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Things to be aware of when using Teams at the University 

  • You can use Teams for online meetings even if you are not a member of any Teams sites. 

  • You can invite external guests to meetings in Teams.' External guests' are people not included in the University's Microsoft Agreement. They don't even need a Teams account. 

  • We recommend that you use the Teams desktop or mobile app for the best experience. You can use a Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser on a desktop or laptop computer for meetings. Go to You can't use a web browser on a mobile device.

  • You need an Exchange Online mailbox to use the Calendar function to schedule meetings.

  • You can broadcast large meetings or events featuring up to 300 active participants. If you have expect to have more than 300 people attending, we recommend scheduling a Webinar or a Live Event. Webinars can have 1,000 participants and live events can have 10,000 participants. 

  • The dial-in audio call conferencing features are not available under the University's Microsoft licence.


Top tips for effective Teams meetings

Schedule to allow breaks between back-to-back meetings

We don't get a chance to have a quick mental break between virtual meetings in the same way as when we used to move between rooms. Be considerate when scheduling meetings.

Control who can join your meeting 

Default participant settings are determined by the UIS Teams administrators or Team Owners. You may want to change them for a specific meeting. As the meeting organiser, you may want to change who gets into your meetings directly, and who waits in the lobby.

Find out about meeting options in Teams from Microsoft  

Adjust your view 

Teams tries to anticipate what you’ll want to see in a meeting. When someone starts speaking, it shows them. When someone shares content, it shows that.

When you'd rather see something else, there are a few ways to tell Teams. For example, you can get a view of the presenter as well as the slides they are presenting. Or you can pin a particular video you want to keep on screen. 

Find out how to adjust your view

Use the raise hand feature when you’d like to speak 

Meeting Chairs can monitor raised hands in the People sidebar. Find out how to raise your hand in a Teams meeting  

Share content during a meeting 

Share your entire screen, just a window, or a PowerPoint presentation. You can share your system audio, and give/take control of the content being shared. You can also share a Whiteboard. The Whiteboard feature lets participants draw, sketch, and write together on a shared digital board. 

Blur your video background for privacy 

When you're in a video meeting, you can blur the background to hide your surroundings or set a custom background. Find out how to change your video background in Teams 

Use Chat during meetings 

This is useful for indicating to the organiser that you would like to speak when there are too many participants for everyone to be shown on screen. Or for sharing links during a meeting.

Turn your video feed off if the call quality is low 

If you’re internet is slow, turning off the camera may help improving the audio quality. 

Record the meeting for participants that could not attend 

If some of your colleagues are unable to attend a meeting, you can record it so that they can catch-up later. You should let everyone who is attending the meeting know that you are recording it. They can find the meeting recording, transcription and notes in the ‘Recap’ tab if they open the meeting invite in their calendar. 


Best practice for meetings with 20 people or more 

Medium-sized meetings can be difficult to make sure everyone can contribute. These recommendations are based on the experiences of people around the University. 

Committee meeting organiser 

  • Confirm the date, start and end time (including time zone) to everyone in the group. Starting just past the hour or half-hour will allow people a chance for a quick break should they have back-to-back meetings. 

  • Give joining instructions and the protocol you intend to follow. For example, “could all participants join the meeting with their microphone and camera off'. 

  • Give the deadline for any reports or papers, and a link to the developing agenda. 

  • Add items to the agenda as appropriate. Each item should show the person who will lead it. 

  • Send a reminder of the deadline for any reports or papers. 

  • Send a reminder of the meeting, including joining instructions and links to the agenda and any reports or papers. 

  • The final reminder should ask everyone to confirm whether they expect to attend. It should also include guidance on what to do if there are problems joining the call (for example, send a direct message to the Chair or their assistant). 

Managing the agenda 

In a large group, it may not be possible to discuss everything and many discussions won't need to involve the whole group. To ensure the meeting is effective: 

  • focus on items that require input from, or affect, more than 2 members of the group. 

  • information-only items should be put in a paper and circulated to the group beforehand. 

Meeting Chair 

  • Open the meeting by reminding everyone of the protocol you will be following. This should include how people should make it known that they want to speak. 

  • The chair may want to ask one of the confirmed participants to act as a 'Chair's assistant' during the meeting. That person will help with some of the practical management of the meeting. 

  • Use the People sidebar to monitor raised hands from participants wishing to contribute. 

  • Keep an eye on the Chat sidebar to monitor tacit contributions. 

  • Before closing, ensure that everyone has had a chance to contribute. You may want to namecheck people that have been quiet. 


  • Join the meeting with your camera off and microphone on mute. Only turn on your camera and mic when you are speaking. 

  • Pin the Chair's video feed so that they will remain visible at all times. Click on their video feed and select 'Pin for me'. 

  • Use the raise hand feature to signal your desire to contribute, and wait for the Chair to recognise you. 

  • Keep the Chat sidebar open for commenting on discussion rather than interrupting speakers. 

  • Use the Chat in the sidebar to signal to the Chair that you wish to be invited to speak. 

  • Mute Chat notifications to reduce the audible 'pings' every time someone adds to the Chat. Or use a headset with a microphone if you have one. 


Help and support 

You can visit Microsoft’s Teams help and learning site for further information about how to use Teams.

Meetings with students 

Accessibility features in Teams