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4 Ways that Microsoft Teams is Disrupting Learning Management Systems

Good news in the world of instructional design, notability in the ways in which Microsoft Teams has the potential to make online learning more engaging, interactive, and efficient. In this post we look at 4 ways in which Microsoft Teams stacks up against traditional learning management systems and wins.




We have all been there, stuck inside a clunky learning management system watching highly passive, poorly formatted slides with voice-over that sounds like it was recorded in a closet. Then somewhere along the way we answer a poorly constructed multiple choice question and voila! We're done and now we've been 'educated', or maybe not.


From an instructional design perspective this type of learning design is considered low quality, for several reasons:


  1. Attention: It doesn't engage us enough to capture our attention long enough to retain it.

  2. Social Learning: It forgets about the social aspects of learning and collaboration.

  3. Rote Memorisation: It relies simply on rote memorisation rather then activating critical thinking skills.

  4. Inspiration: It does little to inspire the thoughts, hearts, or minds learners (or instructors really).


In fact, in today's educational markets there is no reason why learning has to be like this, so the question is how you can you stay on budget and leverage tools that do more? Enter Microsoft Teams. Here are four ways to enrich learning experiences for ALL involved:


MS Teams Trick 1: Apps

Microsoft Teams leverages a huge library of apps that can be integrated into your experience with a simple click of the mouse. From project management, education, human resources, collaborative documents, data analysis, and much much more you can access all of these tools in one place. If a traditional learning management system is a butter knife, MS Teams is a swiss army knife.


MS Teams Trick 2: Channels as Breakout Rooms

Managing active learning processes by having small groups work in channels, means you can move away from a 'talking head' approach to learning in place of a highly engaging, collaborative experience. Select your favourite and topic appropriate apps, and as a facilitator jump between channels like you would in brick and mortar classroom.


MS Teams Trick 3: @Mention

Email is a time drain no matter how you slice it. Crafting perfect pragmatically appropriate prose in email form, is not a necessity for active learning, in fact it can actually create unnecessary bottle necks in the learning process. Instead use the posting and chatting features and the @Mention tool to quickly ping others in the class, without waiting for 45 minutes while they 'check their mail'. Also consider the thumbs up for a quick approval and a .gif for a bit of fun.


MS Teams Trick 4: Backgrounds It's Covid-19, your room is a mess because you are sharing an office, the dog is running wild and the kids are cooped up because they are studying at home, use the background screens effect and instantly transport yourself into outer space, a Sci-Fi planet, or perhaps a beach oasis.


Finally, the main reason many organisations use LMS systems is their ability to track assessments, but Microsoft has multiple assessment tools will track-ability inside of the tool.


Game. Set. Match.