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 “CS 135 - Winter 2022”. The screen looks like this:


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

Individual Help

We schedule consulting hours throughout the work week. When a block of consulting hours is starting, we start a new thread (“Conversation”) in the “Consulting Hours (Instructor and ISAs)” channel of the “CS 135 - Winter 2022 Team”. This thread will serve as a queue (lineup) for that block of consulting hours.

Add yourself to the line by leaving a comment in the block’s thread. When it is your time to meet, a member of the course staff will initiate a Microsoft Teams meeting with you. They will mark your comment with a thumbs-up emoji to indicate that they have contacted you. If the course staff tries to initiate a call with you and you do not answer, they will mark your comment with a sad-face emoji. If you see a sad-face on your comment and still want to meet, send a Teams chat message to the course staff on duty and they will get to you.

If you solve your own problem while waiting to be met and no longer need to meet us, delete your comment in the queue and we will know to skip you.


Make sure you are logged into Teams so you will be able to respond to our call. We will start a video call with you, but you do not need to use your 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 and chat window size, your share screen button might get moved into the “…” menu).

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

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.


Consulting hours get very busy close to assignment deadlines, so you are better off starting your assignments early and seeking help before the rush. The wait time can exceed a half-hour the day before a challenging assignment is due.

Also note that if you want us to look at your code and you have not completed your design recipe components, we will likely tell you to work through the design recipe first and send you to the back of the line. There are many problems that can be solved on your own by working through your design recipe.

Group Question/Answer Sessions

Alongside 1-to-1 help, some of our consulting hours sessions will be held in a group question and answer format. You and your classmates will be able to join a group call with a staff member and ask them general questions about the course material. If a question is asked that the staff member doesn’t want to answer publicly in front of other students (likely due to a specific student’s approach to an assignment question), then the staff member may answer that question in a private room with the student before returning to the group. Check your calendar in Teams for when these group question and answer sessions are held.


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.