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Microsoft Teams Update

February 2021 by Louise Harling

Much to our delight, the December 2020 desktop application update of Microsoft Teams has provided much more accessible features. This is fantastic news for trainers experienced in delivering content online and also for those who need a little extra confidence before they dive into online delivery.

The new features make placing learners into breakout rooms uncomplicated, and means they can be automatically or manually allocated whilst the training session is taking place. With the click of just a few easy-to-spot buttons, leaners can now be placed into and removed from smaller discussion rooms. There’s no longer a need to use pre-set up additional channels to send learners into breakout rooms, this makes the group enquiry part of learning much more seamless for trainers delivering solo. The trainer is in control of the learner’s movements in and out of rooms meaning gone are the days of learners being stuck on a mystery empty call!

You can also now add the Microsoft forms feature to the chat function, allowing quick and easy delivery of virtual live polls. This can make for easy and interactive features which can be referred back to at any point during the training.

Whiteboards are still available on this update and are a great way to get learners working collaboratively on ideas in smaller breakout rooms – making the discussions more engaging, and often makes feedback easier. Moreover, you can save whiteboard notes as image files on your computer and refer back to these during the action planning session if needed.

Be sure to utilise these new features during your training session to keep engagement strong, which should in turn lead to significant carbon saving actions – potentially all from the safety of learners’ own homes!

If you’re still finding your feet for delivering training online, these features allow you to stick to the Teams application to deliver your training before venturing into using other engaging platforms. Our advice would be to get comfortable with the basics, before using external platforms to maximise learner engagement.

As always, other platforms are available, and it is important to find out which is going to work best for you and your learners in your training session. You can find information on other platforms, alongside further ideas around keeping sessions engaging, in our Distance Delivery Workshop notes, found here

More comprehensive notes on how to use the new Teams features can also be found here

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