When Zoom is unavailable or its use is restricted, Temple University recommends that Microsoft Teams be used exclusively as the video-conferencing alternative to Zoom. MS Teams is one of the programs in the Microsoft Office 365 Suite. It is designed to facilitate collaboration and includes features such as videoconferencing, screen sharing, in-meeting chat, group conversations, and file sharing.
While realizing that MS Teams offers many attractive features and functions for active learning and collaboration, CAT and ITS urge faculty to continue to use Canvas and Zoom as the primary platforms for remote and online learning as we strive to maintain and support a consistent university-wide infrastructure for educational technology.
MS Teams is recommended in the following scenarios:
It’s important to be aware that while MS Teams and Zoom share many of the same features, some of the features in Zoom that are useful for facilitating active learning activities are not available in MS Teams, including in-meeting polls, breakout rooms, and annotating on screenshared content. Below is a comparison chart of the features available in both MS Teams and Zoom.
OS & Mobile Compatibility
Maximum number of participants
Join meeting by phone
Yes, with cost
Up to 49 videos displayed
Yes, or blur your background
Integrated with Office 365
No; only integrates with Outlook
Nonverbal feedback icons
Raise hand icon only
Yes; raise hand, yes/no, and many more
Yes (see below—it can be confusing!)
Annotate on screenshared content
No; via third party tools only
Local & cloud recordings
Automatic recording transcription
Yes; cloud recordings only
Live automatic captioning
No; manual live captioning only
Increased security & encryption
To download the MS Teams desktop or mobile applications, visit the following website: Download Microsoft Teams.
How do I access MS Teams on Canvas?
The following support guide covers the various ways you can join an MS Teams meeting you’ve been invited to: How do I join a meeting in Teams?
Once you are in a meeting, you will see the following interface:
You can see up to 49 people in the large gallery view on MS Teams. The program prioritizes those that have the video on. To turn the video on or off, click the camera icon (#2 on the screen shot above). Visit the following support guide for more information on video options in MS Teams: How do I use video in Microsoft Teams?
Participants can participate in the group chat during a meeting. This is a good tool for interactive activities during the class. You can also paste links to documents and websites in the chat box. You’ll see the chat icon on the screen shot (#7) on the interface screenshot above.
If you want to share files with your students during a class meeting, you can upload them or add a link to the chat box. We also recommend that you add documents and resources to your Canvas Course for students’ easy access.
Microsoft Teams allows you to share your screen. With this feature, you are able to show your desktop, a specific app, presentation or any file in a meeting. The share screen button is #4 on the picture of the interface above. Visit the following support guide: How do I share my screen?
In addition to showing your screen, you can also use the Whiteboard for live annotation during a meeting. To access the Whiteboard, do the following:
MS Teams does not have breakout rooms to facilitate small group discussions. However, this is something they are working on and we expect it to be added as a feature in the foreseeable future.
MS Teams provides automatic speech-to-text live captioning in meetings. To learn more about this feature, visit the following support guide: How do I use live captions in a Teams meeting?
A transcript of the captions can be accessed and edited after the meeting. To learn more, visit the following support guide: How do I edit the transcript of a meeting recording in Teams?
You can record meetings to your cloud account in MS Teams; recording meetings directly to your computer as a file is not available. To learn more about recording a meeting in MS Teams, visit the following support guide: How do I record a meeting in Teams?
To learn how to find, play, and share a recording, visit the following support guide: How do I play and share a meeting recording in Teams?
If you have questions or would like to learn using educational technology tools, please visit the CAT’s website to find resources, access CAT’s virtual lab or make an appointment with an Educational Technology consultant.