Microsoft Teams Student Guide

Microsoft Teams logo

Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one collaboration tool to create virtual meeting spaces and facilitate group work. In Microsoft Teams, you can meet and collaborate through web-conferencing and group chat with other people at UBC, including students. The platform also includes file-sharing and real-time document collaboration.

Microsoft Teams is FIPPA compliant and its data is stored securely in Canada.

What will I use it for?

You can use Microsoft Teams for different kinds of collaborative interaction:

  • Attending lectures, office hours, meetings, and phone calls
  • Chatting with other students, instructors, and teaching assistants
  • Collaborating synchronously on documents
  • Sharing information and files

What do I need to use Microsoft Teams?

A UBC Microsoft account

To access Microsoft Teams and other integrated Microsoft products at UBC, you will need a UBC Microsoft account. To get a UBC Microsoft account, you have to be an active and registered UBC student and follow the opt-in process outlined later in this document.

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 (for the best audio experience, use a headset with a microphone) and a webcam.

Tips

  • 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?

You will first need to make sure you’re set up with a UBC Microsoft account. It’s also easiest to install the application to give yourself one central place to access and use all the Teams features.

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

Set up a UBC Microsoft account

To get a UBC Microsoft account, you need to be an active and registered UBC student and follow the opt-in process below. Once you opt in, you do not need to follow the process again.

  1. You will first create a new UBC email address that uses your UBC CWL (i.e., CWL@student.ubc.ca, where “CWL” is replaced with your CWL). This will serve as your UBC Microsoft account.
  2. Sign in to the UBC CWL myAccount page.
    • If you have privacy concerns about sharing your CWL with others, you may anonymize your CWL first by clicking Rename CWL in the navigation and following the steps there.
  3. Click Activate Student Email in the navigation.
  4. After reading the terms and conditions, click Accept.
  5. It may take up to 48 hours before your account becomes active. Once your account is active, you can access Microsoft Teams (as well as Microsoft OneDrive) with this new email address and your CWL password.

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.

Tips

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 the same UBC credentials.

  1. Enter your CWL@student.ubc.ca email (where “CWL” is replaced with your CWL) when prompted for your work, school, or Microsoft account.
  2. Enter your UBC CWL password.
  3. This should log you in to Teams. You may need to read and accept the terms of use first.

Tips

  • You must follow the steps for setting up your UBC Microsoft account first, before you can log in to Teams.
  • 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.

Join a team in Microsoft Teams

A team refers to a specific group of people (like a course or club) in Microsoft Teams who want to collaborate together exclusively. Each team gets access to a private space where members can share communications and content.

  1. The owner of a team (e.g., your course instructor) will invite you to join the team. They will send you a code for joining.
  2. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  3. Click Teams in the navigation.
  4. Click Join or create team at the bottom.
  5. Enter the code that was sent to you.
  6. Click Join team.
  7. This will add the new team under the “Your Teams” section and give you access to collaborate and communicate in this new space.

Tips

  • You will need to share your Microsoft account email address with team owners, in order for them to invite you to join the team. This will be the address you set up at CWL@student.ubc.ca (where “CWL” is replaced with your CWL).
  • Your team will primarily use what are called channels for communicating. Channels are spaces for conversations focused on specific topics. You can have video/audio or text chat discussions, share files, and more. Channels can be open to everyone (public) or only to invited individuals (private).

Attend Microsoft Teams meetings

Meetings in Microsoft Teams are ways anyone can host lectures, presentations, office hours, group meetings, and more. You will receive an invite email through your CWL email account to join a meeting. You should also be able to access all your meetings through your Teams calendar, as detailed below.

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click Calendar in the navigation.
  3. Click Join on the item in your calendar.

Tips

  • You will need to share your Microsoft account email address with whoever is setting up the meeting, in order for them to invite you to the meeting. This will be the address you set up at CWL@student.ubc.ca (where “CWL” is replaced with your CWL).
  • Some instructors may post meeting invites directly in Canvas, meaning you can click the link in Canvas to join the Teams meeting.

