Microsoft Teams VS. Virtual Classroom

Microsoft Teams Overview:

Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool that allows you to stay connected and collaborate with your colleagues and students. It brings together simultaneous document editing, chat, video conferencing, project management tools and third-party apps into one shared workspace.

Virtual Classroom Overview:

Virtual Classroom provides a seamless way to connect face-to-face with your students in DC Connect. You can schedule live classroom discussions, share your screen, poll students and even have break-out sessions for students to work together in your virtual classroom. Videos can be recorded, closed captioned and seamlessly added into your DC Connect. Other suggested uses for Virtual Classroom is to host virtual office hours.

What is the difference between MS Teams and Virtual Classroom?

When delivering your courses, are you trying to make a decision about which tool to use for optional synchronous sessions?

Microsoft Teams and Virtual Classroom are both effective tools that serve similar purposes, but they have their individual strengths.

For example, Microsoft Teams is better suited for live collaboration whereas the Virtual Classroom in DC Connect is better suited for a presentation and break-out rooms. It is up to you to choose whichever tool works best for you, your level of comfort, your content and your students! And, both of these applications are supported by Durham College.

What Are the Primary Differences? - last updated: 05/20/2020
Features Microsoft Teams DC Connect Virtual Classroom

Screensharing

Yes

Yes – Desktop share within Virtual Classroom is only fully supported in Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium). In Firefox, you can only share a specific application window*. If you want to share your entire screen, use Chrome.

*In Firefox 70, screenshare will not work if you are in private mode. To avoid this issue entirely, please update to Firefox 70.0.1.

Bandwidth Requirements

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/prepare-network#bandwidth-requirements

https://bongolearn.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360034469833-Virtual-Classroom-Bandwidth-Requirements-

Software Available

Yes – It is highly recommended but not required, that users download the Microsoft Teams app instead of using their web browser to access Teams. See 'Browser compatibility' row below.

No – Additional software not required or available.

Present Using a Whiteboard

Yes – Microsoft Whiteboard can be used by going to the 'Share' icon in the share tray that is available during a video call.

In the Whiteboard section of the share options, select Microsoft Whiteboard.

For more information, see Microsoft’s support page for Whiteboard

Yes – The whiteboard is available to you as soon as you start a Virtual Classroom session.

Virtual Classroom meetings are pre-loaded with 10 pages of whiteboard space. You can also upload your own presentations and share your desktop.

To navigate between whiteboard or presentation pages, use the arrow buttons or drop-down menu.

Upload a Presentation

Yes

Yes – automatically converts PowerPoints into PDFs. Playing YouTube videos will not work. Videos should be shared as pre/post-classwork.

Live Captioning

Yes - Instructions here

Yes - Using Powerpoint 365 in Virtual Classroom

Browser Compatibility

Some browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox, support the Microsoft Teams web app but don't support some of the Teams calling and meeting features. These missing features can prevent webcam sharing, screensharing, and prevent the microphone from working. You can learn more about unsupported browsers for Microsoft teams here.

Microsoft encourages users to download the desktop app or the mobile/tablet app if not on desktop machines.

Desktop - Download desktop app, Google Chrome, Firefox.

*sharing camera does not work on Firefox*

Mobile/Tablet - Download app.

Microsoft Teams is available to students through their dcmail

Desktop - Google Chrome, Firefox only (does not work on Safari)

Mobile/Tablet - iPhone/iPad can use Safari

Collaboration

Share word, excel, PowerPoint files that students can collaborate on at the same time.

Break-out sessions.

Professors can share their screens with students.

Break-out sessions.

Group Chat

Yes – Teams offers a live feed (like Facebook or other social media platforms) where you can “@” or tag your teammates to share ideas as well as a private messaging tool.

Yes – There is a group chat feature available upon entering a virtual classroom. You can also chat via video/audio sharing.

User Friendly

Yes – See how to begin using Teams here.

Yes – See how you can create a virtual classroom here.

Live Video Meetings

Yes

Yes

One-on-one calls

Yes – Users can choose to call individual members within Microsoft Teams using the "Video call" or "Audio call" feature.

Yes – Faculty can create a link for 1:1 office hours. Students cannot initiate a call to faculty or meetings with other students.

If you would like for students to have the ability to initiate calls or meet with each other in groups, please see our page on Video Assignments through Bongo in DC Connect.