Using Microsoft Teams to Deliver Synchronous Online Classes

Using Microsoft Teams to Deliver Synchronous Online Classes
Together with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Microsoft Teams provides a platform for teachers to conduct live online synchronous sessions with students. It facilitates real-time delivery of class activities and some degree of interaction with students.
What can Microsoft Teams do?

Microsoft Teams provides an integrated platform that supports real-time synchronous collaboration, video and audio broadcast, live text chat, files (e.g., PowerPoint) sharing and interactive activities (e.g., polling and whiteboard). Making use of these functions can facilitate a synchronous online lecture with active student participation.

The synchronous sessions can be recorded and archived for future review.

What Microsoft Teams functions can help with my synchronous online class design?


Potential applications in Microsoft Teams

Communicate and enforce clear expectations for interactions in the online session.

File sharing, video calls, text chat

Provide options for students to generate and share their own content.

Whiteboard, screen sharing, text chat, file sharing

Encourage verbal student responses and questions

Video calls, audio calls

Make the session as interactive as possible to maintain student interest

Polling, reactions

How to kick-start with Microsoft Teams?

Please refer to the User Guide published by the Information Technology Services on to learn about the basic technical operations of Microsoft Teams. You must use the “Connect” account to conduct a MS Teams online session with your students. Refer to for more information.

Conduct your first lesson with Microsoft Teams: Practical Hints

These steps may be helpful to conduct your online lesson:

  • Give each of your lessons a meaningful title which is easy to identify. Please note that at the same time there may be multiple MS Teams sessions appearing in students’ calendar.
  • Send the link to students to join the class at least one day in advance.
  • Prepare the materials (e.g., PowerPoint slides or other visual aids) as usual, similar to teaching in a face-to-face class.
  • Present yourself earlier than the scheduled start time; students feel frustrated if they cannot see anyone in the online classroom
  • Double check that you have shared your computer screen with students successfully
  • Upload the PowerPoint and other files for students to download
  • You may consider switching off your video after the class has started smoothly. It helps improve the students’ user experience in case of having poor network connectivity.
  • After you raise a question, add a poll to engage students.
  • Watch the text chat channel and be prepared to answer any questions. If you have Teaching Assistants in your course, they will be helpful in monitoring the chat channel.
Best Practices for Synchronous Online Classes
  • Remember to record the session before you start the class so that students who are unable to attend the online session can review later. Inform the students the session is being recorded.
  • Include some interactive activities, such as polling, during the online session to improve student engagement.
  • Make use of the text chat function to collect questions and comments from students.
  • Conduct the session at a private and quiet environment to prevent any interruptions such as background noise. If the students are required to speak during the class, teachers should also remind students to find a suitable place.
  • Create a channel for each session and put the teaching materials into the OneNote tool available in MS Teams.
EDC Support Updates
  • Webinars: Be sure to check our line-up of live online Webinars and if you cannot make it to a session or want to review previous sessions you can access the videos online here
  • Our Blackboard Templates can help you build engaging and interactive online classes

Previous Newsletters
Quickstart guide
Making teaching videos from home (webinar)
Using uRewind to support video assignments
Building engaging online learning
Turnitin and online feedback
Teaching and learning at PolyU after the disruption
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