Fast Deployment Guide for Remote Learning

Overview

Education requires remote learning capabilities to ensure continuity of teaching and learning in the event of sickness, disasters, and other unexpected events. Microsoft’s recommended platform to facilitate remote learning is Office 365 and Teams. This article explains how to quickly deploy a new Office 365 tenant, create and license users at scale, and deploy Teams at scale for a remote learning environment.

Important Considerations

If you have Active Directory running in an on-premises datacenter, Microsoft always recommends deploying AAD Connect, enabling hybrid identity, and migrating core services like Exchange before enabling Teams for remote learning. However, if you require a fast turn-key solution with minimal planning, time, and effort, the process detailed below can be utilized as an interim solution.

Below are several important considerations when choosing to deploy using the Fast Deployment method outlined in this document.

  1. Users will receive new credentials for the new Office 365 environment, and will not be able to access app, content, or resources on premise using the new credentials. Then can however continue to login with their old credentials for access items stored on premise.
  2. You need to plan a distribution method for the new Usernames and Passwords once accounts are created. Some example approaches are:
    1. Emailing student accounts and passwords to parents.
    2. Emailing student accounts and passwords to known/previous student email addresses.
    3. Setting initial strong password to combinations of user known attributes.
      Example: Birthdate + Last name + Student Number
    4. Mailing the unique username and password to each students home.
  3. Microsoft recommends reviewing all service and security configurations within Office 365 to ensure compliance with privacy and compliance regulations.
  4. You cannot link the new cloud only IDs in Office 365 with the legacy on premise IDs, or merge/migrate content between those locations, using Microsoft 1st party tools.

Tenant Setup

In this section, you will create an Office 365 Tenant, confirm you are an official Education Organization, and add unlimited and free A1 licenses for all Students and Teachers to use.

  1. Follow the Tenant setup instructions here.

Note

Adding custom domains is optional but makes login simple for students and teachers.

  1. Verify your Tenant is EDU

    1. Contact the SDS Onboarding Team.
  2. Add the free Office 365 A1 for Faculty and A1 for Student licenses.

    1. Login to the Office 365 Admin Portal.
    2. In the left-hand navigation select Billing > Purchase Services.
    3. Find the Office Apps and Services section of the page.
    4. Select and add the Office 365 A1 for Faculty license option:

    Office 365 A1 for Faculty license option

    1. Complete the purchase by entering your credit card details - is is a $0.00 purchase.
    2. Repeat the purchase/add process for the Office 365 A1 for Students license.
    3. Once complete, navigate to Billing > Licenses and confirming the licenses are added.

Create and License Users

Here, you will create CSV files needed to create all user accounts for teachers and students and apply the free A1 licenses for faculty and students.

  1. Create (or export from your SIS/MIS) 2 CSV files - teacher.csv and student.csv. These CSV files will contain all students and teachers within your organization.

    • You only need 6 attributes for each user. Example screenshots with minimal required attributes are below.
      1. First Name
      2. Last Name
      3. Username - Prefix for the UserPrincipalName that the user will login with.
      4. Password - Initial Password for the account. Users will be requested to change their password once they login.
      5. SIS ID - Unique ID for the User
      6. School SIS ID - ID for the associated School.

Note

If you don't have school associations for students and teachers, or you don't have time to build the export, you can provide a single School SIS ID in this field to associate with each Student and Teacher listed.

student csv file

teacher csv file

  1. Create (or export from your SIS/MIS) a school.csv file. This file will contain all schools within your organization

Note

If you do not have school associations for students and teachers, or you don't have time to build the export, you can provide a single school in the csv file and associate it to all teachers and students.

a. You will only need two attributes for each school. Example screenshot with minimal attributes below. I. Name II. SIS ID - Unique ID for the school

school csv file

  1. Create 3 empty CSV Files - section.csv, studentenrollment.csv and teacherroster.csv files. Only create these files with the minimum required headers - reference here and screenshots below.

    • You will only need a few attributes for each file:
      1. section.csv
        1. Section Name - Name for the Section
        2. SIS ID - Unique ID for the Section
        3. School SIS ID - Unique ID for the School
      2. studentenrollment.csv
        1. SIS ID - Unique ID for the Student
        2. Section SIS ID - Unique ID for the Section
      3. teacherroster.csv
        1. SIS ID - Unique ID for the Teacher
        2. Section SIS ID - Unique ID for the Section

section csv file

student enrollment csv file

teacher roster csv file

  1. Deploy SDS for just User Creation and Licensing.

    1. Go to [https://sds.microsofot.com].
    2. Click +Add Profile
    3. Enter a name for the Profile.
    4. Select Upload CSV files and select CSV Files: SDS Format
    5. Click Start
    6. Select New Users
    7. Click Upload Files > Add Files > Select the 6 CSV Files > Upload
    8. Click in the box - When should we stop syncing this profile?
    9. Select a date after classes complete.
    10. Click next.
    11. Select a Domain for Teachers

    Note

    The domain is used in the UserPrincipalName when they login

    1. In the Teacher Licenses Dropdown menu, Select the Free A1 licenses:

    Note

    The A1 for Faculty licenses are STANDARDWOFFPACK_FACULTY

    1. Click Next
    2. Select a Domain for Students

    Note

    The domain is used in the UserPrincipalName when they login

    1. In the Student Licenses Dropdown menu, Select the Free A1 licenses:

    Note

    The A1 for Student licenses are STANDARDWOFFPACK_STUDENT

    1. Click Next
    2. Click Create Profile

Deploy teams

In this section, you'll create CSV files containing all Classes in your organization and their memberships to create a corresponding Class Team for each.

  1. Create (or export from your SIS/MIS) 3 CSV files - section.csv, studentenrollment.csv, and teacherroster.csv. Populate these 3 CSV files as indicated below. Sample screenshots are below the descriptions.
    1. section.csv
      1. This file should contain all Classes within the Organization
      2. This file only requires 3 attributes per class
        1. Section Name
        2. SIS ID
        3. School SIS ID
    2. studentenrollment.csv
      1. This file contains all Student to Section mappings
      2. This file only requires 2 attributes to build the mapping
        1. Section SIS ID - The SIS ID of the section within the section.csv file
        2. SIS ID - The SIS ID of the student to enroll
    3. teacherroster.csv
      1. This file contains all Teacher to Section mappings
      2. This file only requires 2 attributes to build the mapping
        1. Section SIS ID - The SIS ID of the section within the section.csv file
        2. SIS ID - The SIS ID of the teacher to roster

Deployment Section csv

Deployment StudentEnrollment csv

Deployment TeacherRoster csv

  1. In SDS, select the Sync Profile created previously.
  2. Click Upload, and upload all 6 files, replacing the blank files with the newly populated Sections and Rosters.

Once sync completes, you will have Office 365 Groups, and all roster updates will sync through to Teams. See improved Class and Roster sync for Teams.

If you'd like to send continuous and automated roster updates to those classes as the roster changes throughout the year within the SIS/MIS, see the automation guidance here for School Data Sync to keep rosters continuously updated.