New Ways of Working - Digital Skills and tools to support you

If you're thinking about making smarter everyday use of IT such as Teams, OneDrive, Planner, Whiteboard, VPN, CONNECT and more, this web page is written with you in mind.

University life has changed with the requirement to work remotely and communicate virtually. New ways of working, teaching and learning mean that flexible, digital working will become the rule, not the exception. We want this to be simple for staff and students.

To support you, we've identified key IT capabilities for digital working and described the free-to-use apps and services from IT Services that you can use to underpin them. Learn about the services and apps, their functions and differences, and how to choose the right tool for the job. Get started by following our links to the most straightforward resources we could find.

Digital capabilities for New Ways of Working

 

I want to ...

  • Find things easily across all devices

  • Share documents with other people 

  • Use free, safe storage from IT Services 

  • Transition from local to cloud storage 

  • Keep control of multiple versions 

Apps at a glance 

OneDrive 

Teams 

SharePoint 

 

 

 

Private to you 

Private to your Team 

Private to large groups 

 

Less formal collaboration 

Managed by user 

Smaller groups involved 

Less effort required 

 

More formal collaboration 

Managed by organisation 

Larger groups involved 

More effort required 

 

OneDrive for Business – storage for individuals 

OneDrive for Business is Microsoft’s file-hosting service where you can store, share and synchronise work files. Each user gets 5TB of cloud storage. It is different from the OneDrive you might already have seen or used through your personal Microsoft account or through SharePoint.

It is certified against the internationally recognised information security standards and approved by the University for all data. However, you are responsible for using it in a safe and secure way. For more information, see OneDrive for Business security guidelines. 

We recommend OneDrive for files and drafts that are not ready for sharing yet, or files that you would like to share with just a few colleagues. You can use OneDrive instead of your computer hard disk or flash drives. It is free-to-use, resilient and has version control. 

By default, no one except you can see your files on OneDrive. If you intend to use OneDrive for sensitive information, you do not need to take additional steps to restrict access. You can opt to share specific files and folders with specific users. 

Anyone with a Single Sign-On can access OneDrive via the Nexus365 web app or by installing the OneDrive desktop app. 

Teams – storage for your Team 

You can share and collaborate on files using Teams. Each “Team” has 1TB of storage. This means every file you store in Teams is stored in a private site and only members of your Team have access. 

To help us keep University data safe it is important that everyone share data in a responsible way. For security guidelines when managing Teams, visit help.it. 

We recommend Teams for sharing documents with small- or medium-sized groups that have a relatively fixed membership. Teams is a good substitute for shared drives and email attachments. It is free-to-use, resilient and has version control. 

By default, any file you save in Teams is available to all members of your Team. Several colleagues can work on the same file at the same time or separately, which is more efficient than circulating multiple copies eg. by email. 

If you intend to use a Team to store sensitive information, you may wish to take steps to restrict access such as private channels or creating a separate Team with different members. 

Anyone with a Single Sign-On can access Teams via Nexus365 or by installing the Teams desktop app. You can join an existing Team by contacting its owner, or make a service request to create your own Team. 

SharePoint Online – storage for your department 

SharePoint Online is the cloud-based version of SharePoint, a web-based collaborative platform that can be used for storing and sharing content securely, as well as to create secure websites, such as intranets. It is accessed via a web browser securely through your SSO login. It is integrated with other apps in the Nexus365 service.  

SharePoint Online is designed to help you share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to make teamwork easier, to find information quickly and to collaborate seamlessly. SharePoint Online is suitable for creating intranets and collaborating in a formal way with colleagues. You can use it instead of departmental file shares, Google Team Drive or Dropbox

Be advised that SharePoint Online sites require considerable set-up and maintenance. It is suited to use at a departmental level and only available via service request. Teams is a better tool for less formal collaboration or for small teams. OneDrive is a better solution if you want to store your own content and share with just a few colleagues. 

Further resources 

I want to ...

