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Creating a Teams Meeting without outlook.com

As well as being a fantastic way for groups to work together within your organization, Teams can also be used to meet and collaborate with those not signed in to your organization through the use of link sharing. This link can be shared on your Learning Management System (LMS) to meet with students, or simply sent in an email or messaging system. Normally this can be accomplished right within the Teams, but this requires outlook.com as your default mail client, whereas large institutions still use Exchange as their mail client. Fortunately there is a way to gain much of this functionally through the Outlook and Teams Desktop applications.

Teams Meeting in your LMS

By far the easiest way to create a Teams meeting, is to create it right in your Learning Management system (LMS). This both creates the Teams meeting and shares it with your class. The “create Teams meeting” option is available in any rich text editor such as in an announcement, page content or even a calendar item. You will have to manually add all the students as full attendees to this meeting though if you want to let them retain the meeting chat, but this is a quick and efficient way to get started.

Making a Joinable Call in Outlook

To make this work you will need a current desktop versions of Microsoft Outlook and Teams applications installed, and both signed in to your Office365 account.

To create a meeting that is accessible to participants not signed in to your organization you first create a meeting in Outlook. Students should be invited here to this meeting. Anyone joining through the link only without being in this invite will only be added temporarily to the chat. There should be a Teams Meeting button in the main toolbar, press this and a Join Teams Meeting link is added to the message body. If this option is not available then either your Outlook or Teams desktop application needs to be updated. The Join Teams Meeting link can now be share through the LMS or any other means. Copying the Join Teams Meeting text should preserve the hyperlink when paused into other platforms. A link for to Learn More, and a Meeting Options link is also added to the meeting.

Meeting Options

When participants join a teams meeting signed in participants will join automatically, whereas external participants can be held in a lobby and permitted to join by the presenter. This function is contained in the Teams Meeting Options page. To access the Teams meeting options page, select the Meeting Options link in the Outlook meeting invite, and it will take you to a browser window with meeting options. (Note: At the time of writing this link does not currently work in Safari, and will need to be copied into another browser.) Here you can first set whether all people with the link, or only those internal to the organization (and signed in) can bypass the lobby.

Within a teams meeting there are two main roles, presenters and attendees. The presenters have the ability to perform functions like share content, control participants, including mute all, and start and stop recordings.

On the Meeting Options page the roles of the participants can be set before the meeting starts, allowing internal or specific people as presenters, or only the meeting initiator. When working with live classes it is best to set this to Only Me every time, so students do not have access to options like mute all or remove participant. Once the meeting begins attendees can also be elevated to presenters, and visa versa.

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