Guidance for faculty in case of potential Microsoft Teams issues during class

In light of the recent Zoom outage experienced by many institutions last week, IT Services and the Center for Teaching and Learning/Division of Digital Learning has provided the following guidance for instructors in the event that Teams would experience an outage during your scheduled class time.

ITS indicates that, while it is doubtful that Teams would have an outage impacting all of its functions, it’s not impossible. It’s more likely that the Teams meeting component would suffer an outage or aspects of Teams meetings would suffer an outage (e.g. meeting chat not available, 7×7 video not working, etc.).

In such an instance, instructors should:

  • Email students as soon as the issue is known. Let students know what they missed and that you will follow up with them.
  • Ask students to email you immediately if they experience issues connecting during class.
  • Alternatively, faculty could use text messages or phone calls if that is their preference.
    • Ideally, communication would happen within at least two ways (e.g. a news item on the D2L course site and an email to students).
  • Record a video on your computer (if you know how—if you don’t, use D2L or email) providing the information you were planning to share during class time.
  • Set up a discussion board in D2L to answer any questions, complete an activity, etc.
  • An alternative could be to use D2L chat rooms. While it’s not the same because it’s all text-based, it’s another way to interact in real-time with students during class.
  • Email students a summary highlighting the key ideas of the day and offering to chat via phone or Teams at a different time (assuming Teams is up and running within 24 hours).

The first two options – to record a video and set up a discussion board – can also be used for classes that have students online and in-person. These options also offer varying approaches based on comfort level of using other technology.

With questions, contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at