Microsoft Education governance FAQ for admins

Tip

Watch the following session to learn about more about management in Microsoft Teams: Governance, management and lifecycle in Microsoft Teams

How do I control team creation? I'm worried students are going to create inappropriate teams.

To avoid inappropriate or misleading names, or just to provide more structure for how teams are named, you can use the Office 365 Groups naming policy (currently in preview):

  • Prefix-Suffix naming policy You can use prefixes or suffixes to define the naming convention of teams (groups), for example, GRP_US_My Group_Engineering. The prefixes and suffixes can be fixed strings or user attributes (such as [Department]) that are added to the name based on the user who’s creating the team.
  • Custom Blocked Words You can upload a set of words that users in a specific organization are blocked from using in names of teams they create. For example, you can block the terms CEO, Payroll, and HR from being used in team names for groups they don’t apply to.
  • Classification You can create classifications that the users in your organization can set when they create an Office 365 group.

Important

Using the Office 365 Groups Naming Policy requires Azure Active Directory Premium P1 licenses or Azure AD Basic EDU licenses for each unique user that is a member of one or more Office 365 groups.

For detailed instructions, see Office groups naming policy.

Note

If teams are created automatically by using the input from another system (for example, School Data Sync), verify that the input data complies with the naming policy you’ve configured; if it doesn’t, team creation will fail.

Can I see who created a team?

To find out who created a specific team, see Search the audit log for events in Microsoft Teams.

Can I control who can create teams?

In general, we recommend against preventing anyone from creating teams. If everyone can create teams, Teams is more likely to be widely adopted. Faculty, teachers, or students can use Teams to create study groups or special interest groups. This will help Teams be accepted inside and outside of the classroom.

In our experience, user education helps ensure responsible Teams usage. As soon as users understand that creating teams isn’t anonymous, they understand the implications of carelessly creating them and tend to shy away from misusing the tool.

If you’re sure you want to control who can create teams, see Manage who can create Office 365 Groups.

How do I automatically create a team for each course at the beginning of the semester or quarter?

At the start of each semester or quarter, you’ll need a number of new teams. It might make sense to take an automated approach to create these teams automatically, populate them with the right users, and set the right permissions:

  • School Data Sync can create Office 365 Groups for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, class teams for Microsoft Teams and OneNote Class notebooks, school groups for Intune for Education, and rostering and single sign-on (SSO) integration for many other third-party applications. Learn more at Overview of School Data Sync.
  • With PowerShell, you can create teams and channels, and configure settings automatically. See Microsoft Teams PowerShell for more information.
  • You can use the Microsoft Graph API (currently in beta) to create, configure, clone, and archive teams. See Use the Microsoft Graph API to work with Microsoft Teams for more information.

Tip

School Data Sync creates an Office 365 group for each class synced and enables hidden group membership so only teachers and students within the class can see the members of that class. If using a different process to create class groups use the HiddenGroupMembershipEnabled parameter of the New-UnifiedGroup cmdlet to meet the same privacy requirements.

How do I deal with teams when the semester or quarter ends?

We recommend that you first think about how you want to handle Teams data when the school semester or quarter is over: whether to delete it or keep it available for students even after they’ve completed the course. You’ll want to keep the school calendar in mind so any policies you set don’t conflict with holidays. You can use the following tools to implement your strategy:

  • Retention policy: Use this to delete all data older than an age you specify to make sure that old data is removed from chats (for all or some users) and channels. You can also configure Teams to retain content so it can’t be deleted. For more information, see Retention policies for Microsoft Teams.

  • Expiry policy: Configure teams to expire after a certain number of days. Thirty days before expiration, all owners of a team are notified that their team needs to be renewed, otherwise it will be deleted (though an administrator can recover deleted teams for an additional 30 days). This setting is very useful for making sure unused teams are sunsetted. Learn more at Office 365 Group Expiration Policy.

  • Archive team: This setting puts teams into read-only mode. They can still be browsed and searched, but no one can add any new posts. Archive or restore a team describes how team owners can archive a team; Team owners can also use the Graph API (beta) to archive or restore a team.

Important

Using the Office 365 Groups Expiration Policy requires Azure Active Directory Premium P1 licenses for each unique user that is a member of one or more Office 365 groups.

Are there team templates for my faculty members to use when creating a team?

Yes. Users can select Create Team from existing template when creating a new team, and Teams owners can also use the Graph API (beta) to create a new team from the available templates.

What tasks can I automate via PowerShell or Graph?

The Microsoft Graph API (beta) can do the following:

  • Create a team.
  • Add members and owners.
  • Add channels.
  • Add apps.
  • Shortcut those steps by cloning an existing team, and get its tabs too.
  • Give the user a link to the team you just created.
  • Remove members, owners, channels, and apps when you no longer need them.
  • Archive the team when it's no longer active.
  • Delete the team.
  • Create a channel thread

PowerShell can do the following:

  • Create a team.
  • Add members and owners.
  • Add channels.
  • Remove members, owners, and channels when you no longer need them.
  • Delete the team.

Tip

The Graph API and PowerShell cmdlets are constantly adding functionality. Make sure to check the Microsoft Graph API (beta) and PowerShell articles often for feature enhancements.

Can I control what Teams features my faculty and students have access to?

Yes. You can use policies to control specific messaging, meeting, calling, and live event features your users have access to. You can use tenant-wide settings to apply the same settings to all, or apply user-level policies if required.

For more details about Teams policies, see Manage Microsoft Teams settings for your organization.

Can I control what external parties my faculty and students collaborate with?

You can use guest access to invite users from outside of your tenant, which can be useful for research collaboration or guest lectures:

  • Use domain whitelisting to allow or block guests based on their domain.
  • Turn guest access on and off for particular Office 365 Groups and teams, to control which teams can (and can’t) invite guests.
  • Use the audit log to see which alerts were sent to invited guests.

For more information, see Guest access in Office 365 Groups.

What information can I review about existing teams?

You can check the audit logs to see:

  • Who was invited as a guest to which team.
  • Who created which team.

For more information, see Search the audit log for events in Microsoft Teams.

Teams evolves so quickly. How can I stay up-to-date?

We recommend the following resources to get the latest updates on Teams: