Microsoft Teams is the supported platform for online classes for the Sioux City Community School District.   Teachers will have their own preference on how they configure their Teams that will influence the methods used for scheduling classes, inviting students and having students join meetings.

This document presents the recommended scenarios and then provides a guide to teacher references on how to set up the Teams, schedule classes, invite students and run a class.  It also will describe the process for students to join those meetings. 

In addition to the recommended, advanced optional scenarios will be presented.

  Let’s start with the typical scenarios:

  • Elementary
    • RECOMMENDED - Use the automatically created Team representing their class(es)
      • The simple choice is to use the method ‘The Automatically Created Team is the Class’.  The Team will automatically be maintained (adds/drops), scheduling and invitations are straightforward as well as students joining meetings.
      • Advantages – Simple, straightforward, easy to schedule and notify students.  Student rosters are maintained by an automated process.
      • Disadvantages – Larger Teams are more difficult to manage within a class.  More difficult to differentiate through meetings with smaller groups.
      • References
    • OPTIONAL/ADVANCED - Create custom Teams
    • OPTIONAL/ADVANCED - Create Private Channels in their Teams
      • Similar to creating custom Teams, this allows the teacher to separate the class into sub-groups, but share information within a common Team.  For example, sharing the same document with all sub-groups without having to put it in each separate Team.
      • Advantages – Control over the membership of each group and maintain simplicity of the scheduling and notification of students.   Single version of common content for the separate Private Channels.
      • Disadvantages – Teacher must maintain Team.  More complicated communication and class schedule management.
      • References
  • Secondary
    The Sioux City Community School District uses Canvas as the Learning Management System (LMS).  Teachers develop and present their curriculum to their students through that tool and will continue to do so for remote learning.  Canvas is where teachers and students go to get information about their classes, and therefore the best place to put the student’s schedule and links to class meetings.    
    • RECOMMENDED - Canvas Integrated Teams Meetings
      • In Canvas, teachers can 'cross list' (combine) their sections to have a single Canvas course to communicate with and post quizzes, assignments and assessments to.  This is efficient for distributing those resources but not representative to who they want to meet with in class.  the teacher has the ability within Canvas to create a Module specific to class schedules and adding a 'Discussion' to that Module with details of the class schedule.  Canvas has a Microsoft Teams Meetings add-in that the teacher will use to create the link to the class meeting.  Students can click on that link at any time, but will only be joined to the meeting when the teacher has started the meeting and admitted the students.
      • Advantages – This keeps the students in Canvas - their core tool and flexibility in schedules (schedules are not tied to a calendar - simply a link to refer to).
      • Disadvantages – Teacher must communicate where the students are to find their schedule as they will not be sending invitations to the students.  If teachers want to use other features of Teams, they will need to create custom teams and possibly private channels (see OPTIONAL/ADVANCED below).
    • OPTIONAL/ADVANCED - Cross list by period and use automatically created teams
      • In Canvas, teachers can 'cross list' (combine) their sections into sections that represent the classes they want to meet with.  This is sometimes referred to as 'cross list by period'. 
      • Advantages – By using the automated method, membership of the teams will be updated by the process.  By using the Team, teachers can schedule the General Channel which sends invites and updates the student's calendars.
      • Disadvantages – Teachers will have more Canvas courses to maintain and may need to replicate work between the teams.  While scheduling by General Channel is a nice feature, if the schedule changes, this can cause students schedules to become confusing (many cancelled meetings)
      • References