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Designing collaborative learning using MS Teams

How does collaboration happen in Microsoft Teams? 

The word collaboration conjures up different things for different people, and you and often think of a group of people coming together to solve a complex problem or generate an artefact. The following video explains how Microsoft Teams can facilitate collaborative learning.

Why does Microsoft Teams promote collaboration? 

If you consider how students currently engage with collaborative learning tasks/projects, they are often left to decide what software they use and how they use it. This leads to students using multiple software for multiple purposes and can lead to systems fatigue. Microsoft Teams eliminates this as all the collaboration happens in one space; from conversation/discussion; to artefact generation; to meetings; and planning of tasks. Rather than communicating via email, you can tag people and get a direct reply in a familiar manner.

Students and academics can also personalise their space by adding tabs and apps that they want to use. Take it another step further and all of your content can be hosted within Microsoft Teams so students don’t need to go outside of Microsoft Teams.

Evidence student learning 

Central to Microsoft Teams is transparency and the ability for students to evidence their contribution to a project. They can do this by sharing their contribution through conversation and artefact generation.

Through ‘Manage team > Analytics’ as a facilitator you can also see how many ‘active users’ there are; as well as when and how many messages there are.

Tips to develop collaboration learning tasks

Through interviews with academics and researching the use of Microsoft Teams in teaching and learning, the following should be considered when developing collaborative learning tasks with Microsoft Teams:

  • Develop a project that spans an appropriate amount of time across the trimester to promote active engagements.
  • Be explicit on the purpose of Microsoft Teams for staff and students.
  • Consider the set up of the Microsoft Team as it can be hard to facilitate and manage multiple teams from an academic perspective.
  • Develop tasks that are authentic to their industry context so the use of Microsoft Teams is reflective of professional practice.
  • Scaffold the collaborative learning task so there are key milestones for students to evidence.
  • Provide support resources for students such as the Good practice guide for using Microsoft Teams

Before you get started

Watch the video bellow ‘Collaboration in Microsoft Teams’ – explore how Microsoft Teams can be used as a collaboration hub in Higher Education and how it can enhance collaborative learning.

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