53 Communication is Key

In this chapter, we share various communication tips for you to keep in mind as you run your live teaching sessions.

Communication tools allow you to customize how you share information and interact with students such as:

  • Meeting tools – raise-hand, chat, muting, screen sharing, ability to record meeting, breakout rooms, webcam options,  and reactions
  • Different channels – classroom lectures, office hours, labs, tutorials, and group work (ex. Capstone)
  • Message formatting – ‘Important’ and ‘Announcement’ tags and mentioning people or channels

Reminding students to mute microphones when not in use to avoid disruptions

  • Many students may be new and are not aware of this practice.
  • A possible solution can be a default “microphone off” option upon joining the meeting
For more information, refer to: Noise and distractions and Muting Your Microphone. 

Managing notifications to receive crucial information and limit distractions​

  • We are receiving more notifications and messages than ever before​
  • Limiting your notifications during class will help keep you focused and immersed in your lecture
For more information, refer to: If I get one more notification…

Narrating your actions to engage students and maintain their attention​

  • This will help to keep the students’ attention during pauses in lecture (e.g. while finding a file, uploading a new resource, making an announcement, etc.)​

Planning your communication strategy​

Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself to ensure a successful communication strategy:

  • How often do I make announcements?
  • Are my announcements consistent?
  • Do students have multiple ways to communicate with me?
For more information, refer to: Communicating with Students in Microsoft Teams.

Setting clear expectations for online etiquette​

  • Everyone has their own style and structure
  • Posting information about what you will be doing throughout the semester will help prepare students to be successful in your class

Repeating important information

  • Students may have difficulty keeping their focus for long periods in front of their screens
  • Repeating information helps students adjust to the online setting​

Allowing students to ask questions comfortably

  • Students may prefer using one method more than others (e.g. typing their questions rather than using a mic)


Based on Microsoft Teams update on: August 27, 2021


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Teaching with MSTeams Copyright © by Dave Cormier; Anas Al-Chalabi; Bailey Csabai; Chris Nardone; Devin Wacheski; Elijah Annoh-Waithe; Jykee Pavo; Laura Small; Lawrence Villacorte; Lorenzo Pernasilici; Marianne Kantati; Mikayla Bornais; Mitchel Macmillan; Mohamed Eldabagh; Nafeesa Sohail; Norman Ha; Tariq Al-Rfouh; Kristen Swiatoschik; and Ashlyne O'Neil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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