Microsoft has updated its Teams for Education application, an iteration tailor-made for academic settings, by introducing several enhancements that aim to streamline educational workflows and facilitate better interaction between teachers and students.
Content Reuse and Enhanced Assignment Interaction
Among the notable developments slated for release in early December, users will see the addition of a content reuse function that significantly benefits educators. This forthcoming feature will simplify the process of teaching identical courses or transferring curriculum to colleagues, as one only needs to be the team’s owner to leverage the “Reuse from existing” option in a new Team setup.
In addition to content management improvements, Microsoft is integrating a feature that enables instructors to gain insights into student perceptions of their assignments. When students submit their work, the system will automatically query them on their views regarding the assignment, allowing educators to receive immediate feedback.
The responses will be accessible within the Assignments Grading interface, allowing educators to monitor individual student progress over time and gauge overall class sentiment toward specific assignments.
Immediate Accessibility and Classroom Support
Presently available in Teams for Education are two new features to enhance the learning and teaching experience. Educators can now employ a Background Noise Suppression option in the Reading Progress tool to facilitate more accurate assessments of students’ oral reading by eliminating distracting sounds. Additionally, digital coloring pages have been introduced, offering an artistic outlet for students to convey and work through their emotions, creating a supportive and conducive learning environment.
Additional Updates and New Features
Whiteboard Enhancements: This includes live text updates, customizable text styles for improved aesthetics and accessibility, and Forms Poll component support for interactive classroom activities like quizzes and voting. Educators can also share whiteboards with external guests, fostering broader collaboration.
Viva Connections for Education: Incorporates a new Teams Calendar offering a focused view of schedules and quick collaborative actions like joining meetings, chatting, and RSVPs.
Teams Meetings Engagement Tracking: This feature collects data on meeting engagement like total reactions and camera usage, available for review on the Attendance tab.
Meet App in Microsoft Teams: Centralizes meeting preparation and follow-up activities, providing quick access to meeting content such as chats and shared documents.
New Channels Experience: Features improvements in conversation views, compose boxes, information panes, and in-channel search experiences.
Learning Accelerator Updates: Includes features like citation export, iPad support, and AI-generated reading passages and comprehension questions (currently in private preview).