In this video, I explore the new announcement feature in Microsoft Teams. It’s part of a big education release this summer, we will keep you posted on the latest developments!
It’s the update that schools have been waiting for. Today Microsoft announced parental access to Microsoft Teams assignments through a regular email digest. This update enables the school to emphasise the importance of homework and provide parents with all the information they need to fully support their children at home.
Below is a preview (real experience may differ) and details are still being released on how this will work
I expect that the teacher will need to enable this option in each class (so that parents don’t get empty updates or lack of content).
School Data Sync (SDS) will now support student contacts as a new CSV upload file. If you manage SDS yourself, this means there will be a new CSV to create and upload. Third party SDS sync providers will soon be able to support this. Parental contacts are optional so no need to rush and upload these. It might be worth waiting a few months to test this before rolling out to all classes and parents (it will give Microsoft time to fix any bugs) and it will give the school chance to cleanse parental data in the school MIS.
Update 26/02/2019: we are just waiting for Microsoft to complete the roll-out of this feature which should be in the next few weeks
You can find out more about how we can enhance Office 365 so that it’s really easy for teachers and students to navigate and use. We also focus on user adoption by providing training needs analysis, onsite training workshops and tailored roll-out plans to increase user engagement and get your school off to a flying start. Visit the Cloud Design Box website to find out more.
Rubrics are a powerful tool used to assess students’ work. The criterion helps students to have a concrete understanding and visualisation of what they need to do to achieve a particular score. Each criterion also includes a gradation scale of quality.
Microsoft Teams for education now includes rubric based grading. They can be created and reused across Teams making it a powerful time saving tool for teachers while at the same time helping students understand how to succeed in the assignment.
If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Team Assignments, please check out our earlier post here.
When setting assignments, you will notice a new “Add Rubric” option.
On this page, you can search for a rubric that has already been created at your school or create a brand new one. In this post, I’m going to go through how to create a new one. Click “new rubric”.
Give the rubric a name and turn on “points” so that we can assign scores to each piece of criteria.
Enter your criteria, you can add more by pressing the plus button. You can also adjust the grading balance for each element. Teams will turn the points into an overall percentage when marking based on the balance given to each criterion.
When you have finished creating your rubric, set the assignment for the students.
When the students have completed the assignment, go to review the work and open the student’s homework. In addition to the comment and grade, you can now select the rubric.
This will show the criteria and you can select which has been met. The student work will be automatically marked based on the grade balance set in the rubric.
This is what the student will see when you have graded their work with the rubric.
It’s another fantastic update to Microsoft Teams for education. There is still more to come this summer including Microsoft Forms integration with self-marking quizzes. We will bring you news and guides on how to use that as soon as it is released!
At Cloud Design Box, our solutions help schools and companies get the best out of SharePoint, Teams and OneNote.
I’m going to be at Bett 2018 next week with the Cloud Design Box team, really excited to have some stand space this year with our MIS integration partners SalamanderSoft. Cloud Design Box will be showcasing the best of SharePoint, Class Notebook and Teams integration.
Our stand number is C210, opposite Google on the main corridor leading to the Bett Arena. We even have a seating area and coffee machine if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bett for a while.
Please feel free to pop by and hello to myself, Darren and Lloyd. If you can’t make it, you can sign-up to a webinar so that you don’t miss out on all the exciting Office 365 news and the latest developments.
We will be launching our new SharePoint intranet packages containing features such as:
- Class Dashboard (find all your class data across SharePoint, OneNote and Teams in one easy to access place)
- Modern SharePoint UI Branding (Our slick new branding and navigation interface for the new look SharePoint)
- Team Provisioning and Extensions (We create Teams from MIS data and extend the functionality even further with student folders and class pages)
- SharePoint site automation and templates
- Workflows, training, support and much more!
You can find out more about Cloud Design Box’s products here.
Our partners SalamanderSoft will be showcasing:
- A new free utility ‘Salamander for Apple School Manager’ for uploading data to Apple School Manager directly from your MIS
- Monitor tool for Salamander Active Directory
- Microsoft Teams and School Data Sync including our free utility for uploading data
- Office 365 user and group creation and maintenance, licenses, photos, timetables and more.
- OneNote Class Notebook provisioning and use.
- G-Suite user and group creation and maintenance, licenses, photos, timetables, sites, drive, cloud print and more.
- Google Classroom including guardian and calendar support
- Active Directory user and group creation, maintenance and more.
- Write back of usernames, email addresses and user defined fields into your MIS (where supported by the MIS). Also creation of SIMs system users.
- Support for the above for all UK MISs including Capita SIMS, RM Integris, Progresso, Facility CMIS, iSAMS, WCBS Pass & 3 Sys, Bromcom, Arbor and many overseas ones
You can find out more about Salamander’s products here.
This web part replicates the classic Promoted Links Web Part but with added features such as web part properties to change the background colour, size of background image and to select which promoted link list to use. You can download it here.
For more information on the full Cloud Design Box learning platform for modern SharePoint or custom workflows and design, Contact us via the website.
If you are interested in developing web parts using the new SharePoint Framework, this web part is a good example of:
- loading jQuery from CDN
- adding third party modules
- making REST calls
- configuring web part properties
You can find the complete source code in my GitHub repository at https://github.com/CloudDesignBox/cdb-promoted-links.
As soon as I get chance, I will create some additional blog posts on how this web part was created, breaking down the different task lists.
While I work on that, please feel free to download the code and have a play yourselves!
Have you heard about the virtual Collab365 Global Conference 2017 that’s streaming online November 1st – 2nd?
Join me and 120 other speakers from around the world who will be bringing you the very latest content around SharePoint, Office 365, Flow, PowerApps, Azure, OneDrive for Business and of course the increasingly popular Microsoft Teams. The event is produced by the Collab365 Community and is entirely free to attend.
