OE - Feb (1140x641) 1
NUS Medicine team (clockwise from top left): Caroline Nayad Zamora, Jackie Soong, Nyssa Ho, Dr Zhou Wentao, Chan Yah Shih, and Jessie Tan

Real-time collaborations with Teams

The global pandemic situation has changed the way the University staff conduct their daily work, and highlighted the importance of digitalisation. As part of NUS Medicine’s drive towards digital transformation, online workshops were organised to empower staff with technology skills to increase productivity and enhance work experiences.

A series of comprehensive Microsoft Teams (Teams) training sessions was conducted to introduce the software as an online space for facilitating real-time collaborations, meetings, communication, and file sharing within teams and across different functions. Project lead Jessie Tan, Manager at NUS Medicine Dean’s Office, shared that the Teams sessions were organised for both administrative and faculty staff. “For administrative staff, Teams promoted collaborations within the departments during a time when there was limited face-to-face interaction due to safe management measures. For the faculty, Teams enhanced student engagement through features such as real-time collaborations on working documents,” said Jessie who started a Teams channel, “Transformation Enthusiasts” (currently with 186 members) as a peer learning environment to share knowledge and resources.

The Teams training for administrative staff introduced basic functions such as managing channels, teams, and members; scheduling meetings, setting up calls and videos, as well as real-time collaborations; and integrating with other Microsoft software including SharePoint and OneNote. Caroline Nayad Zamora, Assistant Manager at the NUS Medicine Dean’s Office, observed that more collaborations within her department were facilitated after the training. “Before the pandemic, my team was already using Teams but mainly for our internal communication and projects. The Teams training introduced rich and useful features, paving the way for collaborations between cross-functional teams. Teams also became a common platform to share ideas on initiatives and projects,” shared Caroline. She added that the software was intuitive and user-friendly, with practical features such as sharing files during meetings, and editing shared files.

For faculty, they learnt how to use applications ranging from facilitating teaching and learning, to engaging and collaborating with students. The first two training sessions demonstrated the ease of setting up an MS Teams Class; introduced the OneNote Notebook and Planner for sharing content, and how to support students in tracking their progress, as well as posting and grading assignments.

Dr Zhou Wentao, Senior Lecturer at the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies noted that the training concluded with a session which covered other Microsoft applications such as Forms, Sway and Stream. “With these new tools, we were able to make learning more interactive for our students and enhance their classroom experience,” said Dr Zhou.

Upon completion of the training, participants will receive a Microsoft Certified Educator Certificate and badge. To date, almost 1,000 NUS Medicine staff have undergone the Microsoft Teams training – more than 90% of the staff surveyed shared that their understanding of the Teams tools has increased significantly; and would recommend the training sessions to their colleagues. 

Organisational Excellence is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.


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