Microsoft Teams at UIW
Video Conferencing at UIW
Video conferencing provides 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 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. Check below for video conferencing tips, as well as a comprehensive overview of Microsoft Teams!
Test 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? Teams?
- This can normally be understood by looking at the meeting invitation as each one has their 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 conferencing app and any connected devices.
- 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 the meeting.
- Note that teleconferencing apps like Zoom 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.
- UIW always recommends using a headsets, as it'll ensure there won't be an echo commonly caused by "hot mics" or speaker output.
- Prepare: 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: Check out the 'Changing your Background in Zoom' tile on this page to learn more.
- 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 to avoid power loss during a meeting.
- 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!
What is Microsoft Teams and what are some features?
Microsoft Teams (aka Teams) is a persistent chat-based communications platform complete with document sharing, video conferencing, and many more useful features for business and education-based communications. The platform helps everyone collaborate online wherever they're at and offers popular features such as...
- Online video or audio-only conferencing: Share your screen, camera, or voice at the same time or individually. Teams is flexible in offering a variety of communication methods.
- Chat: Instantly search and find colleagues within the organization that are using Teams, complete with a suite of status options to keep distractions at a minimum.
- Document storage in SharePoint: Each Team created automatically receives a SharePoint (shared OneDrive) site attached to the team. All files shared within Teams are conveniently backed up on the Team's shared OneDrive site for convenience.
- Organization: Manage your Team with dedicated spaces, called 'channels', to host specific types of conversation or idea sharing.
- Conversations within channels and teams: All members of a Team can participate in conversations that are curated and organized by topic, importance, or whichever method a Team prefers.
How to access Teams
To access Microsoft Teams on the web, navigate to Cardinal Apps and click on the purple
Teams icon (pictured right). If you cannot find it, search for 'Teams' on the page's search bar.
Microsoft Teams comes pre-installed on all UIW-issued devices and any device that runs Windows 10/11, but if you do not have Teams installed or are using an Apple computer 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 Teams and login with your UIW email and password to get started!
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 Teams in the palm of your hands. 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.
- Use the online 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.
Getting Started with Teams
Decided to start utilizing Teams in your workflow or department? Once you've logged in, watch the two-minute overview video below and journey down the proceeding tiles to learn all there is to know about Teams.
- How to sign in and get started with 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 which isn't compatible with a @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. Being a part of the UIW ecosystem allows you to locate, contact, and collaborate with anyone under the university umbrella that's using Teams!
- Need to get familiar with your video controls? Learn about using video in Teams.
- With Teams, you don't have to schedule to meet... Learn How to start an instant meeting.
- Create or schedule a meeting in Teams.
- Scheduling from Outlook? Learn how to schedule a Teams meeting from Outlook.
Enhancing your Teams experience
The 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, tied to your account and found on the whiteboard's web portal, so you'll always have your work carried with you. View the guides below to get started!
- Need help using Teams? Visit the Help and Learning portal for Microsoft Teams to view articles and solutions to thousands of issues and experiences.
- For issues regarding installation, setup, or logging into Teams reach out to the Help Desk at (210) 829-2721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- For one-on-one, department, or instructor training contact a Software Specialist.