How to Use Assignments in Microsoft Teams: Quick 12 Minute Tutorial for Teachers

Microsoft Teams has become a popular platform for online teachers during these unprecedented times. Teams allows you to stay in touch with your students not only through video calls, but with chats, files, and assignments. With everyone – teachers, parents, students, and admin – having to adjust to online learning, it helps to have a platform that is multi-functional.

Teams can seem daunting when you first begin to use it, but it really is quite simple and easy to use. However, to make it seem less intimidating, we have broken down and explained some main features of Teams separately. Below is a quick, everything-you-need-to-know guide on Assignments in Microsoft Teams.

Here are links to our other guides on features of Microsoft Teams:

Let’s get started!

Creating an Assignment

To begin creating assignments in Microsoft Teams, you first need to be sure of two things:

  1. You are logged in with a Microsoft EDU account
  2. The Team you have created is a Class Team type

If both of those things are complete you will be able to see the Assignments tab on the side ribbon and on the top ribbon under the General channel. If you need help with the basics of Teams, check out our Teams Guide for Teachers.

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Now, to create your assignment, click on the Assignments tab from the top ribbon under your General Channel. Click Create and Assignment to begin with your first assignment.

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There are two other options you can explore later when creating assignments. One is creating a quiz with Microsoft Forms, and the other is creating an assignment from a pre-existing assignment.

Title, Description, & Resources

In your new assignment, add in a title and a description to let your students know what to do. If you prefer to attach the instructions as a document, or have supporting materials to the assignment, you can attach them under the Add Resources link. Teams allows you to attach files in many different ways, through your OneDrive, ClassNoteBook, from a link, by creating a new file, or from uploading a document from your computer.

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When you attach a resource, you have the option to allow students to edit or not. By default, they cannot edit; however, if you prefer to change this, just click on the three dots at the end of the resource and click, Students edit their own copy. Now, when students edit this file, a new copy will be made for them, and it is automatically attached to this assignment for an easy turn in.

Points & Rubrics

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To easily grade this assignment through Teams, assign the number of points it is worth, or add a rubric. Similar to creating Assignments, you can use a pre-existing rubric, upload one, or create a new one.

Creating a new Rubric is very customizable so that you are able to add all the information your students need to complete the assignment. Just add a title, a description if you wish, and fill in the rubric. If you need more categories, just click the plus button at the end of the columns, or after the bottom row. In addition, you can assign points to each category of the rubric.

Assign to Students

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The next step in creating an assignment is to assign it to your students. You can assign it to all of them, or a certain student(s) for more individualized work. Just click Assign to All, or go through the list and click the students you would like to assign this to.

Give a Due Date & Close Date

In Teams, there are two different categories of dates for when the assignment is due.

Due Date: This is when the assignment is due by, however, students are still able to turn in the assignment late, after the due date has passed.

Close Date: This is when the assignment closes and no more submissions are allowed.

To set both of these, and schedule this assignment for the future if you would like, click Edit under the Due Date section. To set a Close Date, click the checkbox on the side and set the date.

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When all of you set up is complete, back at the top of the page, click assign or save for later if it still needs a bit more work.

How Students Turn in Assignments

After you assign an assignment, students will receive a notification. They are able to view the assignment in the General Channel or on the Assignment tabs.

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The student view of the assignment is very similar to the teacher view. They will see the Due Date and Close Date, the instructions, any files you have attached, and a rubric if there is one.

Students can begin their assignment right away in Teams if you have attached a document for them to work on. In my example, students would be using PowerPoint on their desktop simultaneously with ClassPoint to make their presentations more interactive. As they work, their changes will be saved automatically.

If you don't have a document attached, students can upload and attach their work instead.

When they have completed their work, they just need to click Turn In. They will see an animation appear when the turn in is successful.

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How to Grade Assignments

Once students have turned in their work, you will receive a notification. Then, you can easily look over and grade their work. Click into an assignment to view how many students have turned in their work and need grading, and how many you have already graded.

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To grade an assignment, click on the Turned in status for a student whose work is complete. Here, you are able to view their work alongside a tab for you to give them feedback. If you have a rubric, it will open in their menu for you to assign the points for each category. Scrolling down, you can leave feedback for your students to let them know what they excelled at and what needs more work.

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When the grading is completed, you can return it to the student. They can view your feedback, make changes, and turn it in again if necessary.

To easily jump between students for a continuous grading experience, click the arrows on the side of the student’s name, or click on the student name for a drop-down menu of your other students.

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Export Grade Data

In Teams, it is really easy to export data, especially for assignments. You can export data for certain assignments, in addition to exporting all assignments and student grades data. This can be done from the Grades pivot on the top toolbar. You will see a complete list of your students, and of each assignment on this tab that you have assigned throughout the year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

And that completes this tutorial on Assignments in Microsoft Teams! Not too bad, right? There is plenty you can do with this feature on Teams to make it suitable for your students and classroom. Enjoy using it to it’s fullest potential.

We have put together some frequently asked questions in case you still have some lingering questions before you get started!

What if I don’t see the Assignments tab?

If you don’t see the Assignment tab on the top ribbon in your General channel, or on the side ribbon, you are not logged in with a Microsoft EDU account. Create your own, or get in touch with your IT department for your log

What is the difference between the Due Date and the Close Date?

Students can still turn in Assignments after the Due Date has passed, but once the close date has passed no more submissions are allowed.

If I return the Assignments to my students does that mean I want them to redo it?

Not necessarily. You can return all assignments to the students so that they can see your feedback. If you want a student to redo the assignment, you should let them know in your feedback.

Can I attach a PDF for my students to edit to the Assignment?

You can do this through your Class Notebook! Insert the PDF to a Class Notebook page and set it as the background. Then, you can assign this page to your students.

For a visual guide on how to do this, check out this video.

Can I assign an Assignment to a certain channel?

Unfortunately, no. You can only assign to the General channel, which is all your students, or individual students.

If you have any other questions about this or any other parts of Teams, let me know in the comments below!

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