My first impression about Microsoft Teams for Education – with assignments function!

Last weekend Microsoft had launched the specific add-on for classrooms in Microsoft Teams. A few of my current customers are using Microsoft Classroom. So I was curious about the functionality in this new service. First of all; it’s integrated in Microsoft Teams, that’s already a plus. Students and teachers are loving Microsoft Teams (and me too), with all the integrated services and now also their assignments!

How does it work?

First of all, if you create a new team you get now an extra option, create a class:

createteamclass

Than you will get the option to add students and teachers to the class:

createteamclass2

And the new class is created. In the top level you will see two new items in Microsoft Teams, the Class Notebook and Assignments:

teamsstartpage

Under Assignments you can create a new assignment:

assign

You have several options as teacher:

Titel of the assignment
Instruction of the assignment
Due date and time for the assignment
Late turn in allowed (so later then the due date)
Points yes / no; if yes you can create your own scoring model (this is currently quite simple)
Attach materials and specify what the student has to turn in as assignment.

Then you can click on assignment and the assignment has published to the student. As a teacher you will have an overview witch assignments are schedules:

overviewinteam

As a teacher you have also an overview over all assignments in all teams. In the navigation left you see ‘Assignments’ if you click on that you will get that overview:

overviewassignemnts

Now from a student perspective. If you login to Teams as a student you will also have the overview of all assignments you have. If we go to the demo classroom you will find there the assignment we just created. The thing I am missing here, I don’t see any update in the conversation view of the team, that an assignment is created for the class. So I really have to go to assignments to see new assignments. I don’t see any notification in teams that I have a new assignments. I think there needs to be some work on that. Student will not click to see if there is something new, please make a notification message (like with chat) in the ‘Assignments’ on the left, so students can be notified on new assignments.

The student can add their work to the assignment, reference materials and turn the assignment in:

studentview

Once it’s turned in, the student can turn in it again.

Also the teacher don’t get any notification in Teams that the student has returned their assignment. If she/he will go to the assignment the review button will show the students that have turn in their homework/assignment:

review

They can check the student work, give feedback and give points!

Final thoughts

I think it’s a great step as Microsoft to create a service like this in Teams. There need to be some work on the notification side within teams for assignments. As a student I don’t want to look for new assignments. I don’t get a notification in Teams, I don’t see anything in my conversation view. I hope as a partner we get the API’s to extend this functionality for local customers. In the Netherlands we don’t always work with points, so can we add a own scoring model to the service?

 

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