Instant message and call individuals or groups in Microsoft Teams
Posted by , Last modified by on April 13, 2020 12:29 PM

Whether you're the leader of a department, lecturer of classes, supervisor of student employees, or officer of an RSO, Microsoft Teams at makes it easy to organize, meet, and collaborate remotely at NSU. Instant messaging and calling between anyone at NSU is also available through Teams. We offer Teams for all faculty, staff, and students with an email address at

First, ensure Microsoft Teams is installed on your computer or phone and you have signed in. Click here for instructions on installing it.

Direct messages (chat, DM, IM)

Similarly to text (SMS) messages on a cell phone, Teams makes instant messaging available between anyone at NSU over the Internet. Since Teams is connected to our directory, a conversation can be started by searching for a directory name or email address. This functionality is fully independent from any phone numbers, and will not expose any information which is not in our directory.

Navigate to the Chat section, and use the pencil/compose icon indicated below to start a new chat session. This can be directed at one or any number of people. Sending the message will notify any copy of Teams they have running. If they are not currently using Teams, it will send a notification to their smartphone if the app is installed. Ultimately, if the message is not read, it will send an e-mail notifying them of the unread message.

Group direct messages (group DM, group chat)

In cases where an entire team is not necessary, such as small projects or sideline conversations, there is an option to make a group chat. These are similar to an individual channel in an organized team. They include a space for discussion, file sharing, and video conferences. For example, students could collaborate on a Word document for a group assignment, and leave the group when they are done with it.

A group chat can be created by using multiple names in the To field when starting a new chat, shown in the previous section. To add people to an existing chat, use the control indicated below. A similar control is shown in one-on-one chats. Creating a group from a one-on-one chat will not include the previous messages. Adding someone to an existing group will give you the option to show them the previous messages or not.

Direct audio/video calls

Clicking the phone handset icon will start an audio-only Internet call to the recipients of your chosen direct message. The camera icon will initiate the call with video, and the screen button will broadcast your screen instead of your camera. Initiating a call will ring any running copies of Teams for the recipient(s), or ring their smartphone if the Teams app is installed. Unanswered calls to an individual will allow you to send a voicemail. These voicemail messages are only available in Teams; not on any cell or office phone. Similarly to the desk phones on campus, calls to/from an individual in Teams can be put on hold or transferred to someone else, with the option to chat before completing the transfer. Group chats do not have voicemail or transferring, but you can add or remove others mid-call from the participant list.

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