Using Teams to Build Connection 

The importance of building connection into teaching and learning is not unique to online learning environments, but it can be more challenging when you are not in the same physical space as your students. To build connection into an online learning environment, there are three types of interaction to consider. 

These interactions can be built into learning activities, assessment, learning materials, feedback mechanisms and synchronous interactions with students. When used in conjunction with effective teaching practices, Teams can be used to help build these connections. Here are a few examples to get you thinking about how you might use Teams in your synchronous online interactions with students. 

  • Use the communication tools available in Teams to regularly invite students to contribute throughout a synchronous class. Using the React and Chat tools and having students speak can create dynamic interactions even if students are not comfortable having their cameras on. 
  • Co-create expectations with students related to use of communication tools during synchronous sessions. This is not only a connection activity. It can also increase student buy-in and commitment to being present online because they helped establish the “rules”. 
  • Give students a problem to solve and move them into Rooms to collaborate. When the groups return to the main room, they can share their solutions with each other and you can provide feedback on their process and their solution. 
  • Use the Whiteboard and have the class build a collaborative concept map. This can help you check for understanding of content and clarify misunderstandings while having the students work together and engage with the content. 

Join us for Teaching In Teams: Best Practices to learn more ways that Teams can be used to build interactions and connection in online learning. To register click on one of the Read more buttons below. 


Moore, M.G. (1989). Editorial: Three types of interaction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 3(2), 1-7.