Class Teams from Quarter to Quarter

Joshua Moon, Educational Technology Specialist

Quarter to Quarter – Carrying Over Work on Teams

In addition to Moodle and other resources, many instructors have adopted Teams to organize their online classes.  Teams is designed to put de-centralized control in the hands of owners and users. While offering support and training, this as been the spirit that Information Services has maintained for using Teams. Now that we’ve completed two quarters using this platform, we wanted to share some thoughts about carrying over work on Teams from quarter to quarter.

My List of Teams

As we transition between quarters, faculty should consider how best to manage their growing list of Class Teams. This would include whether to maintain, hide, or delete a particular Team.  Faculty are also encouraged to practice naming conventions that clarify the term of each site to avoid ambiguity.  The convention in Moodle is Department/Course Number/Term (i.e. PSYC 101-02 FA20).

To Hide, Delete, or Do Nothing

It is helpful to know what these options mean in Teams. 

  • If you do nothing with your Team, it will remain visible and available to members in the main “Your Teams” section of the Teams menu. 
  • Individual users, including students/members, can choose to hide any of their teams regardless of their permissions.  This moves the Team to the “Hidden Teams” section at the bottom of the Teams menu but does not restrict access or hide content.
  • Deleting a Team eliminates the Team within the app, the associated Office 365 Group, and the SharePoint site that serves as the backbone to host files and other features.  In other words, deleting a Team gets rid of everything.

Leaving a Team

One difference between a Class Team and other formats (PLC, Staff, etc.) is that it is more difficult for members (students) to leave a Class Team. Currently, members can only leave Class Teams via the app on an Android device. The option will not appear for a Team on the web interface or the desktop application.  This is a current Microsoft coding quirk.

Duplicating a Team

If you are re-using a Team’s Channel and Tab format as the template for your next course, you can duplicate that material into a new Team.  Remember, any user at the College can create a Team by clicking “Join or create a Team” in the Teams menu.  Once you have selected which type of Team you wish to create, “Create a team using an existing team as a template” will appear as an option at the bottom of the “Create your team” window.  You will have choices whether to duplicate the Tabs, Settings, associated Apps, and Membership.  “Members” will be unchecked by default to welcome a new course roster.  You’ll need to rename your new Team as well.

Note: This procedure will not import the Files from you previous Team! While it’s intuitive to drag your course files and readings into the “Files” section of your Team, Microsoft’s intention is for your readings and other course files to be deposited in the “Content Library” section of your Class Notebook. While this requires spending time getting comfortable with Microsoft OneNote, it might be a beneficial step if you are planning on using Teams in your class extensively. Visit the the page on Using the OneNote Class Notebook to get started. Class Notebooks can be imported from one Team to a new one, taking with them the Content Library and other material.

If you already have your documents for the course in a Files tab, you can copy those files to a new Team. Access the Files Tab in a Channel, select the Files you wish to copy, and click “Copy.” This will open a navigation window where you can find the Team where you want to copy the files. Currently, whole folders cannot be copied at once. You can, however, create folders in the destination Team first to receive copied files.

Some thoughts on Managing Your Teams

Hiding inactive or older Teams can be a useful technique for maintaining archival access to course content and conversations while keeping the “Your Teams” menu efficient and organized.  If you’ve ever wished you could easily return to contact or communicate with members of a previous class, this could be one solution. We do not recommend emptying, re-populating, and reusing previous Teams as a best practice.

As a reminder, we have created a Teams-specific feedback form (login required) to field your questions and respond to challenges.  As the College’s use of Teams evolves, we’re interested to hear from you so that we can better support and organize this platform at Kalamazoo.  Don’t hesitate to talk to us about Teams!

Discontinuing Video Hosting on Moodle for Winter 2021

Information Services is discontinuing support for video files hosted directly on Moodle beginning in winter 2021. This applies only to video files that have been uploaded or drag-and-dropped directly into Moodle.  It will still be possible to link or embed videos from other services such as Microsoft Stream and YouTube. 

In response to the increase in online learning, we are taking this action at this time with the following considerations in mind:

  • Video on a streaming platform (Microsoft Stream, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) is preferable and more accessible for students.
  • Microsoft Stream is now able to host streaming video content for courses at the College without using another outside service.  If you have questions about how to use Stream and manage its permissions, please refer to the Video streaming page on the Information Services website.
  • Hosting video files directly on Moodle has caused intermittent errors, disrupting service for Moodle users.