  • Understand the different IT accounts needed to access different IT services 

  • Use my managed staff desktop 

  • Access restricted University services

  • Access departmental network drives 

Services at a glance 

I want to … 

I need to use … 

Use IT services available via the internet including Nexus365 apps 

SSO only 

Use IT services available via campus network 

SSO and VPN 

Manage my access to VPN or eduroam 

Remote Access Account 

Use my managed desktop service 

CONNECT 

Use on-campus Wi-Fi 

eduroam 

 

Single Sign-On (SSO), Remote Access and CONNECT 

These are the accounts that you will need to use to access IT services wherever you work. Here is an easy guide that explains these centrally-provided IT accounts. 

Virtual Private Network (VPN

Some web pages and online resources can only be accessed from computers directly connected to the Oxford University campus network. This means some of the resources you need may seem unavailable when you work remotely. However, you can access these restricted resources from outside the campus network by using the IT Services VPN

How to access key services remotely (VPN and SSO

Some key services require SSO alone and other key services require SSO and VPN. Here is information on which accounts to use for key services, and how to set up for remote working. 

The Nexus365 apps – including file storage – are available over the internet using SSO alone. 

Connecting to Wi-Fi (eduroam

Each college and department chooses how to set up internet access in its own buildings, but the eduroam wireless service is the most widely available. Eduroam also has the advantage of providing internet access not only in Oxford but in academic institutions around the world – with the same username and password. 

If you are returning to site after a long absence, you may need a refresher on how to reset your password. New members of staff will need to set up a remote access account to use eduroam Wi-Fi. 

Further resources 

 

I want to ...

  • Organise work streams for remote teams 

  • Manage team tasks

  • Manage personal tasks 

Apps at a glance 

To Do 

Planner 

 

 

  • Organise individual to-dos 

  • Checklist interface 

  • Pulls tasks from other Nexus365 apps 

  • Private to you 

  • Access via Single Sign-On 

  • Organise team tasks 

  • Customisable KANBAN interface 

  • Create plans and track progress 

  • Shared with your Team 

  • Access via Single Sign-On 

 

Planner – Organise teamwork 

 

You can use Planner to organise teamwork, group tasks and run small projects. It has a simple interface in which your team can create plans in minutes, organise and assign tasks to users, and track progress using dashboards. It is a lightweight tool with no complicated set-up or configuration. 

Planner is most comparable to products like Trello. It uses a KANBAN layout with customisable buckets to track work. It is like using digital post-it notes on a digital wall. 

Tasks and deadlines are integrated into people’s Outlook calendars, and messages are shared via email or Teams chat messages. 

Planner is part of the Nexus365 suite. Using Planner allows you to integrate tasks into To-Do, link tasks to SharePoint files, and collaborate on your plan using Teams. Anyone with a Single Sign-On can access Planner via the Nexus365 web app.  

When you create a plan, you must choose to associate it with one of the Teams you belong to. This will allow all Team members equal access by default. If you intend to use it for sensitive information, you may wish to take steps to restrict access. 

To-Do - Organise your own to-dos 

 

You can use To-Do to manage your individual to-do list. Here you set up a checklist of tasks to which you can add detail, organise across multiple lists, and tick off activities as you complete them. It is a lightweight tool with no complicated set-up or configuration. 

To-Do is comparable to pen-and-paper to-do lists except that it is accessible from anywhere and kept secure by Single Sign-On. It has replaced Outlook Tasks in the web app (but not yet in the desktop app) and offers improved functionality, such as task suggestions, and a modern interface. 

To-Do is part of the Nexus365 suite. It can automatically pull in tasks assigned to you in Planner and any emails you flag in your Outlook inbox. Anyone with a Single Sign-On can access To-Do using the Nexus365 web app. 

By default, no one except you can see your to-do lists. If you intend to use To-Do for sensitive information, you do not need to take additional steps to restrict access. You can opt to share specific lists with specific users. 

Further resources 

I want to ...

