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!
Homework has many benefits for students including learning how to work independently, staying organised and taking responsibility for their part in the educational process. It also gives them a chance to review the lesson and go over the material again.
Assignments give teachers the ability to track student progress and to see if the student understands the lesson content.
Microsoft’s Office 365 now provides another educational tool in their arsenal of productivity apps. Teams is a collaboration tool for your classes with the ability to have discussion threads, document sharing, class notebooks (see my previous post) and assignments.
In this post I’m going to focus on the assignment aspect of teams. You can follow the video guide or the blog post below, I hope this helps you get the most out of Microsoft Teams!
How to view assignments for your class
Inside your class, click on the “Assignments” tab to view a timeline of all the set assignments for this group.
You can select either a horizontal or vertical timeline view of the assignments using the view selector (highlighted yellow below).
How to create a new assignment
To start setting work for students, click the “New assignment” button.
You are then prompted to enter the details of the new assignment
- Assign to: Select which classes to assign to (you can set it to more than one of your classes here!)
- Title: This is the title of the assignment.
- Instructions: Include a description here to help the student complete the assignment.
- Due date and time: When the assignment becomes late (you have the option to allow late hand-in below)
- Late turn-in allowed: If this is enabled, students can still hand-in work after the due date. This is required if you are using class notebook pages.
- Points: Turn this on to allow a mark allocation. Currently these are only available as a number score.
Documents can be added from OneDrive, your computer or from the OneNote Class Notebook. We are hopeful that SharePoint and other class teams will be added to this soon! There are two options for attaching these resources.
Attach reference materials
These documents are for the student to view as part of the assignment. You might include a PowerPoint, links to useful websites, etc.
Specify what students will turn in
Documents uploaded in this section can be edited by the student and submitted back as part of the assignment. This is particularly useful for things like worksheets.
When you have finished the assignment, you can either save it as a draft or assign it to the class. As soon as this is assigned to the class, it will appear in their assignment timeline and they will get a notification on their team mobile and desktop apps.
How to review completed assignments
Use the review button to bring up the assignment timeline and assignment submissions.
Select the relevant assignment from the timeline to show the student work.
Each student has:
- Student work: Links to files that the student has returned.
- Date turned in: The date and time that the student submitted their assignment.
- Feedback: Some written feedback for the student.
- Points: If you have chosen to enable this in your assignment, you can give the student a grade.
Students will not be able to see your feedback or grade until the “Post” button is clicked.
Click the “Export to Excel” button to download a spreadsheet of the assignments.
The grades spreadsheet shows all the assignments set to this class over the school year. It optionally shows grades, if enabled per assignment. No more manual marksheets! You could use this data to import or fill in MIS marksheets quicker.
One of the best ways to engage with students both inside and outside of school using Teams is to encourage them to use the mobile app. Students get instant notifications of any mentions, homework or graded assignments.
Teams automation and customisation
Teams is free for schools, check you have the license enabled to start using it. At Cloud Design Box, we can provision teams from MIS data and create an engaging and simple dashboard to access team data in SharePoint. We can also create student folders inside team sites and extend the experience even further, making it easier and increasing student and teacher engagement. You can find out more information on our website https://www.clouddesignbox.co.uk/.
OneNote Class Notebook is free for education users as part of Office 365, it has some additional functionality which isn’t available in standard OneNote files. In this blog post, I want to focus on the additional learning tools available in this version. There is also a video guide for this post below.
How do I get Class Notebooks?
Class Notebooks can be created in a many ways (depending on how your school decides to use Office 365). Class Notebooks can be created from the Class Notebook App, Microsoft Teams or inside SharePoint or OneDrive.
Creating a “Class” in Microsoft Teams will automatically create a Class Notebook for the group.
How are Class Notebooks different to OneNote Notebooks?
Class Notebooks have a section for each student. Each student can see their own section, the teacher resources and the collaboration area. They can’t see other student sections. Logged in as a teacher, you have access to all the student sections.
How do I send distribute an assignment to the students?
Assignments, worksheets or any other hand-outs can be copied into each student’s own section. To distribute a page, the teacher must:
- 1. Create a new page
- 2. Populate the page with what you would like to be sent out to the student (e.g. write an essay on…..)
- 3. In the “Class Notebook” option in the ribbon, select “Distribute Section”
- 4. Select where you would like the page to be sent
How do I review student work?
Class Notebook has a great tool to make it simple to find student work. In the ribbon select “Review Student Work” from the Class Notebook.
From here, you can select a page and switch between students for quick access to their work.
This option is available under the “View” tab.
The immersive reader provides the student with a tool to clearly show text on the page without other distractions (images, formatting, etc). In addition to sharpening the student focus on the text, the tool provides some options to:
- Emphasise syllables, nouns, verbs and adjectives.
- High contrast themes
- Focus on lines or sections of the text
- Read out the text
This is a learning tool that has some good research behind it which suggests that it can be used to improve reading and writing comprehension.
What about formal assignments and homework?
OneNote Class Notebook is a great tool for non-formal work hand-outs. With Microsoft Teams, it can be enhanced to provide formal assignments which can be handed out to students, collected in and graded. We will look at that in the next blog/video post.
Need help setting up Microsoft Teams?
I work for Cloud Design Box and we provide teacher training workshops, support, MIS integration, apps and many other services for Office 365. You can contact us via the website or by email. I hope you have found this blog and video post useful!