Our staff will be contacting faculty members who might need additional support hosting video files for the winter courses.  You are welcome to contact us as well.  Please send your questions to Josh Moon, Educational Technology Specialist, at

Faculty now have access to Moodle sites for Winter 2021

Joshua Moon, Educational Technology Specialist

This week, Information Services created Moodle course sites for winter 2021.  These should be available to instructors immediately.  They will be visible to students at the discretion of the instructor as we get closer to the start of the quarter in January.

We have a new form if you would like course content imported from one Moodle site to another, require adjustments to your course, or would like an additional Moodle site created.  You can access this Moodle Requests for Imports and Course Creation page from the Site Home and the Dashboard on Moodle.  It replaces the previous “Course Request” form.

We hope this continues to help instructors and students have a successful quarter.  Please contact me with any questions.

Josh Moon
Educational Technology Specialist

Five Ways to Send Files at K that are Better than Email!

While email attachments are quick and familiar, sending files to each other can fill up our Sent Items folders as well as the email storage of our recipients. Information Services is in the midst of a long-term project to eventually migrate our email server to a “cloud” based Office 365 system.  When this happens – likely by the end of this academic year – email quotas will substantially increase.

In the meantime, we have suggestions on how to get files to recipients without using email attachments and filling up your storage quota.

1. OneDrive

OneDrive offers users at Kalamazoo College a robust 1 TB (1000 GBs) of storage. This makes it a great solution for sharing large media files and entire folders. There are many Sharing and Permissions options, but Microsoft’s Share files and folders with Microsoft 365 Business video (2 minutes) explains it efficiently!


To get started, simply login with your K Net credentials and follow the instructions outlined on the Kalamazoo College secure FileDrop service website. Because all files are securely encrypted, FileDrop is a good choice for transferring files that have sensitive or personally identifiable information with external parties. Storage on FileDrop is not permanent; files are meant to be “picked up” by the recipient within 14 days and are not backed up.

3. Teams Files

Every Teams Channel has a “Files” tab to store documents.  There are multiple ways to add files to that tab.  The simplest method is to click into the Files tab and drag-and-drop a file from your computer into that window.  It will automatically upload the file to the Channel.  Microsoft has further documentation about Sharing Files in Teams.

4. Moodle

If you’re an instructor sharing files with students for a class, Moodle is one of the most familiar, basic resources.  Posting text-based documents like PDFs, Docs, and others is a common use for Moodle. You can also create Folders for more organization. Our Moodle 101 discusses how to Upload and Organize Files.

5. SharePoint Document Libraries

SharePoint Team Sites provide file sharing and group documentation libraries for a range of standing committees and teams on campus. As the fifth option on the list, it isn’t optimized for user self-support in the way manner as some of the other options. Visit Microsoft’s Online SharePoint Quickstart or make a request directly to the Help Desk at to get started.

Would you like even more information and updates on new resources for sharing files? Visit the Information Services File Sharing Page for the latest information.

If you have questions on any of these resources, please contact the Help Desk at

Microsoft Teams Now Supports Up to Nine Cameras

K College Librarians with a 3x3 camera view on a Microsoft Teams meeting.

We’re pleased to share that Microsoft has successfully implemented a 3×3 camera view in Teams and this is now available at Kalamazoo College!

The ability to view nine participants simultaneously should be activated by default for all Calls participants. Seeing additional participants has been a popular request, and we hope this will encourage more users to explore Teams as a video conferencing, chat, and collaboration tool.

Microsoft has expressed an intent to expand beyond nine cameras as part of their roadmap but not offered a target date. We will keep users updated on any new features that enhance Teams functionality.

For more information about using Teams Calls, please visit the Videoconferencing page on the Information Services website.

Additional Information on Teams

Are you new to Teams and need further instruction on how to use this tool effectively? View our Microsoft Teams Tour video or visit the Microsoft Teams page for more specific information and instruction.


Would you like to talk more about using Teams with students in class? Feel free to email the Educational Technology Specialist, Josh Moon at


For questions on using Teams for departmental communication and collaborations visit the Microsoft Teams page or the Help Desk at


Need help on using Teams? Visit the Microsoft Teams page or email the Student Computer Consultants at, Monday – Sunday from 8 a.m.-10p.m. EDT.