A&S Learning Design & Technology Knowledge Base

Creating a team for your course

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All UVA faculty, staff, and students have access to Microsoft Teams. For information from UVA IT on setting up your Teams account, click here.

Microsoft Teams provides a set of tools to aid in online course delivery. Within Teams, instructors can house documents, administer assignments, provide space for student collaboration, conduct online meetings, post grades, and create a virtual classroom community. As such, it can potentially enable a greater sense of continuity between in-class and out-of-class instruction compared to platforms like Zoom (which primarily promotes synchronous instruction) or an LMS (which primarily focuses on the asynchronous). Microsoft Teams establishes a persistent space in which online meetings, conversation threads, resources, and assignments all exist in one platform and can be easily accessed at the same time.

Creating a “Class” Team for your course

Note: Since a "class" team comes pre-loaded with certain pages that you cannot delete, including grades and assignments, if you choose to us an outside program for assignments and grades (such as Gradescope or Collab), you may want to create a team with the type "other." This team type does not have the default assignment and grades tabs and thus could be less confusing for your students.

Open the Microsoft desktop app and navigate to the main page where all of your teams are listed.

In the upper right hand corner, click "Join or create team."

Next select "Create team." You will be given four options for the team you will create. Select "Class."

Enter a name and description for your team as prompted. You will also be asked to add people to the team--you can either add individuals now, or later generate a join code to send to your entire SIS roster. If you want to add students later, simply click "Skip."

Your team is now created. Each Class team comes with five default tabs in the general channel. 


This page acts as a place for announcements, updates, and chats. Members of the team can ask questions, receive responses, and view notifications about upcoming meetings and assignments.


This tab provides space for the instructor to share documents with students. This could be a good place to house the syllabus or other important course documents that apply to the entire course in general. The instructor can control if students have the ability to edit documents in this tab, so this could also be a space for student collaboration.

  • You can also directly edit Microsoft-compatible files by opening them within the Files tab (like a Powerpoint presentation).
  • If you attach a file in Posts, it will automatically be available in Files

Class Notebook

This is an interactive OneNote notebook that everybody in the class can access. In the general channel, it comes pre-set with different sections, and the notebook tab acts as a master notebook which can access the notebook sections of all other channels. Any other channel you create can only access its own notebook, which is always a collaborative notebook. Here are the pre-set sections in the general channel: 

  • “Collaboration Space” where both students and instructors can modify content. This could be a good place for group projects or collaborating on class notes. This is also a helpful place for instructors who want to post lists of readings or assignments, in-class activities, links to websites and/or embed videos as a sort of resource hub. Embedded videos can be played directly from the notebook (as they can from within PowerPoint slides if you are using them).
  • “Content Library” where instructors can share documents and other materials that students can view but not edit. This could be another potential place for a syllabus or course readings.
  • “Teacher-Only Section” where a teacher can edit content they do not want students to see (such as lesson plans or other course-planning material).
  • “Student Notebooks” where each individual student has a private place to write assignments that only they and the instructor can view and edit. This could be a good place to have students write “minute papers” or respond to other low-stakes checks on understanding.


This tab allows the instructor to create and administer quizzes and assignments. 


Grades integrates with the assignments functionality to house student grades in the course. (Teams is not currently integrated with SIS, so the instructor will need to either manually enter grades or rely on another grading application that is integrated with Collab/SIS such as Gradescope.)

Creating additional tabs to customize content

In addition to the default tabs, you can add as many tabs as you like into each channel. These tabs will be visible to every member of the team and can provide important locations for storing and sharing relevant course materials and activities.

Click the + icon to add more tabs.

You can put course readings, videos, powerpoint slides, or other content into individual tabs.

You can add a website into a tab. For example, many instructors find it helpful to bring in websites such as Gradescope or Piazza or Poll Everywhere (or even Google docs) that they will be using in their courses.

You can make a document from “Files” into a tab (another potential place for the course syllabus to reside).

Teams also has app integrations, and you can add these into tabs in your channels.

  • YouTube
  • Flipgrid - Video responses for engaging with content and having discussions
  • Microsoft apps examples: 
    • Planner - Project/task management that can be used for group or individual assignments
    • Insights - at-a-glance data views to help you catch up on all your students’ Teams activity, from assignment turn-in to engagement in class conversations

Adding students to your team

The simplest way to add students to your team (particularly in large courses) is to email the link to the team to everybody on your SIS roster. The team link can be found by clicking the ellipses next to the team name and selecting "Get link to team."


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