If you’ve found this article, then you’re one of many schools that has suddenly realised that there’s a problem with holding video lessons in Microsoft Teams. Unless you configure your video class correctly, students can mute others, or even kick the teacher out of the class. But don’t worry there is a solution.
Why can students mute teachers in Microsoft Teams?
In Microsoft Teams meetings you can have one of three roles: organizer, presenter, or attendee. As you can see from the table below, the presenter role is essentially God. They can take control of shared presentations, mute other participants, change the roles of others, and even remove others from the meeting.
The problem is that unless you do some additional configuration before your video lesson starts, everyone will connect as a presented — including students. That means that students are given the same permissions and abilities as the teacher in video meetings. But fortunately, there is something we can do about it.
Make students an attendee during a video meeting
There are two ways to do this at time of writing. Once students have joined the video lesson, the teacher can make them an attendee. This removes their ability to mute others among other things.
To make students an attendee in a video meeting, click the Show Participants button:
Then click Options and Make Attendee:
This works well if you forgot to set up the lesson before it started, but it does have a few disadvantages. When students initially connect, they will still have presenter access unless you switch them to attendee really quickly. Additional, you have to do this for every student who connects, so it can be awkward to do. A much better solution is below.
Create a scheduled lesson to force students to be an attendee when they connect
The second — and best — way if to schedule you video lesson with settings to only permit students to connect as an attendee. This requires a little bit of extra work, but it’s worth it for the reassurance that your lesson will run smoothly and undisrupted.
First start your video meeting in the normal way, but instead of clicking Meet now, select Schedule a meeting:
In the New meeting window make any changes you need and click Send.
This will schedule the meeting and create a notification in your team similar to the one below. Now click the scheduled lesson to go back in and edit the settings.
Choose Meeting options at the top of the window:
This will open a web browser showing the meeting options. Next to Who can present select Only me. Now click Save.
And that’s it! Now, only you will be given the presenter role, and all of the students will connect with the attendee role as standard.
That seems like a lot of work, can’t Microsoft just fix it?
Fortunately, educators won’t have to jump through these hoops for much longer. Last week Microsoft announced that they will be releasing an update in early May which will allows school IT administrators to force students to join meetings as an attendee by default. So, if you can hand on for a couple more weeks, hopefully this will be resolved properly.