Tip #1: Launch Polls During a Meeting
If you would like to take a poll during a meeting, you need to first create the poll and assign it to the meeting.
To do this, navigate to the Calendar section in Teams and open the scheduled meeting you wish to add the poll to.
In the meeting details, click the “plus” sign in the upper-right corner.
A list of app add-ins will appear. Select the app named Forms and click Add to give the installer permission to install the Forms app into Teams.
Creating a New Poll
To create a new poll, click “Create New Poll”.
We will enter the question we want to ask in the poll along with options such as “Yes”, “No”, and “Maybe” along with other options like user anonymity and the ability to select multiple responses.
Once you click Save, the poll can only be viewed by you while it is in “Draft” mode.
Others will be able to see and interact with the poll once you click “Launch”.
BEWARE: If you give a meeting participant Presenter rights, they will have the ability to delete your poll. To prevent this, click the Details of the meeting and select the Meeting Options (ellipse).
Set the option labeled “Who can present?” to “Only me” and click Save.
Launching a Poll During a Meeting
During the meeting, to launch the poll, click the Polls button at the top of the meeting window.
At first, only you can see the poll listed on the right side. The meeting participants will not be able to see the poll until you click the Launch button for the poll.
The meeting participants will see your poll on their screens, and they can interact as requested.
Once a meeting participant selects a response and clicks Submit, the results of the current submissions are displayed.
Tip #2: Use Together Mode
At first blush, the Together Mode feature seems like nothing more than a novelty.
But where it shines is that it allows you to see up to 50 participant’s webcams at the same time, combined into an imaginary environment where it appears everyone is together.
It’s a great way to reduce the fatigue of seeing everyone in isolated boxes.
During a video chat meeting, to enable Together Mode, click the More Actions button (ellipse) and select Together Mode.
If you click the button labeled “Change Scene” in the lower-left of the screen, you can apply different interesting backgrounds. The numbers in the top-right corners indicate the maximum number of participants that the scene will hold.
Tips for the Best Together Mode Experience
For Together Mode to look its best, follow these guidelines for your meeting participants:
- Ensure the cameras are still and centered. Participating from a handheld device, like a smartphone, will create an odd look with all the shaky movement.
- Try to place the webcam at the top center of the monitor. Placing the camera low and/or off-center will create strange perspectives
- Works best when viewed at a minimum on a tablet-sized screen.
Tip #3: Disable Chat During a Meeting
If you find the students being distracted by the chat and not paying attention to the presenter, you can open the Meeting Options and set the “Allow Meeting Chat” option to “Disabled”.
Tip #4: Annotating Your Screen with ZoomIt
ZoomIt is a free app you can download as part of the Microsoft Sysinternals Power Toys package.
ZoomIt has been around for almost 15 years and is a great addition to screen presentations.
When launched, the program sits in memory and is activated via a series of hotkeys.
With ZoomIt you can do the following:
- Annotate your screen with arrows, boxes, text, and freehand drawings
- Change pen and shape colors
- Switch to a Whiteboard or a Blackboard
- Copy the annotated screen to the Clipboard
- Save the annotated screen as a PNG file
- Zoom in and out of the screen while maintaining full program usability
- Display a countdown timer
- Display an image (great for wallpapers with presentation information while using the countdown timer)
Black Belt Excel Package
Tip #5: Use Two Devices
It is not always apparent to the presenter when things are not looking well from the viewer’s point of view.
Connecting to the meeting from a second device is a great way to monitor the student experience. It allows you to keep tabs on the in-meeting chats as well as ensure that what you think you are sharing is being seen properly on the other side of the meeting experience.
The steps are simple:
- Start the meeting as you normally would.
- From a second device (laptop, PC, or tablet) login to Teams with your same account and join the meeting.
- Deactivate your microphone and camera to not create audio feedback or distract your audience with multiple video angles of yourself.
Tip #6: Download an Attendance List
While the meeting is active, you can download a list of meeting participants.
To do this, perform the following steps:
- Click “Show Participants” at the top of the screen.
- Click the Options (ellipse) button and select “Download Attendance List”.
This will download an Excel file in a comma-delimited (CSV) format.
Tip #7: Use the Whiteboard
While in the meeting, you can share the Whiteboard with the students to allow them to participate in the meeting.
To share the Whiteboard, click the Share button and select “Microsoft Whiteboard”.
The first time you share the Whiteboard, you are asked if you wish to limit the annotations to only yourself or to allow shared annotations with the group.
If you initially shared the Whiteboard with others and you now wish to restrict that ability to yourself, You can click the gear icon (upper-right) and toggle off the “Other participants can edit” option.
Tip #8: Check Assignment Options
In the selected task, switch to the Assignments section.
If this is the first time you have used this feature, click “Get Started”.
Next, click “Create” and select “Assignment” or “Quiz”.
You can add the many items to the assignment, such as:
- Assignment title
- Assignment description and details
- File attachments
- Points value of the assignment
- Assignment rubric
- Due Date
- Assigned to specific people or groups
NOTE: A not-so-obvious option you may wish to change resides behind the Edit button labeled “Don’t assign to students added to this class in the future”.
You can change this option to allow for students added after the assignment was originally posted.
Scheduling the Release of an Assignment
If you click Assign, the assignment will be delivered immediately.
You could click Save and stage the assignment for later release, just remember to return here and perform the actual Assign action.
It may be easier to schedule the assignment for release which would alleviate your responsibility for returning later.
To schedule an assignment for release, click the Edit button labeled “Assignment will post immediately with late turn-ins allowed”.
From here, you can schedule the assignment for both its release date and its due date.
You can also decide if student postings are allowed after the due date and provide a cutoff date and time.
At the bottom of the New Assignment dialog box, you can select the channel you wish to have the assignment listed.
Click Edit to change the assignment posting channel.
Tip #9: Update Assignment Settings
Once you have an assignment setup and/or posted, you can adjust the default settings for future assignments.
In the Assignments section, click the Options button (ellipse) and select “Assignment Settings”.
You can set options like:
- Change the due date (time) for all future assignments.
- Allow new students to receive the assignment if they joined after the assignment’s release.
- Set the default notifications posting channel.
The Fun Stuff provides a humorous animation when they turn in their assignment.
Tip #10: Switch Names to Anonymous
When grading student assignments, it’s possible to have your subconscious bias play a role in deciding the value of student answers.
To ensure fairness when viewing a list of student submissions, select Options (ellipse) and click “Hide Student Names”.
This will not only hide the names but also shuffle the list in case you may have peeked ahead.
The names of the respondents can be redisplayed using the same process as hiding the names.
I'm a 6x Microsoft MVP with over 15 years of experience implementing and professionals on Management Information Systems of different sizes and nature.
My background is Masters in Economics, Economist, Consultant, Oracle HFM Accounting Systems Expert, SAP BW Project Manager. My passion is teaching, experimenting and sharing. I am also addicted to learning and enjoy taking online courses on a variety of topics.