Teams use cases
Microsoft Teams use cases have been gathered from staff and students across the University of Edinburgh. These give insight into how different groups use Teams, which may help you to understand why you should use it.
Disciplines including Teaching, IT and Clerical have all completed successful pilots of Teams and many continue to use it as a communication platform. The following use cases have been collected from these pilots. If you are interested in further summary findings from these Teams pilots you may want to read the Information Services Applications Directorate blog post dedicated to it.
Using Teams for research grant applications
Teams has been used by staff in the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences as a platform for project managing research grant submissions. They used it as a way to edit their documents collaboratively in one place and to better organise their communication about the project.
If you are interested in this use case, you may also be interested in the University's guidance on using Teams for Research Grant Applications:
I’ve used Teams so far for a couple of defined projects – for project-managing a grant submission and for organising a conference. It’s very intuitive to use and has been great to have a single place for all the documents, notes and conversations when working with people who each have multiple disparate roles. I found Teams useful to partition these projects off from my daily onslaught of emails, and it makes it easy to stay in the loop without receiving endless ‘cc’ emails. The shared documents help to avoid multiple versions flying about simultaneously, and I like the fact that you can still edit documents in the normal ‘desktop apps’ (e.g. Word and Excel) as well as directly online. It was sometimes tricky to get the other team members to use Teams consistently rather than reverting to email, as this requires a bit of a culture shift.
Using Teams for remote call out for Teaching Space Technicians
Teams has been used by staff in Teaching and Learning Spaces to better organise how Teaching Space Technicians receive information about issues, as well as improving their call out efficiency.
If you are interested in this use case, you may want to read the guidance by Learning Spaces Technology:
Teams helps to better mobilise our frontline workers and better serves the needs of users of our facilities. More specifically, teams has been used to overhaul the communication channels of our remote service desk operation which we use to designate technician support to teaching spaces across campus. In order to access real-time data about teaching space issues and broadcast this information to all support technicians which means we allocate the resources where they're most needed from our command centre more efficiently. This notifications-based communications channel allows for much better sharing of rich information, more than is possible with our previous phone-based alerts. Daily assignment of each worker to a specific campus zone more fficient and we can better cover shifts and holiday arrangements now.
Using Teams in academic spaces
For "Open Door" tutor surgeries
Teams has been used by a lecturer in the College of Science and Engineering as a flexible and remote way for students to have meetings and conversations with their lecturer. It has also been used during class in the form of a live chat for students to engage directly with the topic of each class.
Teams is helping bring more flexibility to me and my students for one-to-one's and has extended to live class chat which is a great benefit to the student collective as well as individually.
As an alternative communication platform
Teams has been used extensively by a lecturer in the Business School as an alternative and less formal (compared to email) communication platform for students.
If you are interested in this use case, there is more detailed feedback from the lecturer avaliable to download:
I have also found the number of student emails overwhelming in recent years and so I started to look into chat-bots, slack and other communication tools. I gave Teams a trial in semester 2 (2018/19) with two MSc courses, and I am currently using it for my fifteen dissertation students. Students themselves have reported a mostly positive experience using Teams, and it is easy for them to navigate. I have pushed for them to create groups for their projects on Teams so they can communicate, meet and engage with one another in an educational setting rather than switching between multiple Facebook or WhatsApp groups.
Using Teams for online meetings
Project management staff have used Teams to have online meetings that allow all staff to attend, even when working remotely. They also made use of integrated Teams features, such as quick polls which all staff can create and answer, planboards from Microsoft Planner, and in app file editing and sharing.
Teams is pivotal to the free-flow of conversations about our project work. We're only scratching the surface of it's potential as a powerful communications tool but often utilise things like quick polls with an app called Polly which you can envoke simply be doing what's called an @mention in the chat post, we have bug tracking notifications from our bug tracking software which easily integrates into our conversation channels, planboards in planner, file sharing and much more. The project stakeholders can more easily come together wherever they happen to be (branch out meeting styley) and engage in a rich, productive conversation that takes absolute minimal effort to organise, it's simply brilliant.
Using Teams to plan shift patterns for frontline workers
Teams has been used by staff in the University sports centre as an easier and more efficient way to plan and update shift patterns for their staff. Their staff were able to plan when they would be on leave, as well as keep up-to-date on avaliability and cover.
If you are interested in this use case, you can access detailed guidance from Microsoft on how to add Shifts to your Team:
Shifts in Teams will allow my frontline workforce to plan their leave days, swap shifts through flexible shift patterns and with very little administrative overhead involved to maintain them. We'll also benefit from the built in chat space and real time availability indicators which should help arrange cover more quickly in the event of unexpected absence. The time clock feature will be useful so we can track time by staff out on various jobs.
Students using Teams
Students taking the Masters in Marketing course were invited by their lecturer to participate in a pilot of using Teams within their course. At the end of their course, students were asked to give feedback on their experiences with Teams.
Marketing Student Feedback on Teams
When the students were asked, "Tell us in a word what it was like to use Teams during your course?":
- 45% said it was useful
- 30% said it was helpful
- 18% said it was super useful
The students all responded positively to Teams with 72% stating that it was really easy to use without any additional help.
When the students were asked, "Would you use Teams again?":
- 100% said yes
When the students were asked, "How often did you make use of Teams?":
- 54% said frequently
- 35% said sometimes
- 9% said rarely
Students also left various feedback comments on what they particularly liked about using Teams. The key things they liked about it were that it was easy to use, helpful, less formal than email and gave them better access to communicate with their professor and other students on their course.
Really great and helpful!
...fast, convenient, easy to use 100% recommend
much better than other chat platforms, it's much easier to use and I can access or share files without needing to know where I put them.
I liked it as a way to communicate with my professor. It felt easier to reach out and ask questions — more informal than email.
Extremely easy to use. I feel more comfortable with access to my course members.
Really useful, a great way to get a quick, casual response. Sometimes email feels really formal.
The Marketing students continued to use Teams after the pilot for their dissertation work and gave their feedback on using it for this purpose:
As the semester progressed, I used it more often. I now use it slightly less as classes are over and it's mainly to communicate with my dissertation advisor
"I've used it a lot more since starting my dissertation.
During my dissertation phase, I’ve used it more frequently than during the course semester.