microsoft OneDrive, which you gain access to when you create a UBC Microsoft account. You can read more about Microsoft OneDrive privacy and security from UBC IT.

Starting April 30, 2021, the chat instant messaging feature in Microsoft Teams will have a 90-day data retention schedule. A data retention schedule provides guidance on how long records must be kept, ensures that records are not stored indefinitely if they are no longer needed, reduces the risk related to data breaches, and maximizes available storage space. To share information and files that are kept beyond 90 days, consider using a Teams channel or hosting files on Microsoft OneDrive.

Yes, however, these limits are quite high and should allow you to meet your pedagogical goals. You can add the following:

  • 250 teams (e.g., courses or other collaborative spaces)
  • 5,000 members (e.g., students) per team
  • 200 public channels (i.e., communication threads) per team
  • 30 private channels per team

Where can I get more support with Microsoft Teams?

Technical support

If you have trouble with Microsoft Teams:

For supporting your students:

Learn more

  • In the Teams application, click Get Started in the navigation to learn more about Microsoft Teams at UBC.
  • You can also click Help in the navigation to find learning topics and training options.

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