Step-by-Step Tutorial for Using Class Notebook in Microsoft Teams

You’ve probably heard many mentions of teachers using Class Notebook to share content with their students. Maybe you have started using it too, or maybe it just seemed overwhelming to learn yet another tool. However, you don’t need to fret about learning how to use this one, especially when paired with Microsoft Teams.

Creating and using Class Notebook can help you keep all your information in one place, along with creating a localized place for your students’ notes. Read or watch on below for a step-by-step guide in using Class Notebook in Microsoft Teams.

What Exactly is Class Notebook?

Class Notebook is a feature of OneNote, Microsoft’s digital notebook application. It is set up similar to Word, but with more freedom in where you place content. You can add in text, drawings, images, links, videos, and audio anywhere on these pages. Within this digital notebook, there are four different spaces for you to hold content.

  • The first is the Collaboration Space. This space is designed for both you and your students to edit and add content. For an in-depth view on how to use this space effectively, check out this tutorial.
  • The second space in the Content Library. This is where you will find yourself adding the bulk of your content. This content can be viewed by students, but only edited by the teacher. For example, you can add a syllabus, lecture notes, or readings to this space for students to review.  
  • The Teacher-Only Space is the third piece of your notebook. Like the name suggests, only the teacher can view and edit what is in this space. Here, you can place time-sensitive material that you don’t want students to have access to yet. Then, when it is time, move it to the content library or the student notebooks for them to view.
  • Lastly, you have the Individual Student Notebooks. Every student has access to the Collaboration Space, Content Library, and their own individual notebook. Students can take notes, or add in any other content in this private space. Teachers are also able to add-in pages to this notebook.

In addition to these spaces, Class Notebook also includes extra features that are specially made for teachers. Lets’s dive into creating your notebook and how to use those features!

Create your Notebook


To begin, ensure you are logged into your Microsoft EDU account so that you have access to the Class Notebook features of OneNote. Once you are in your Class Team, under the General Channel, click on the Class Notebook tab at the top of the screen.

Related: Microsoft Teams For Online Teaching – A Guide For Teachers

If you have not used this feature before, click Set Up a OneNote Class Notebook and choose Blank Notebook. If you have used OneNote before, you can set this up using that existing notebook.

You will be led to an overview page of the different spaces in your notebook. After you have read it over, click Next to set up the different sections in your student’s notebooks. These sections help keep teachers and students organized. Feel free to add or delete any of the premade sections that you wish, then click Create to make a notebook for you and each one of your students.

Creating Sections and Pages


Now that the Notebook is set up, you’ll need to personalize it to make it work for your classroom. To do this, you can add sections and pages to any of the four different spaces. This helps you keep track of all your different content.

Feel free to delete the premade pages and sections Microsoft has added after you have read through them. To do this, just right-click on the page and click Delete Section or Delete Page.

Let’s add a section to the Content Library and a Page beneath it. Start by clicking on the Content Library, and at the bottom click + Section. Give the section and name and hit OK. Now, you will be able to add pages beneath this section to add-in your content. In the same way, you can add a page with the + Page button or by right-clicking in the section space and choosing New Page.

It is super easy to organize this in the way you want. Pages can be reordered by clicking and dragging the page so that everything is in the order you’d like.

Distributing Sections and Pages


With Class Notebook, you can not only share content through the content library, but you can also put pages directly into each student’s notebook for them to view and edit. 

Use this for content you want students to work through and you want to review, but you might not necessarily grade. If you want to grade a Class Notebook Page, check out how to integrate Class Notebook and the Assignments tab in Teams.

Now we will use the extra features of Class Notebook. In the top ribbon of the Notebook, head into the Class Notebook tab. Here, you can not only distribute Pages but whole Sections as well.

To distribute a page, you have a couple of different options. You can distribute the page to all students, certain students, or groups of students if you have groups of students for different days, classes, or different testing groups. There is also a Cross Notebook Distribution option. This is handy if you have 2 classes for the same grade or subject and they share content. Instead of having to create all the content twice, you can just share it between the notebooks.

After you choose how you are going to distribute the page, you will need to choose where to place the page in the student’s notebooks. When that is complete, that page will automatically be put directly into the student’s notebooks where you have chosen.

Another way you can move a page to another part of the Notebook is to right-click on the page and choose Move/Copy. Then choose where you would like to place the page and if you want to just move it there or make a copy of it there.

Review Student Work


Another feature in the Class Notebook tab is the ability to Review Student Work. Here, you can easily check up on work that your students have completed in their notebooks.

To do this, click on Review Student Work in the Class Notebook tab. Go to the correct Section and Page that you want to review. Then, you will be able to easily jump between students to view their work on that page. When their name is clicked, their work will appear on the left.

Don’t forget to leave feedback on their page! You can do this in a variety of different ways. Add an image, a video, drawings, or even an audio clip to let the students know how they did.

If need be, you can lock the page so that students cannot make any more edits. They can still go back and view the feedback you left, but won’t be able to add more information. The option can be changed at any time by you, so nothing is set in stone.

Manage your Notebook


The last part of this tutorial on using Class Notebook in Teams is dedicated to Manging your Notebook.

Unde the Class notebook section, on the far right, click the three dots and Manage Notebooks. 

Here, you can create new sections for the student notebooks and turn off the Collaboration Space if needed. Keep in mind when you are creating sections and pages in the collaboration space, students are able to edit and add their own pages and sections as well. If you want to disable them from doing so, this is the place to do so.

The Collaboration Space can be turned on or off at any time, so maybe you use this space at certain times, and have it off for the rest of the time.

And that my friends, is your brief tutorial on how to use Class Notebook with Microsoft Teams. If you have any other questions on Class notebook, let us know in the comments below, we will be happy to help you out!

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