  • Get access to Teams

  • Understand the differences between a video call and a meeting 

  • Arrange an online meeting and invite participants 

Teams and getting access 

Teams is a messaging app and digital hub for collaboration within a team, department, or project. As well as conversations, it also allows you to share content and to access other apps. Teams is comparable to apps like Zoom but it is the University’s approved service for video conferencing and it integrates with the Nexus365 service. 

You can access Teams via web app or download the desktop app. The web app is useful because it gives access from any device via SSO. We recommend downloading the desktop app onto your work computer because this gives you access to more functionality.  

To download the Teams desktop app, open the web app and click the Get App button in the left-hand menu. You will need to check with your local IT Support Staff to confirm that you can download and install the application onto your computer. 

Arrange a meeting 

You can use Teams to conduct remote meetings and webinars using audio, video, and sharing.  

Arranging a meeting in Teams is a similar process to arranging a meeting or appointment in your Nexus365 calendar. Here is an easy guide from help.it: 

You can also start calls from one-on-one or group chats. A call is different to a scheduled meeting: it does not correspond to an entry in your calendar, will not appear in a team conversation, and gives you access to less functionality than a meeting. We like calls for impromptu one-on-one chats and conferences but we prefer scheduled meetings for more formal arrangements and external users.

Colleagues from inside and outside of the University can be invited to your meetings. The joining experience is slightly different (but simple) for external users. 

Further resources 

I want to ... 

  • Share a single window during a Teams call or meeting 

  • Share my screen during a Teams call or meeting 

  • Present PowerPoint slides in a Teams call or meeting

  • Understand the differences between these functions and choose the right one 

Apps and features at a glance 

I want to … 

I should … 

Share one thing (and one thing only) 

Show just one window, and no notifications or other desktop activity 

Share multiple windows seamlessly 

Show my entire screen, including notifications and other desktop activity 

Make a presentation 

Use PowerPoint Live to see my notes, slides, and audience while I present 

  

Screen share features in Teams 

You can share content during Teams calls and meetings. This function enables your colleagues to see your screen as if they were sitting at your desk. When you enable screen sharing, you can choose to share the whole screen or just one window. Here is a guide on how to screen share. 

When using screen share, please note 

  • If you intend to share your entire screen, you should close windows that contain sensitive information – if you can see it, so can your attendees! 

  • If you intend to use multiple screens or multiple desktops, this can make screen share more complicated. We recommend testing the user experience with a colleague before you attempt this. 

Sharing PowerPoint presentations in Teams 

You can share PowerPoint slides during Teams calls and meetings. This is comparable to presenter mode in PowerPoint because it allows you to see the presenter view while everyone else sees the attendee view.  

Please note this is a different function to screen share. You should share the slide deck instead of your screen – unless you want your attendees to see the presenter view. 

Here is a guide on how to share your slide deck: 

Further resources 

See “Collaborate with colleagues” for information about using Whiteboard

 

I want to ...

  • Work efficiently with remote colleagues on shared documents and files 

  • Co-edit documents, with several authors working on a document at the same time 

  • Compare and discuss ideas with colleagues, using visual sketches 

  • Hold breakout sessions, breaking a meeting into smaller groups for discussion 

Apps at a glance 

 

Screen sharing 

Sometimes the simplest way for colleagues to work on a document together is in a Teams video meeting. One person shares their screen or a window, then everyone can see the document and the group can discuss it as the first person edits.  

  • Read more about screen sharing in "Share content and present with confidence in online meetings"

Collaborative writing 

A document or file may need to be available to a number of colleagues. The easiest way to enable this is to store it in a cloud space where everyone who needs it can find it. We are finding it helpful to move towards keeping almost all our work in suitable cloud spaces, cutting down on files saved locally. 

All the people who have access to a given file can then edit, manage or work on it. Maintaining just one copy of each document in the cloud avoids the muddle of having multiple versions held by several people. 

A document in OneDrive is owned by one person who may opt to share it or not; if saved in a Team then all Team members have access to it; if in SharePoint Online then access is limited and managed by your department’s own policy. 

