Using Microsoft Teams to support Nursing home groups
Nicky Varley, Lecturer in Children’s Nursing
School of Nursing
Teaching has traditionally been done face to face to students who are ‘usually’ present, aware, engaged and ready to answer and ask questions. When uncertain times fell in relation to Covid 19, and social distancing was enforced for safety, face to face teaching was no longer practical.
Microsoft Teams enables teachers to be better connected than ever. Meetings become easier to plan, students are happy to engage and sometimes prefer the ease of logging onto their computer or using the app on their phones.
From planning and delivering home group sessions for up to 22 students, to having 1:1’s – this amazing software has allowed teachers to keep in touch with their students. Enabling them to message quickly to the whole group, or just to one student. Video calls can facilitate meetings, where students can raise their hand to ask a question or pose questions within the chat at the side of the call.
Teams has simply made online working and the delivery of sessions much easier, for both students and staff. The ease of interactions is excellent for collaboration between both academics and students. Groups can be set up for module teams, where meetings can hold large numbers of participants. This is such a great way to be able to discuss schemes of work and module assessments. Having the ability to discuss timetables, learning outcomes and parity scripts in ‘real time’ by sharing live documents, is extremely valuable – particularly now, where time is limited, and meetings are frequent.
Being part of a number of Teams allows for a feeling of purpose and belonging. We feel more connected now than ever before. The facility to message or call fellow academics/colleagues has proved invaluable, and feels much more accessible.
The facility to add files and tabs (including Microsoft Stream), allows easier access to lecture material and should be considered throughout the university.
Colleagues find Teams very useful, in that it allows them to meet with other academics or students quickly. We have ventured into times where it is possible to ask a fellow academic a ‘quick’ question either on chat or by call/video call and not have to send an email, which can sometimes get lost or are left unread.
The Teams set up for students can be used as a safe place, and encourages them to set up their own groups in a similar fashion to other apps, such as Facebook or WhatsApp. Students feel their tutors are more accessible than ever before through the ‘chat’ and video call functions. Booking in meetings is simple, and the facility to set up ongoing meetings is equally straightforward. The meetings then sit within your Outlook calendar. Joining meetings is straight forward and can be done in the click of a button. The facility to add people to calls ‘mid call’ is also a fantastic addition and means questions can potentially be answered faster!
I can’t imagine life without Teams!