Information Services

Creating an effective learning community in Teams

Good practice guidance for anyone using MS Teams to establish an online community

Things to consider before using Teams as an online community for your course

Teams can support effective communications, but it’s just a tool. It will require effort to establish, maintain and engage with students to create a digital learning community. You must think about how you need your students to interact, what staff need access and what channels you need to create to help organise discussions. You can find held on this in the guidance on getting started with your Class Team. 


You may also find it useful to attend moderator or other online community training (secured)


Preparing and supporting your Teams community

Teams discussions allows you to include different types of media (text, pictures, audio and video). You can express thanks and react to posts with emoticons. 

As the teacher, you should invest the time to show a visable presence in your Teams and establish a dialogue with students using frequent, varied communication. Try: 

  • Sharing your biography, with a picture and research interests 

  • Posting short weekly summaries 

  • Connecting students with each other in discussion 

  • Thanking students, offering encouragement and feedback 


Further information 

  • The digital citizenship guidance  provides useful guidance for any staff and students interacting digitally. 

  • For more theory and practice on interacting with students online, see 'An Edinburgh Model for Online Teaching' (available in Learn as a self-enrolled course).