OneDriveTeams and SharePoint all keep the version history automatically, so you can revert to an earlier version in an orderly way if necessary. 

  • Read "Store and manage documents" about options for storing files in the cloud 

Co-editing – Microsoft Office files 

With Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides that are saved in cloud spaces such as OneDriveTeams or SharePoint, two or more people can be working on the file at the same time, and can see each other’s edits as they work. This could be using the simplified apps in the Nexus365 web suite or using the full-function desktop apps if they have those installed. 

We like to do this during our online Teams meetings, so we can talk about ideas and changes at the same time as writing/revising our content together.

Co-editing – other file types 

Any type of file can be stored in cloud spaces such as OneDrive and Teams, even if they are not formatted for Office365 apps, for example .JPG images or .PDF documents. 

When you want to edit a file, you download a temporary copy to your local computer and work on it using software you have available locally. When ready, you upload the improved file to the same cloud location so that colleagues can find it and use it. We prefer to delete the temporary local copy immediately after uploading, to avoid the muddle of multiple versions. 

Collaborate on ideas visually 

Some discussions go well around a sketch or diagram. Using a whiteboarding app, colleagues can all look at the same sketch and develop it while discussing a plan or project. During a Teams meeting, you can create and work on a sketch using Whiteboard or Miro while talking through your ideas. 

Whiteboard is available in Teams – in a scheduled meeting it is one of the Share Content options. It has limited functions, but it allows all the meeting participants to write or draw on a shared space. The desktop Whiteboard app has more features. 

Miro is a whiteboarding app that can be integrated into Teams. It is not in place by default, but Oxford University users can sign up for it free of charge. Miro offers more features, such as voting and layout templates.  

Discuss more freely in small groups 

A large meeting can become stilted, so you may free up more relaxed discussion by putting people into small groups. Within a Teams meeting you can organise breakout rooms, and encourage participants to chat in a more lively way that can spark originality and debate. 

Note that only the person who organised the meeting can set up breakout rooms and manage them. 

 

I want to ...

  • Enable recording in Teams 

  • Record a lecture/seminar in a Teams meeting 

  • Create a transcript of a meeting 

  • Store videos and recordings

  • Tidy a video by trimming the start and end 

  • Share recordings in Panopto 

Steps at a glance 

 

Who can record a meeting in Teams

Staff at Oxford are allowed to record in Teams if it's for teaching purposes. It is important that any recordings comply with data protection legislation. 

The recording function becomes available to staff who have completed a simple request form for IT Services. 

Recording a meeting 

During an online event, if the organiser has recording enabled they can start and stop recording at any time using choices on the More Actions … menu. 

Participants are alerted by a banner message that the event is being recorded. 

When you start recording in a Teams meeting, the recording will include all that appears on the screen, the audio stream, and the content of the chat panel. Bear this in mind when planning a meeting, as you may need to hide any sensitive material on your screen. The recording becomes available after the time when the meeting was scheduled to end. 

Transcripts of meeting text 

During a scheduled Teams meeting, a transcript can be made of participant speech. This is visible during the meeting (Show Transcript) and can be made available afterwards, for people to review. 

Note this service is being deployed gradually across Oxford University. If it is available for you, the Start Transcription command appears on the More Actions … menu in a scheduled Teams meeting.  

The text of the meeting transcript appears in the meeting chat, after the meeting has finished. Meeting participants can download the transcript as a .DOCX so as to edit it and use the text. 

Where are my Teams recordings stored? 

At the time of writing, recordings of Teams online meetings are automatically stored in Stream. For the latest information: 

Pre-recording a presentation 

If you need to pre-record yourself giving a presentation, there are a number of tools you could use. If you have a reasonable camera and microphone you can create good recordings with your ordinary computer. 

A key factor in producing a good easy-to-follow recording is good planning – for example consider your environment and any noises, background objects and activity that may distract your audience. 

Recording is a standard feature of PowerPoint. It is easy to record your voice-over to accompany your slide show. If you like, you can include a thumbnail video of yourself speaking, tucked into a corner of the slides.  

