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Community Member

Should the MS TEAMS integration be creating chat channels or a team?

So after 2 weeks of using this integration I'm stuck with this question:

"Is it better to use the Class Teams we've set up in our MS Teams infrastructure or continue to use the Canvas Integration which created meetings in the Chat channel?"

Canvas Teams Integration

Currently the pro's and con's I can see are:

Pro's of Canvas Team Integration:

  • Seamless integration into activities or dated tasks 
  • Link take you directly to meeting lobby 
  • New "Meeting Options" allows for setup of students as attendees 
  • More "zoom" like experience

Con's of Canvas Teams Integration:

  • Doesn't create a "Team" but a chat channel
  • Can't run analytics on chat channel
  • Can manage the chat channel like a team 
  • Students who were not in the Live video can't see recording of the live session unless this is shared with "the whole organisation"

As we stare down the barrel of 10 - 20 weeks of teaching using teams I'm trying to make the call of which direction to go for the long run?

Thoughts or advice anyone?

6 Replies
Community Member

Hi Grant,

I see your dilemma. I guess it depends on how extensively you are using (or plan on using) the Class Teams.
If you have gone to the trouble of setting these up and they are being used, then (IMHO) your staff and students are already using Teams and would likely be comfortable enough to use the Class Teams (and MS Teams Calendar) to create online meetings. 

However, if your school is anything like ours, you may find that there is too much cross over between Class Teams and Canvas Courses. If your teachers and students are all using Canvas as an LMS and for Communications (e.g. Announcements etc) and are therefore not using Class Teams very much, it may be better to use the LTI.

For example, we have found that with onset of Social Distancing we needed an additional video conferencing tool (besides Big Blue Button). So we are using the LTI. This will allow staff and students to work primarily inside Canvas but still access Teams for online meetings.

It would be great to hear which way you decide to jump.

Hope that helps.


Hi David,

We are using Teams in a similar context to your school, but I'm seeing some release coming out in Teams that are really only available in an actual TEAM rather than just a chat channel. Essentially I just want to make sure that by using the LTI we are not "hamstringing" our teachers.

I think we've made the call to stick with the LTI for this term because it's the most "zoom like" experience for our teachers and students.

I just hope that things like the "attendance report" are not only available TEAMS meetings.

Would love to hear how you are going.

Grant Harbor

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Community Champion

After quite a bit of checking we are sticking with Teams and not using the LTI.

The Teams "integration" with Canvas provides a shortcut to a meeting on Canvas with very little of the functionality that you would expect from an integration. Although some of those issue are now being addressed eg permissions of user etc

As a K12 school, we want a deeper integration with Teams and Team's groups to reflect those courses in Canvas.

Adding the meeting link to a Chat area was not the route we wished to go down, especially as Teams is a relatively new feature. We would have preferred any link to go to existing Teams groups/channels

I would like to see the bigger picture and roadmap for Teams and Canvas so that we can be better prepared when it happens! 

Our use of Teams is for the synchronous/live element of our teaching. This makes up only a small proportion of our overall delivery. Like many, we make full use of the learning platform and other associated integrations eg Office365 for voice recordings on PowerPoints etc..


Would be interested in picking your brain a bit on this one. Would you be interested in chatting offline? @

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Of course. Happy to do a Teams Chat? Recognising the slight irony in this! Let me know when is best and what you would like to chat about so I can prepare some stuff.

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Since email reply is bombing out, I can be contacted at We can get the logistics worked out offline. Thanks!

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