Using the Brightspace Course Connector for Microsoft Teams

What is this?

Brightspace Course Connector is a function available in Brightspace that allows instructors to quickly create a Microsoft Team with membership based on the class list of a single course.

It's important to remember that there are many ways to create a Microsoft Team and using Course Connector may be a good choice for some instructional situations but not others. Review the next section carefully to determine if using Brightspace Course Connector makes sense for your class(es).

Use Course Connector if:  Do NOT use Connector if:
  • You have a new course that does not already have a Team
  • You already have a class Team and want to continue using it into another semester.
  • It is acceptable that your Team membership will always and only match your Brightspace class list
  • You need the flexibility to add and remove members to the Team.
  • A separate Team for each separate course is your preference
  • You require a Team consisting of members beyond a single course. (ex: You want a single Team with staff or students from across multiple courses)

This article consists of:

1. Understanding the Connector

2. Instructions

  • Gettting Started
  • Scheduling Meetings
  • Archiving the Team

3. FAQ

  • I already have a team and my students are currently connected. What happens if I push the Create a team button via the widget?
  • Is there a way to merge or combine existing teams into new teams created from Brightspace? 
  • I share a Team with other instructors who teach in my program, will this work?
  • What happens if I remove a student from my Team?
  • Can I add students and others manually via teams? 
  • Can I add other instructors to my Team?
  • I want to create a Team and Channel structure and prepare it with content (videos, files, etc) before summer vacation, but I don't have my Brightspace Shell yet, what do I do?
  • If you plan to use the connector, you must wait until you have it along with your Brightspace shell. 

Understanding the Connector

The main function of this connector is in keeping in sync the class list from Brightspace with the membership of your Team.  This integration continuously synchronizes the class list with Microsoft Teams. It's important to note that this connector does not share or sync conversations, posts, or calendar events from Brightspace to Teams or vice-versa. 

  • The connector syncs overnight and will automatically add new students from your Brightspace Learning environment to your Microsoft Team. If a student is removed or drops out of your course, they will also be removed from your Team. If a student is not in your Brightspace class list they will NOT be added to your team.
  • The connector will also REMOVE new members from your team that are not in your class list. Example. if you add a new member (like your Academic Chair) to your Team from Microsoft Teams, they will be removed from the team overnight.  
  • Looking to have your courses combined in Brightspace? For every course in Brightspace and each time you use the connector. It will create a new team. If you are an instructor with multiple courses of a single program, you should contact your academic chair to request placing your various courses in one program Brightspace shell. That information is found by clicking here. 
  • In Brightspace your students will have the ability to access the Team directly via a widget. Also, in the newly created Microsoft team there is a tab that links back to the Brightspace course. 

NOTE: When a Microsoft Team is created, a Microsoft 365 Group gets created automatically as well. The name of both your team and the group is the name of your Brightspace course. All Office365 platforms like File Storage by SharePoint, Planner, OneNote, Exchange mailbox, etc. are available and now associated with your new team/group. There will be inherited permissions and you will be access your new group/team throughout 0365.  Wait... what is a group?  There is no competition between a Microsoft 365 Group and a Microsoft Team – both go hand-in-hand. Whenever a Team is created (no matter the process), a group gets created associated with the team.

Instructions

Getting Started

1. When your Brightspace course is live, you will have this widget down the right hand side of your screen. Click 'Create Course Team'.

2. There are not many settings that you can control from the widget (*As of Nov 2020). The only setting you can change is whether to allow learners to create new private channels. We recommend you do NOT check this box. As an owner/instructor of the Team, you should be responsible for creating private channels for students. If you checked this box, students would be able to have private channels inside your team without you knowing of them. 

3. It may take a couple minutes as your team is being created. This is happening in the cloud. Refresh your screen as indicated below. 

4. You may see this notification in the widget that Errors Occured. Let's click View. 

 

5. The paragraph below will indicate that particiapants cant't be added to the team. Usually, the listed emails would be those using a named email like kevin.cowper@nscc.ca as opposed to W#######@nscc.ca. This notification is false! The listed email addresses will still be added to the team. Brightsspace has been notified of this issue as of December 2020. 

