Using MS Teams for Teaching: A Faculty Guide

What is Microsoft Teams?

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. 

When should I use MS Teams?

MS Teams is recommended in the following scenarios: 

  • When teaching a class that has students abroad in countries where Zoom is inaccessible because of restrictions to certain applications or websites.  
  • As a back-up video conferencing tool in the event of a Zoom outage 
What are the differences between MS Teams and Zoom?

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. 


MS Teams 


OS & Mobile Compatibility 

Windows/Mac; iOS/Android 

Windows/Mac/Linux; iOS/Android 

Maximum number of participants 



Waiting room/lobby 



Join meeting by phone 

Yes, with cost 

Yes, free 

Up to 49 videos displayed 



Virtual background 

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 

In-meeting chat 

Yes (see below—it can be confusing!) 


Screen Sharing 



Annotate on screenshared content 






In-meeting polling 

No; via third party tools only 


Breakout rooms 




Cloud only 

Local & cloud recordings 

Automatic recording transcription 


Yes; cloud recordings only 

Live automatic captioning 


No; manual live captioning only 

Attendance reports 



Increased security & encryption 



How do I download MS Teams to my computer or mobile device?

To download the MS Teams desktop or mobile applications, visit the following website: Download Microsoft Teams

How do I access MS Teams on Canvas? 

  1. Go into your Canvas course.
  2. Click on the Settings link in the course navigation menu on the left.
  3. Click on the Apps tab at the top.
  4. Click on the View App Configuration button.
  5. Click on the +App button.
  6. In the Configurations Type drop-down menu, select the By Client ID option.
  7. Enter 170000000000549 in the Client ID text box.
  8. Click the Submit button to save the changes.
How do I schedule class meetings on MS Teams via Canvas?
  1. Go into your Canvas course.
  2. Click on the Announcements link in the course navigation menu on the left.
  3. Click on the +Announcement button in the upper right.
  4. Click on the V icon in the Rich Content Editor toolbar and select Microsoft Teams Meeting from the drop-down menu (see the image above).
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions and then sign in with your Temple credentials.
  6. Click on the Create meeting link button to schedule a Microsoft Teams Meeting.
  7. Enter the meeting information and then click on the Create button.
  8. On the meeting screen, click on the Copy button (the meeting information will then copy into the announcement text box).
How do I join a MS Teams Meeting scheduled by someone else?

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?

How do I navigate the MS Teams meeting interface?

Once you are in a meeting, you will see the following interface: 

  1. Meeting duration 
  2. Turn camera on and off 
  3. Turn audio on and off 
  4. Share screen, application, or whiteboard 
  5. Additional options (including virtual background, captioning, and recording) 
  6. Raise hand 
  7. Open/close meeting chat 
  8. Display/hide participants pane 
  9. End/leave meeting 
  10. Participants pane, which shows the list of participants in the meeting and allows you to invite new participants 
How do I see and engage students in a MS Teams meeting?

Using Video in MS Teams 

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.   

File sharing

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.  

Screen Sharing

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: 

  1. Click on the Share Screen button in the program interface.
  2. Click on Microsoft Whiteboard.
  3. Choose whether you want to allow others to annotate (for collaboration).
  4. Use the annotation tools available.
  5. When done, click on Stop Presenting.
How do I facilitate group discussions in an MS Teams meeting?

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. 

What are the accessibility features in MS Teams meetings?

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? 

How do I record MS Teams meetings and share recordings with my students?

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.