New features in Microsoft Teams

ACU’s trusty collaboration and video conference platform Microsoft Teams has some useful new features available to all staff.

Meeting and event options

Teams Live Events

Many of you will have attended a Teams Live session recently – perhaps a panel with the Provost, a university update session from the Chief Operating Officer, or the Vice Chancellor’s Staff Awards ceremony with the Vice Chancellor.

Teams Live Events is perfect for large events with minimal interaction from the audience such as:

  • town halls
  • symposiums
  • large webinars
  • conferences.

Previously staff needed to request access to this tool, but it is now available to all staff, though it requires significant planning and preparation to ensure everything goes smoothly, as this is a complex tool.

Here are some instructions on using Teams Live Events:

What important information should I know about Teams Live Events at ACU?

Teams Webinar

Just like a Teams meeting only with more features, the Teams Webinar is a useful tool for more structured gatherings of people without the back-and-forth of a standard Teams meeting.

Some examples include:

  • training
  • webinars
  • information sessions.

Teams Webinars have a few additional features that make them very handy for these types of gatherings, including:

  • a built-in registration platform
  • additional ‘Meeting Options’ for control of attendee audio and video settings (e.g. capacity to disable all participant microphones/cameras)
  • the ability to control presenter/attendee status during the Webinar.

Here are some instructions on getting started with Teams Webinars:

Microsoft Teams Webinars at ACU – Quickstart Guide

If you need more information, you can learn more about the differences and similarities of these tools in the article What is the difference between Teams Meetings, Webinars, and Live Events?

Teams private channels

Teams private channels are perfect for scenarios where you want to keep information separate from other members of a team, whether for yourself or for a subset of people within the team.

For example, a private channel is useful in these scenarios:

  • 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.

Private channels have recently been enabled for all ACU staff. To create a private channel, simply select ‘Private – specific teammates have access’ when creating a new channel within a team.


By default, any team member can create their own private channel within that team, but this can be configured by the Team Owner. Once created, private channels function the same as a standard channel.

Here are some instructions on setting up and using private channels from the Microsoft knowledge base.


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