Video Conferencing at UIW
Video conferencing provides us with the power to hop on a call and collaborate with colleagues in real time within seconds. All faculty, staff, and students will inevitably use video conferencing at some stage in their journey at UIW. While you may come across different platforms when meeting with colleagues and external personnel, UIW officially deploys, endorses, and supports both Zoom and Microsoft Teams as video conferencing solutions. Additionally, UIW's Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology installs, designs, and supports video conferencing systems throughout the university's class and meeting rooms that can be used with these platforms.
Test your equipment and contact participants
- Make sure your device has the needed video conferencing apps installed (Zoom or Teams)
- Understand and ask yourself where the meeting is taking place... is it on Zoom? Or, is it a Teams meeting?
- This can normally be understood by looking at the meeting invitation as each one has its respective branding in the email. Meeting links will also be labeled 'zoom.us' or 'teams.microsoft.com' and so on.
- Do a test run of the respective app, including any connected devices and features.
- Familiarize yourself with meeting controls and options.
- You should be familiar and comfortable with muting/unmuting yourself, selecting your microphone, turning the camera on/off, and sharing your screen.
Check the video, audio, and lighting
- Ensure proper lighting conditions.
- View this four-minute video example of different lighting conditions and how they'll affect the look of your call.
- Make sure you have the right microphone and webcam option before/in the meeting. Always test your microphone prior to the meeting.
- Note that both Zoom and Teams provide a prompt when joining a meeting to test your video/audio before anyone else can hear you.
- Plan to use a headset if you're in a noisy or active environment.
- If possible, use a headset and microphone combo, as it'll ensure there won't be an echo commonly caused by "hot mics" or speaker output.
- Follow the preparation steps in the tile above for tips to make sure the meeting link and your connected devices (video, audio, screen) are all functioning before the meeting.
- Don't wait until the last minute to test your technology
- Limit distractions
- You can make it easier to focus on the meeting by turning off notifications, closing or minimizing running apps, and muting your smartphone.
- Be on time
- Also know that scheduled video meetings generally start directly at the scheduled start time, as opposed to in-person meetings where people gather leading up to the scheduled start time.
- Avoid messy or cluttered backgrounds
- Follow the expected rules and guidelines for participant interaction
- Whether it's an instructor or speaker, the meeting hosts might've designated an expectation for the meeting. Make sure to follow those guidelines to set a good example and participate.
- Position your camera properly
- Make sure to frame the camera to correctly to show your face or the desired area. Avoid awkward or low angles of body parts or the face.
- Keep your device plugged in or be aware of your remaining battery life
- Mute yourself if you're not speaking
- To help keep background noise to a minimum, make sure you mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
- Adversely, don't forget to un-mute yourself when it's your time to speak.
Welcome to Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams (aka MS Teams, Teams) is an all-in-one communications platform complete with document sharing, instant messaging, video conferencing, and many more useful features for managing your digital interactions. Teams bridges the gap between in-person and remote activities and allows everyone to interact and collaborate online, wherever they are. Some notable features of Microsoft Teams include:
- Video and/or audio-only conferencing
- Share your screen, camera, or voice at the same time or individually. MS Teams is flexible and offers a variety of communication methods.
- Instant messaging (chat)
- Instantly search and find colleagues within the organization that are using MS Teams, complete with a suite of status conveniences to keep distractions at a minimum.
- Automatic document storage
- Each team created automatically receives a SharePoint (shared OneDrive) site attached to the team. All files shared within Teams are seamlessly backed up on the team's site for convenience.
- Organization features
- Manage your team with dedicated spaces, called Channels, to host specific types of exchanges and collaborative activities.
- Team/group management
- All managers of a team have plenty of settings and configurations to customize the experience to almost any use-case. While, all members of a team can participate in conversations that are curated and organized by topic, importance, or whichever method the team prefers.
How to Access Teams
It's generally recommended to use the desktop/mobile apps as they use fewer resources on your computer/mobile device and will allow you to run more applications in the background. The mobile application is a great way to take have the entirety of MS Teams in the palm of your hands, wherever you are. Additionally, you cannot share your screen in meetings via the online version of Microsoft Teams and it's missing some other features and QOL improvements.
- Only use the online (cardinal apps) version If you...
- Don't care about calls, meetings, or screen sharing and only plan to use the core, collaborative chat-based functionality of Teams.
- Are using a Chromebook running ChromeOS.
- Are unable to or don't want to install the Microsoft Teams desktop/mobile app.
To access Microsoft Teams on the web, navigate to Cardinal Apps and click on the Teams app found within the 'Office 365' apps tab. If you cannot find it, search for 'Teams' on the page's search bar.
Microsoft Teams comes pre-installed on all UIW-issued devices, but if you do not have Teams installed or are using an Apple macOScomputer follow the instructions below.
- On a Mac or Windows PC, head to the Microsoft Teams download site and select the 'Download for Desktop' option.
- After the application is downloaded and installed, open MS Teams and login with your UIW email and password to get started.
Getting Started with Teams
Decided to start utilizing Teams in your life? Once you've logged in, watch the two-minute overview video below and journey down the proceeding tiles to learn how to get started with MS Teams.
- How to sign in and get started with Microsoft Teams.
- You will use your UIW email and password when prompted to enter any credentials within Microsoft Teams.
- If you're running Windows 11 and receive an error upon logging into 'Teams', you might be logging into the built-in version of Teams, which isn't compatible with an @uiwtx.edu email. Please, contact the Help Desk for more information.
- Create a team from scratch.
- Can't decide on what type of team to create? View the comparison guide on the various types of teams to start with (Don't worry, you can always adjust your settings later on if you change your mind).
- How to add members to a team.
- Working with external guests? Learn about adding and working with external guests.
All About Meetings in Teams
Meetings in Teams include audio, video, and screen sharing capabilities. Nearly all of Zoom's capabilities are also available in Teams, and vice versa. With Teams being a part of the Microsoft suite of apps, you can locate, contact, and collaborate with anyone at UIW that's using Teams.
- Need to get familiar with your video controls? Learn how to use video controls in Teams meetings.
- With Teams, you don't have to schedule to meet. Learn how to start an instant meeting to meet or practice meeting controls.
- Create or schedule a meeting in Teams.
- Scheduling from Outlook? Learn how to schedule a Teams meeting from Outlook.
Enhancing Your Teams Experience
The Microsoft Whiteboard app is fully integrated within Teams and can be used in any call or meeting without the need to install or switch on anything. Your whiteboards will sync across the web and anything started within a Teams meeting will persist online, after the meeting while being tied to your account and found on the whiteboard's web portal. So, you'll always have your work carried with you.
- Need help using Teams?
- Issues regarding installation, setup, or signing into Microsoft Teams?
- Reach out to the Help Desk at (210) 829-2721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Need one-on-one, department, or instructor training?
- Contact a Software Specialist.
- Not sure about recording meetings or students?