 

6. After successfully creating a team, your widget will now look like this. You can use it to open up the desktop version of Teams.

7. You will have a new activity in you Teams that will look like this. All of your students will as well. You are now. 

Default Team Settings will get applied to Teams created from the Connector. If you want to change or update or learn about these settings. You can find that information by clicking here. 

Scheduling a Meeting

For a complete walk through of how to schedule Teams meetings. Click here. 

When you create a new meeting via the calendar , provide all the details listed below. 

  • Give your meeting a name
  • Start typing your team (same name as your Brightspace course) it may take up to 24 hours for your NEW team to show up and be selectable in this zone.   EXAMPLE below is referenced as TSD DEMO PROGRAM. This makes sure students are notified that a meeting has been scheduled and they will be notified via outlook, and calendars will be populated with your classes . If your Team does not show up:
    • If you recently created your groups and Team, there can be a delay for everything to sync together. Some delays are minutes, some are hours. 
  • Select the date
  • You have the option to make recurring sessions if you want.
  • Add your team and channel. This is important so that any recordings or content shared inherits the permissions of the team/channel
  • Check your meeting details and then click 'Send'

Note: Everyone gets an email and syncs with all outlook calendars in all devices and platforms for everyone in your group. 

HOWEVER

If new students are added via the connector at any point AFTER you've already created recurring class sessions. They DO NOT receive the invitation. You are required to update your calander meeting, or forward it new students. 

 

 

 

Archiving the team

Archive a team when it’s no longer active, but you want to keep it around for reference or to reactivate in the future. The conversations and files in the team become read-only once you archive it. You’ll still be able to search through it for stuff you need—you can even keep it as a favorite. Only team owners can archive and restore teams.

It is recommended that you remove the D2LTeamsConnector from your team. This will disconnect it from the Brightspace shell. You should then remove all the students. 

  1. Go to the team name and then click More options ••• > Manage team > Members.
  2. From your team member list make the D2LTeamsconnector a member from an owner, and then click the X to the far right of the name to remove. 
  3. Select Teams on the left to see the list of your teams.
  4. At the bottom of the list, select Manage
  5. In the Active list, find the name of the team you want to archive, then select More options ••• > Archive team.
  6. To prevent people from editing the content in the SharePoint site and Wiki tab associated with the team, select Make the SharePoint site read-only for team members. (Teams owners will still be able to edit this content.)

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have a Team and my students are currently members of that Team. What happens if I push the Create a Team button via the widget in Brightspace?

You will create a new team and all of your students will be automatically notified. They will then have 2 competing teams and it may be confusing. 

Is there a way to merge or combine existing teams into new teams created from Brightspace?

No. For each course in Brightspace, when you push the create team button (which you can only do once), it creates a new team. 

I share a Team with other instructors who teach in my program, will this work?

No (by default). The D2LTeamsConnector will remove anyone who is not on the class list from the team. You can add a member and have the impression that it worked, but the sync process happens every hour and will remove your new team member. Other faculty would have to be added as instructors in the peoplesoft class roster for the course. This instructors would then be added to your Brightspace shells if you wish to have class lists synced with your teams while also being combined with other instructors. 

What happens if I remove a student from my Team?

As long as they are still in your Class List in Brightspace, they will be added back in, within an hour. If you need to remove anyone, they have to be removed by Brightspace.

Can I add students and others manually via teams? 

Technically yes, but they will be removed quickly. Adding students via teams does not sync back in adding them Brightspace. Instead they will be removed. 

Can I add other instructors to my Team?

They need to be added to your Brightspace course if you want them to be synced in your team.

I want to create a Team and Channel structure and prepare it with content (videos, files, etc) before summer vacation, but I don't have my Brightspace Shell yet, what do I do?

If you plan to use the connector, you must wait until you have it along with your Brightspace shell. 

Details

Article ID: 89963
Created
Mon 11/30/20 10:14 AM
Modified
Thu 6/16/22 3:46 PM