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Establishing an online Supervisor Teams Workspace

Supervisors will need to establish communication and feedback processes with all of their off-campus students, particularly as they are not able to meet face-to-face. One of the applications available for this is Microsoft Teams. MS Teams is a communication and collaboration platform for Microsoft Office 365 that allows integration of several apps that are useful for the research journey.

Downloading and logging into Teams

Teams can be accessed via desktop application (which can be downloaded via self-service from the IT Service Kiosk) or through a web interface: teams.microsoft.com. You can also download an app on to your iOS or Android device, from the App store and Google Play store, respectively.

Access to teams is through Office365, using your ECU institutional login. If you are external to the organisation, you will need to be added to a Teams workspace by a staff member.

NOTE: Only staff members can set up a Team. Students can join once the Team is set up.

Setting up a Shared Teams Workspace

Supervisors are advised to set up a ‘Team’ for each of their off-campus students, allowing all the information for that student, as well as any associated materials, to be contained within the one application. Instructions on setting up a Team are below, or can be accessed from the downloadable guide.

  1. Make sure that you are within the 'Teams' tab within your application
  2. Click on ‘Join or create team’ (bottom of left pane in List view, and upper right corner in Grid view)
  3. In the pane that opens, click on ‘Create Team’ and choose the kind of team you will need to build (for this purpose you can choose ‘other’ as this will give you enough flexibility with your student).
  4. Fill in the details of your team. If you are supervising multiple students, it may be easiest to create a team that uses the student’s name and ID so that it is clear what the focus of that particular team is. You will also be able to add other supervisors (including from outside ECU) and the student to the team.

Once you have set up the workspace, it will appear in your Teams list with the name you gave it (in this case, the name of the student) and will be accessible whenever you log into Teams in the future.

Using Teams and associated applications

You can use Teams as a virtual environment for supervision, by using the appropriate applications with it. An online Teams Workspace could use the following features:

  • Chat function: For quick conversation between different members of the team, visible to all other members
  • Files: To share documents
  • Planner: List project milestones and tasks
  • OneNote: Take notes and to store meeting action items and agendas
  • Website link: Link out to relevant resources e.g. the library website
  • Meetings: Set up a virtual meeting, including a screen sharing and videoconference option

When you first access a team, the default screen shown is the chat conversations, so you can see what has been discussed previously in the team.

Adding functionality to your team using apps

To add an app to the team interface, you would need to click on the ‘+’ icon along the top edge. This will add a tab, and to determine the functionality of that tab you will need to choose from a list of apps. These include apps for project management, productivity, storage and information sharing. You can also link web pages, documents, spreadsheets and presentations as a tab, which can be useful if there is a central document that you are referring to often.

Uploading documents

You can upload documents into Teams, in the Files tab as well as in the Chat window. This can be used to store versions of documents. The tracking of student progress is now required by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. To this effect, Supervisors are strongly encouraged to store the documents associated with MyPLAN, electronic copies of completed forms, as well as any feedback on writing and associated materials.

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