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Joining and Creating Channels and Teams

This article applies to: Microsoft Teams


Teams can be created by Cornell faculty and staff. Students can be added or join and participate in teams, but can't create them. You can add a guest from outside Cornell.

Teams and channels allow groups working toward a common goal, or who have similar interests, to have a dedicated space for:

  • Conversation
  • File collaboration
  • Notes
  • Meetings

A team is the largest "container" in Teams. They can be dedicated to an entire organization, project, or effort.

Channels exist within the team. All activity occurs within a channel. They can be either public (everyone in the team can see the channel and its content) or private (only members can see).

When possible, creating a public channel in an existing team helps keep everyone in the team aware of what everyone else is doing. Sometimes a private channel or separate team might be justified.

Microsoft provides the following suggestions to help determine when a private channel or new team may be appropriate.

Currently some features in Teams are not available in private channels, including Planner and Forms. Also, there is a limit of thirty private channels per Team, and 250 member per private team. Microsoft is working on improving these limitations.
Is there already a team with the same members? Does this work need to be kept private? Are there multiple distinct topics to discuss? Recommendation
Yes Yes Yes Create a private channel in the existing team or consider creating dedicated private channels for each topic.
Yes Yes No Create a private channel in the existing team.
Yes No No Create a channel in the existing team.
No No No Consider creating a new team.
No No Yes Consider creating a new team and then, depending on the confidentiality of each topic, consider creating separate standard or private channels for each topic.
No Yes No Create a new team and consider creating a private channel.
If you decide to create a team, Microsoft provides guidance to help you choose a team type. If you have no preference, choose Other, because it's more flexible in terms of how it is set up and what it can integrate with. For example, a team created from the Other template will allow you to create a tab for an existing OneNote notebook, which not all other types will.

Managing Membership in Teams and Channels

See Microsoft's instructions: 

You can add an external guest to a team, allowing you to coordinate, communicate, and plan with vendors, contractors, and other outside collaborators. 
Learn more about how to add a guest, and how they will see the invitation.
If the guest doesn't already have a Microsoft account they can use to sign in, they will be asked to create one, 

If a channel has no activity for six months, a message is sent to channel owners that it will soon be archived. If no action is taken by the owners in that time, the channel is archived, then eventually it and all its contents are deleted. 

About this Article

Last updated: 

Monday, February 22, 2021 - 10:00am

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