Places are limited to 5000 so be quick and register now.
During the conference I’d love you to watch my session which is called : ‘Branding SharePoint using Application Customizers’
If you join me, you will learn:
- How to create a new application customizer
- Using the application customizer to apply branding to modern sites
- History of SharePoint design
- Introduction to SASS and TypeScript
Time (in UTC) :
- Thursday, November 2 2017 12:00 Noon
How to attend :
Over the last few months, we have received lots of positive feedback about the new Microsoft Classroom Preview product. Today Microsoft announced in the Office 365 message centre that this would be replaced at the end of July 2017 with Microsoft Teams for Education.
No need to panic, MS Classroom functionality will still exist but in the Microsoft Teams app (from what we can see from the screenshots). You can still set assignments, create class notebooks, discuss, share files and quizzes but it will all be accessed through the Microsoft Teams interface rather than through the MS Classroom App. There is no news on the Microsoft Classroom mobile app for iOS and Android but hopefully this will be replaced so that students can still get notifications for new assignments and grades.
You may have seen the following message in the Office 365 message centre, notifying you of the change.
On July 31, 2017, we’ll discontinue support for the Microsoft Classroom Preview, as we work to unify our classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education. Since the Microsoft Classroom Preview released, we’ve been very thankful for schools’ feedback from around the world; which has helped us improve benefits and features of the service. Ultimately, we learned to keep it simple and put classroom resources all in one place. We listened and we’re bringing the best of the classroom features (e.g., Assignments and OneNote Class Notebook) to Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education.
How does this affect me?
– Microsoft Classroom Preview will continue with current functionality until July 31, 2017. – Teachers will not be able to create new notebooks or assignments after the July 31, 2017. – Current classes and associated content will continue to be available as Office 365 Groups. Teachers can access assignment resources, files, calendars, and conversations, through tools such as Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint Online. If necessary, they can copy Class Notebook content to their personal workspace (e.g. OneDrive for Business). – When the new class experiences become available in Teams, School Data Sync will start creating the new classes for Microsoft Teams. SDS will continue to sync existing Microsoft Classroom Preview classes through July 31, 2017.
What do I need to do to prepare for this change?
We apologise for any inconvenience resulting from this transition. We encourage you to try out Microsoft Teams, and get yourself familiar with the Teams experience. Please click Additional Information to learn more.
The new list and library experience is here in SharePoint Online. It is great news for the SharePoint community (better integration with OneDrive, responsive, platform independent). For users with customisations or for companies who are not ready for the change yet, you can delay the new experience from the administration panel. There are certainly things which will improve in the new experience such as consistent navigation (you may notice that you lose the navigation configured in classic mode), custom JS overlays and custom branding. Microsoft should have some updates on those features in the coming year.
To switch back to classic mode for the entire tenancy:
Open the Office 365 admin centre and select “SharePoint” from the admin centre list.
Go to the settings option and set the list and library view to classic mode. This may take a few moments to apply.
You can override these settings in individual library settings if required.
I’m often asked how to give the Microsoft Office 365 login page a branded and customised look and feel. It’s really easy so if you are using cloud only or AD synced users, you can apply branding to the login page. This method does not apply to ADFS as the login page is hosted on the local ADFS servers and not in Azure AD.
How does it work?
When users enter the username, Office 365 detects the domain name and picks up any custom branding on the Azure AD. You might not be aware that you are using Azure AD to authenticate but unless you are using ADFS then you probably are!
What files will I need?
There are several image files required. Each of these should be optimised for the web to keep the file size down (files above a certain size will be rejected).
These are the main ones you will need to prepare. These should be PNG files with a transparent background except for the sign-in illustration which should be a compressed JPG image.
- BANNER LOGO (60 x 280 pixels)
- SQUARE LOGO (240 x 240 pixels)
- SQUARE LOGO, DARK THEME (240 x 240 pixels)
- Sign in illustration – replacing the MS highway picture (1420×1200 resolution)
How to setup custom branding?
Open the Office 365 Admin portal and navigate to Azure AD admin centre.
Select the active directory on which you want to apply the branding.
Go to the Configure tag.
On the configure page, select the “Customize Branding” button.
The question mark icon will show you the requirements for each image. Upload each optional image and replace sign-in page text where necessary.
Once this has been saved, you can test it after a few minutes by going to the Office 365 login page and entering your username. When moving to the password box, the branding should update with your custom design.
Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) allows your school/organisation to use your own Active Directory to authenticate users. While Azure AD Connect (formerly DirSync) seems to give this functionality, it is actually a copy of the usernames and passwords in Azure AD which authenticates the user onto the site rather than your own AD server.
The main benefit of having ADFS setup is the option for users to have single sign-on to Office 365. When a user enters their username in the Office 365 login page, the domain is automatically detected as federated and the user is redirected to the ADFS login page hosted on the local network. If the user is logged in to the local network, they are automatically signed in using windows authentication. If the user is not on the local network, the ADFS login page can be branded with the organisation’s logo, image, text and colours to provide a custom login experience.
Although the user doesn’t have to enter the password, it doesn’t feel like a true single sign-on experience (as the user must enter the username to get redirected). There is a nice solution to this, you can use some custom links to automatically redirect the user so no credentials are required when logged into the network.
Using the login URL, we can add some variables to the path.
The first variable is the request message:
We need to let Office 365 know which domain to authenticate (so it knows where to redirect) using:
Finally, we can provide a URL to redirect the user once they have been authenticated. This could be your SharePoint site:
The final URL to log a user into Office 365 using the domain mydomain.co.uk and redirecting to https://mydomain.sharepoint.com would be: