Supervised chats in Microsoft Teams for Education

Supervised chats in Microsoft Teams for Education

The chat feature in Microsoft Teams allows students to ask questions privately or educators to reach out to individuals or groups without disrupting the rest of the class. However, there can be student safety concerns when students are allowed to chat unsupervised. Supervised chat allows institutions to enable chat for students in limited scenarios while keeping them safe at the same time.

Note: After an IT Admin enables supervised chat, the updated settings will apply to new private chats, but not to existing private chats, meeting chats, or channels. To learn more about meeting and communicating safely with students in Teams, please review our best practices.

Supervised chat allows institutions to enable chat for students while keeping chats safe. Supervised chat grants designated educators permissions to initiate chats with students and blocks students from starting new chats unless an appropriate educator is present. When chat supervision is enabled, supervisors are not allowed to leave chats and other participants are not allowed to remove them, ensuring that chats involving students remain properly supervised.  

If you have been designated as a chat supervisor, you are granted full chat permissions. You can start chats with any user who has chat enabled within your organization. You are expected to supervise the chats you participate in. Because you are a supervisor, you cannot leave or be removed from chats you start. Only educators and school staff can be chat supervisors.

If your IT Admin has granted you limited chat permissions, you can start chats with any supervisor or other users with limited permissions, but you cannot start chats with restricted users (students). A chat supervisor can add you to a chat that they are supervising. Only educators and school staff can be chat supervisors.

If supervised chat is enabled in your institution, you may see errors when you try to: 

  • Create chats with participants you do not have permission to include.

  • Add restricted users (ex. students) to chats.

  • Remove a supervisor from a chat they are supervising.

Restricted users will usually be students at an educational institution. Restricted users can only start chats with educators designated as chat supervisors. Even though you can’t initiate other chats, you will be able to participate in a chat when invited by a chat supervisor. You won't be able to remove or add other users to chats.  

If supervised chat is enabled in your institution, you may see errors when you try to: 

  • Create chats with participants you do not have permission to include.

  • Add or remove participants in a chat.

  • Remove a supervisor from a chat they are supervising.

Please reach out to your IT Administrator if you have questions about your assigned role or to find out if chat has been turned off for your institution. If chat has been turned off, you can still communicate with educators and students in channel conversations.

Learn more

Keeping students safe while using Teams for distance learning

Additional resources for educators

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