Microsoft Teams in Office 365 Education updates rolling out, with more coming soon

Two educators discussing an assignment displayed on a Surface device.

Over the course of debuting Microsoft Teams in Office 365 Education, we’ve been privileged to have educators from across the globe join us in creating technology to foster collaborative classrooms and improve student learning outcomes.

Whether it’s through events like Hack the Classroom, or message boards on the Microsoft Educator Community (MEC), or in conversations over social media with our product team members, we’ve been listening to your feedback and incorporating your ideas and diversity of needs into the Teams experience.

Today, we’re taking time to share the latest updates from that continuous feedback, and we’re eager to share the excitement around how teachers have discovered ways to transform their classrooms and workflows with Teams, the hub for teamwork in Office 365 Education. It’s clear that Teams saves valuable teacher time and fosters a more modern classroom experience, and we see it in conducting virtual PLC meetings with the meet-now feature, and organizing group projects via channels. Take a look at how Teams and OneNote came to the rescue for a teacher on their sick day.


Create an assignment with a OneNote page


Since the start of the 2017 school year, educators have created over 10,000,000 student notebooks using the OneNote Class Notebook app, either stand-alone or as part of Microsoft Teams. The number one piece of feedback we’ve heard is to integrate OneNote even more deeply inside of Teams.

Today, we’re starting to roll out the ability for teachers to create assignments and attach a page from OneNote to distribute and ultimately grade. When creating an assignment, simply select a page from Class Notebook in the file picker, then choose a destination for distributing the assignment page in the student notebooks. We’ve had our private beta customers trying out this capability – here is what Amy Vester, Lead Teacher from Omaha Public Schools has to say:

“Having the Class Notebook in the Assignment feature of Teams is FANTASTIC! This ties Teams together even better for teachers. Having the Class Notebook just a click away is so much more convenient for teachers and their students.”



Efficient grading support for OneNote pages


This also includes the time-saving ability for teachers to easily pull up OneNote page assignments in the quick grading view of the Assignments app in Teams.


Class Notebook Addin integration with Teams


We’re excited to be updating the OneNote Class Notebook Addin to support Teams integration, answering a top request from User Voice. This allows teachers to create Teams assignments, plus grading, all from within the OneNote Desktop app. Here’s a short training video demonstrating exactly how this works.

In the coming days, we will be rolling out version of the Class Notebook Addin to get this capability, and bring the Teams integration to the OneNote Windows 10 app, OneNote Online, and iPad later in November.


Support for permissions in the Collaboration Space


We recently put out a blog post detailing how teachers can now add permissions to the Collaboration Space for OneNote Class Notebooks created in Teams. This capability was enabled last week.


Assignment notifications


With today’s announcement, we have started to roll out new assignment creation notifications for our Microsoft Teams education customers. After the update, once the Teacher creates a new assignment, all students in a class will get notified in the activity bell and a rich assignment card will be visible in the conversation stream, presented with due date and a link to the assignment details.


In addition, here are some other exciting cases that comes along with this change:

  • Collaboration around assignment: Teachers and students can now easily facilitate contextual and relevant collaboration around the specific assignment in a class.
  • Assignments search: Teachers and students can now easily search for assignments with specific key words from the assignment title, helping them save time. Below, you’ll see an example where a student uses “essay” as a keyword that shows up in the search bar for easy navigation.



Student new file submission


Students will now be able to initiate their work using Office apps right in context of the assignment submission flow, helping them save time. This addition will also be helpful for students who might not have access to Office apps at home and would like to get started on their assignments there.


Assignment full screen view


We visited many schools and learned from teachers and students that having a full screen view makes working on assignments more immersive. With this addition, students and teachers will now be able to easily switch into full screen view while working on their assignment, making it more productive and delightful. Below you’ll see is an example of a student expanding to full screen view while working on an assignment.


Coming soon: We will be launching the following features in the next few months, thanks to your feedback


Multiple class distribution


We value any teacher’s productivity and the invaluable time that they would like to spend with their students. This update will allow teachers managing multiple classes to easily distribute assignments at once, as opposed to sending to every single class individually today. Once it is distributed, teachers can always edit or delete the assignment in their respective class teams.



Assignments on iOS and Android


Today, schools using Microsoft Teams for education in the classroom can download mobile applications from the iOS and Android app stores. Students and teachers are using it to collaborate, ask questions in the conversations stream, and access files stored in the class.

In the coming months we will be rolling out assignments to the Teams mobile app, where teachers and students will have easy access on the go. Students will be able to easily scroll through the list of assignments, turn in their work, and get notified on new assignments through their mobile app.  To the right you’ll find an example of a student view in which they can easily scroll through their list of assignments within a class.


Assignment List view


We’ve heard a lot of great feedback from various educators on the need for having both list and week view for assignments. In the coming months, students and teachers will get a quick and easy way to scroll through the list of assignments within a class, and a new way to toggle between the week and the list view. We will also add a new “go to today” capability for easy navigation.  Below is an example of a student viewing the list of assignments in a class.




Q: How can a teacher delete any message in a class?

A: Once the IT Admin enables “Allow owners to delete all messages,” team owners will be able to delete any message posted by members in any team. The list of IT Admin control can be referenced here.

Q: How can IT Admins disable private chat for students?

A: IT Admins can toggle “Allow users to privately chat” for students to enable or disable private chat in their schools. The specific instructions on how to do this are here.

Q: What is the best IT Admin Support channel?


We hope these Teams updates will continue to inspire how educators like you transform the classroom. As you continue to use Teams at your school, share your feedback, suggestions, and ideas! You can let us know of any functionality issues directly through the in-product feedback button, or you can send us your suggestions and ideas through User Voice – a feedback tool that our product team closely uses when continuing to update Teams. Finally, you can engage online and reach out on Twitter to @MicrosoftTeams, and you can follow @MicrosoftEDU for the latest updates on Microsoft Education.

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