Getting Started with the OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers: A Walkthrough for Teachers

This post was originally blogged on the Microsoft Office website. You can access it here.

The OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers is an App for SharePoint Online that helps you set up OneNote in your class. This tool will create a class notebook, which includes three types of sub-notebooks:

  • Student Notebooks – private notebooks that are shared between each teacher and their individual students. Teachers can access these notebooks at any time, but students cannot see other students’ notebooks.
  • Content Library – a notebook for teachers to share course materials with students.
  • Collaboration Space – a notebook for all students and the teacher in the class to share, organize, and collaborate.

Learn how OneNote notebooks can transform learning in your class.

What you’ll need:

  • SharePoint Online is set up for your school as part of an Office 365 subscription.
  • Organizational account for yourself (the teacher) with Full Control permissions to use the OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers app to create the class notebooks.
  • Organizational account for each student with permissions to access the SharePoint site where the OneNote notebooks are saved.
  • The OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers app has been added to your SharePoint sites by someone in your school with Tenant Administrator permissions.

 Note: The administrator can find instructions here: Learn how an IT Administrator can install OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers for your school.

  • Internet Explorer 10 or Internet Explorer 11 to use the OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers app. Other modern browsers should also work.

To get started, follow the steps below to create a class notebook with the OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers app.

Open the OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint site where you will create your class notebooks.
  1. Click Settings icon in the upper-right, then click Site Contents.

site contents

  1. Click OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers.

 Tip    If the OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers app isn't visible on the first page, scroll through the Site Contents at the bottom of the page, or search for OneNote Setup Tool in the Site Contents search box.

 Note    OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers must already be installed, and you (the teacher) must have Full Control permissions to that SharePoint site.

   OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers

- -Create a class notebook:

  1. Click Create a class notebook from the available options.

OneNote Tool setup options

  1. Name your new notebook, then click Next.

 Tip    We recommend that you create a separate notebook for each class. For example, if you teach multiple Spanish 2 classes, create a notebook for each class. Give each notebook a unique name that is easy for you and your students to identify. You might name the notebooks “Spanish 2 P1” for your 1st period class, “Spanish 2 P2” for your 2nd period class and so on.

 Note    Each notebook you create must have a unique name, and it cannot contain these characters # / * ? " | < > : . % ' \.

  1. Click Rename to optionally rename either of the first two default sub-notebooks. When finished, click Next.

Confirm sections

Add your students to your class notebook

You can add your students individually or in bulk.

 Note    Your students must have an Office 365 organization account to continue with this step. If you are not sure whether or not they do, ask your administrator.

Add Students Individually

  1. Type a student's name in the text box, then press Enter.

 Tip    As you type, the tool will look up possible matches. For example, you can type “Carl” and it will find any students matching that name.

Add students

  1. Repeat step 1 until you’ve added all of your students, then click Next.

Add Students in Bulk

  1. Copy and paste a list of the students' names, separated by“;” into the textbox.

 Tip    After you paste the students' names into the textbox, the app will look up each name. If matches are not found, you can retype the name or remove the name from the textbox.


  1. Click Next when you've completed adding all of your students for the class.

Start each student notebook with sections

  1. Keep the boxes checked next to the default sections that you would like created in each student’s notebook.

Almost there

  1. Click Add more to add additional sections in each student’s notebook. Click Next when finished.

 Tip    We recommend that you create section names that correspond to activities, not units. For example, use activities such as Handouts, Class Notes, and Quizzes. The reason for this is that students work in one unit at a time; it will take longer to find items of interest in a unit section.

 Note    You can also add, remove, and delete sections directly in your students’ notebooks after the class notebook is created.

Finalize Your Class Notebook

  1. Click Teacher's notebook, and Student's notebook to verify how the sub-notebooks and sections will be created for the class. Click Left arrow to go back to add or remove sections, or click Create to have the tool create your class notebook.

Preview notebooks

  1. Click the notebook name link to open your class notebook in OneNote. Keep a copy of the link to your class notebook for your records, then send it to your students to open when the notebook is ready for class.

 Tip: The same link is used by everyone in one class to access the class notebook. If you make notebooks for several classes, each link will be different.

Done page

 Tip: You may wish to add content by placing it in the Content Library before inviting your students to open the class notebook. Keep a copy of the link in your records while you prepare the notebook, then share the link with the students when ready.

Please send any questions for feedback about OneNote Setup Tool for Teachers to – we'd love to hear from you.