There is no video editing function, but since each slide is recorded separately you can simply re-record an individual slide as needed. You can export the final recording as an MP4 video. 

Screencast-o-Matic is a free, easy-to-use web tool for creating a recording. We like this tool as it has all the functionality needed for non-specialist recordings, and it is easy to pick up and use. 

Panopto (known as Replay at Oxford) is used across the University for recording lectures and creating videos. It is integrated with Canvas for teaching. Recordings can be stored in Panopto’s cloud space and shared with students and colleagues. 

Post-production – editing videos 

Your recording will need at least a simple “top and tail” before it is ready to release. Stream (the cloud app where Teams recordings were stored until summer 2021) has a simple Trim tool which you can use to snip away some unwanted frames from the beginning and end of the video. 

If you need more video-editing tools, Panopto has a useful range. Note that a video created using another recording tool can be uploaded into Panopto’s cloud store and edited using Panopto’s tools. 

For further post-production features and effects, consider learning to use a full-functioned video editor such as OpenShot

Sharing a video 

Once a video has been recorded, you need to store it in a convenient space where viewers can find it, then share a link with your audience. For most uses, viewers should be able to view the video as a stream, avoiding them downloading multiple copies of the whole MP4 file. 

The options for sharing a video depend on the cloud service where it is stored (see storage options above). Note that even a video that was created/recorded/edited using another tool can be uploaded into Panopto and its link shared out. 

Services such as Stream and Panopto offer you a direct link (web address) to viewing the video, which you can copy and paste into your communications. You can copy an embed code for pasting into a web page. You can usually specify a start time, at which the video becomes available.  

If the meeting was recorded in a Teams channel, then people who are members of that Team can view the recording. 

If the video is for teaching and learning purposes, there is likely to be a place for it in Canvas. This is the University’s virtual learning environment (superseding WebLearn), where students can find the learning materials they need for their course of study. Canvas manages student access in line with the courses each student is following. Panopto integrates with Canvas

Further resources 

I want to ...

  • Understand what "hybrid" means

  • Understand the difference between online and hybrid

  • Find further resources on AV equipment 

Hybrid meetings 

Hybrid means different things to different people. When discussing a “hybrid” meeting with someone, we suggest that you ask that person to explain in terms of how s/he would like the meeting to work.  

For this explanation, we will define a hybrid meeting as a Teams meeting attended by: 

  • Two or more participants who are sharing one room and one device, and 

  • Two or more participants who are not sharing a room nor a device 

Online meeting 

Hybrid meeting 

 

 

 

Hybrid meetings without hybrid-enabling AV equipment

Hybrid meetings are like online meetings, except at least two participants are co-located and sharing a device. If you do not have hybrid-enabling AV equipment, we recommend that you run an online meeting instead (see “Getting started with online meetings” above). The overall experience will be better for attendees, and it will be easier to follow social distancing guidelines. 

If you must run a meeting where participants share a device – for example, due to space constraints – follow the guidance for setting up an online meeting and have two or more participants join using a single device. Each device will need a compatible webcam, speaker and microphone (preferably a boundary microphone as opposed to a headset).  

Please note that you should observe current social distancing guidelines and information security best practice – for example, never leave your device without locking it first. 

Further information 

If you would like recommendations for audio visual equipment in meeting rooms and teaching spaces including lecture theatres and seminar rooms, visit help.it for more information. 

If you are a teacher and would like guidance on planning and presenting a teaching session with a simultaneous mix of in-person and remote participants, visit ctl.ox.ac.uk for more information. 

We have assumed some knowledge about Nexus365 and LinkedIn Learning. If you would like an overview of either service, we recommend these resources.

Further Support

Digital Skills Courses

The IT Learning Centre offers an extensive collection of IT-related courses. Find the right one for you.

Support with Teaching and Learning

For support with Teaching and Learning including Canvas and Panopto, see the resources available from the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

IT support