Using Microsoft Teams

We will be using Microsoft Teams to provide real time video help to CS135 students. Help is offered in two formats: individual help and group question/answer sessions.

But first, you need to install Teams.

Teams Installation

You can use Teams through your browser at or you can download the app from Microsoft’s download page. We highly recommend that you use the app. We have had stability and connectively problems with browser-based connections. If you choose to use a browser, Chrome seems to work better than others.

As of 2020-09-04 the Linux version of Teams was missing some functionality such as hand-raising.

When logging into teams, shorten your username to 8 characters.

When launching Teams, you will be prompted to sign in. This part is important and includes a conditional expression (see Slide 8 in Module 4 of the CS 135 lecture materials). You will use a form of your Quest to sign in.

  • If your Quest username is less than or equal to 8 characters, then use your username followed by to sign in.
  • Otherwise (else) use the first 8 characters of your Quest username followed by

Examples: So, if my quest username is edlank, then I would use If, instead, it is edwardlank, then I would use

If everything is correct, you will be directed to the uwaterloo sign in page. Once you sign in, you should be signed in as a member of the team, not as a guest. Once you are in Teams, you need to select the “Teams” section:


This should take you to a list of the Teams you’re part of. One of the teams will be called “CS135 - Fall 2020”. The screen looks like this:


In these examples I am using a fake team I created, “Cs135-example”.

Individual Help

Clicking on your CS 135 Team, you will see a list of channels, similar to the list at the far left. One of these channels will be an Office Hours Wait List, shown here.


Click on this channel. This will take you to a new screen.

Find the waitlist post corresponding to the current day (e.g. if it is currently Tuesday, there will be a post saying “Welcome to Tuesday office hours. Please reply to this message to join the queue.").

That’s where you’ll be posting to let us know you’d like to talk. Hit “Reply” under the waitlist post and add a message to enter the queue. It is very helpful if you indicate what you need help with. It is OK if it is multiple things. Either pick one (perhaps the most important), or indicate multiple issues.

You can monitor your place on the waitlist by following the thumbs-up icons. The thumbs up reaction indicates that the student has been or is being seen.


Also, if something comes up and you have to leave the channel/wait list, please do delete yourself from the wait list so we know to skip you. You can do this by hovering over your message. Along with reactions, you will see a “…” which brings up a series of options. One of these options is delete.

Pay attention as we get close to you. As soon as we’re able, we will call you through Teams. If we can’t connect, we will go on to the next student.


When we call, it is a video call, but you do not need to use a webcam. We are using video calls so that you can show us your screen. If you do not have a microphone, you can use the text chat during the call; however a microphone is highly recommended.

During the call you will see the interface bar. It hides itself automatically, so you may need to wiggle your mouse.


From left to right, the important buttons are “Camera On/Off”, “Microphone On/Off”, “Share Screen”, “…”, and “Chat Window”. (Depending on your screen size, chat window and/or share screen might get moved into the “…” menu).

Please keep in mind what you are showing to us. You might want to close any browser tabs or shut down any applications you don't want visible. Just saying.

You show us your screen by “Sharing” your screen.


Group Question/Answer Sessions

Alongside 1-to-1 help, we will organize open question and answer sessions. Check your calendar in Teams.


Clicking on the calendar icon in the far left brings you to your calendar.


This may list several events for different courses. If a CS 135 open Q&A is coming up, you can click on this meeting, which brings you to the event page. From there, clicking on “Join” in the top right will allow you to join the session.