Introduction to Teams and Channels in Microsoft Teams

Tags Teams

This article provides an introduction to teams and channels in Microsoft Teams.

An example of teams and channels within Teams.

What is a team?

A team is a collection of people, content, and tools surrounding different projects and outcomes within an organization. A team is designed to bring together a group of people who work closely to get things done and can be dynamic for project-based work, as well as ongoing, to reflect the internal structure of the organization (e.g. departments and units). Conversations, files and notes across team channels are only visible to members of the team.

There are two types of teams that are typically created:

  • A general team ideal for departments, units, organizations, clubs, and interest groups with the goal of enhancing communication and collaboration with team members, share content, and organize virtual or face-to-face meetings. The team, by default, is private and open only to invited users. A public team option is available so that anyone within the organization can join.
  • A classroom team ideal for faculty-led classes with the goal of collaborating and communicating between faculty and students, assigning, tracking, and reviewing student work, and administrating quizzes and polls. The team, by default, is private and open only to invited students.

What is a channel?

A team is made up of channels that are comprised of separate conversations and files. Each channel can be dedicated to a specific topic, idea, or project and is where the work actually gets accomplished. There are two types of channels:

  • A public channel, created by default, is open only to team members.
  • A private channel that is accessible to invited individuals within a team. Only the users on the team who are owners or members of the private channel can access the channel. Anyone, including guests, can be added as a member of a private channel as long as they are already members of the team.
  • Private channels do not support Forms, Planner, and Stream at this time.

A private channel is used to create focused space for collaboration within your teams, or if you want to limit collaboration to those who have a need to know or if you want to facilitate communication between a group of people assigned to a specific project, without having to create an additional team to manage. To learn more about private channels visit the Private Channels in Microsoft Teams documentation.

  • A group of people in a team want a focused space to collaborate without having to create a separate team.
  • A subset of people in a team want a private channel to discuss sensitive information, such as budgets, resourcing, strategic positioning, and so on.

A lock icon indicates a private channel. Only members of private channels can see and participate in private channels that they are added to.

An example of channels within a team.


Article ID: 803
Tue 3/10/20 2:24 PM
Wed 12/2/20 2:17 PM