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Academic Technology Launchpad: Microsoft Teams

Computer and academic technology resources for students

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Teams Student Guide

Teams is a collaboration application in Office 365 that can be used to connect students, faculty and staff, while providing access to vital content and tools all in one place.

Accessing Microsoft Teams

As a student you can access MS Teams for the first time by logging into your student email. Once you've logged in, click on the "app launcher" menu. This icon looks like nine dots in a square formation. Also know as the "waffle" icon.

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Once the menu expands, you will see all of the Office 365 web apps that are available to you online. Most of these apps, including Teams, have desktop versions that can be downloaded to a personal device. Click on the Teams icon.

You should see a prompt to either download the Teams desktop app or continue with the web app. Choose whichever option works best for your device.

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The Teams app should launch. You can see which "teams" you are part of by clicking on the Teams icon.

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Getting Started

Teams & Channels:

  • Each Team has a general channel by default, but other channels can be added based on specific topics. This is one of the areas where you can have conversations and share files.

Activity:

  • This is where you can see all the missed activity in your Teams in the order that it occurred.

Chat:

  • Similar to other chat platforms. You can chat with individuals or create groups. 

Assignments:

  • If your instructor chooses to do so, they can post assignments here.

Calendar:

  • In this section you can see what you have scheduled in your Outlook calendar.

Calls:

  • You can make calls to anyone at Madison College. 

Files:

  • Any files that you have uploaded or have been shared with you will appear here in addition to the individual Team channels.

Background Options

Note: this feature is only available on the desktop version of Microsoft Teams.

Change your background before a meeting starts: 

  • From the screen that appears just before joining a meeting, click on the Background effects toggle switch next to this icon Background settings. It's between the microphone and camera toggle switches. Note: you must have your camera on first.

Microsoft Teams meeting settings

  • You can select Blur to blur your background, or choose one of the other background images.

MS Teams background settings

  • You can also use your own image by selecting Add new and finding a .JPG, .PNG, or .BMP file that is already saved on your computer.

Add new background

  • Your new background will persist in all your meetings and calls until you change it again.
  • To turn off background effects, select   Option for turning off background effect from the Background settings menu.

Change your background during a meeting:

  • To change your background after you've already joined a meeting, click on the More actions icon More options buttonand select Show background effects.

​​​​​​​More actions icon

  • You can select Blur to blur your background, or choose one of the other background images.

MS Teams background settings

  • You can also your own image by selecting Add new and finding a .JPG, .PNG, or .BMP file that is already saved on your computer.
  • Simply click on the Option for turning off background effect icon to turn off the background image feature.
  • You'll be able to preview the background you choose before applying it and/or returning to the meeting.