Schedule a meeting in Microsoft Teams

You can schedule meetings of your own in Microsoft Teams, which is handy for things like group projects or assignments.

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click Calendar in the navigation.
  3. Click + New meeting at the top.
  4. Fill in the meeting information, including title, attendees, date and time, recurrence, or any of the other available fields.
  5. To invite people, you can search for them by name or by email. Alternatively, if you are part of a team (e.g., a course or club) you can invite team channels and anyone who is part of those channels will have access to your meeting.
  6. Click Save to save and send your meeting invite.

Tips

  • You can schedule a meeting directly from a team channel to automatically allow anyone with channel access to join. However, this feature requires you to already be part of a team, e.g., a course or club.

Chat in Microsoft Teams

In Microsoft Teams, you can chat privately with individuals or groups of people.

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click Chat in the navigation.
  3. Click the "new chat" pencil icon at the top.
  4. Enter a name, email, or group name in the “To” section to invite others to the chat.
  5. 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.
  6. Click the send icon in the bottom right corner.
  7. You can also launch audio, video, or screen-sharing with people in the chat.

Tips

  • 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 later 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).

Collaborate on documents in Microsoft Teams

You can collaborate on documents with other students in Microsoft Teams. 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 are part of a team and want to share documents through a team 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.
    • If you are sharing a file in a team channel, you may need to click New conversation to open the message bar.
  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 team 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.

Tips

  • You can switch between editing and reviewing mode when viewing a file to make direct edits (editing mode) or add comments and suggestions (reviewing mode) instead.
  • Access all available files using the Files navigation item in the Teams application, which displays files that you have shared and files that have been shared with you.

Request a team in Microsoft Teams

UBC student teams or clubs can request a team space to help organize, communicate, and collaborate exclusively within your organization.

  1. Open the Teams application and sign in, if you haven't already.
  2. Click Get Started in the navigation.
  3. Click Microsoft Teams for UBC Students.
  4. Select the Student Team Request Form link.
  5. Complete the form with the proper information and click Submit.
  6. Once submitted, your request will be checked within 24 hours, and you will receive an email confirmation once it's approved.

Manage a team in Microsoft Teams

If you manage a UBC team in Microsoft Teams, you'll have the ability to invite people to the team and create channels for the team.

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 when you hover over it, and choose Manage team from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click the Settings tab, select Team code, and generate one for your team.
  5. Click Copy and share this code with your members or other invitees in a secure way.
  6. 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 when you hover over it, and choose Add channel from the drop-down menu.
  4. 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.
  5. Choose a privacy setting:
    • Standard: Accessible to everyone on the team
    • Private: Accessible only to specific people from the team that you will select

Tips

  • Your team will primarily use what are called channels for communicating. Channels are spaces for conversations focused on specific topics. You can have video/audio or text chat discussions, share files, and more. Channels can be open to everyone (public) or only to invited individuals (private).
  • Add channels for specific topics (e.g., events) to help organize your team space and make it easier for members to find information and engage.
  • The general channel is always included for non-specific discussions and cannot be removed or renamed.

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 a platform for group work where you can meet, chat, and collaborate on documents in real time with your peers.

It depends on the way you want to use Microsoft Teams. To attend a Microsoft Teams meeting or live event (e.g., a lecture), you can click the link to join as a guest and do not need to create an account. However, to use the chat and collaboration functions or host your own meetings, you’ll need a UBC Microsoft account.

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 teams.microsoft.com with your UBC Microsoft account.

Yes. Once you create a UBC Microsoft account, you are free to use Micrososft Teams on your own to meet, chat, and collaborate on documents.

You can also request to host or be invited to join a specific team on Microsoft Teams for a club, team, or other UBC student organization.

Where can I get more support with Microsoft Teams?

Technical support

If you have trouble with Microsoft Teams:

For support with online learning:

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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